Madhesh Province has started registration of online media at the state level which ends the long suffered need to visit Kathmandu for the necessary process. While news companies in other provinces face hectic procedures including an inconvenient visit to the capital, Madhesh Pradesh (Previously Province no. 2) has set an exemplary precedent.
Nepal has long adopted a federal structure. In this governing system, many of the processes are expected to work at the regional level. Unfortunately, the situation contradicts most government procedures. Let’s just take the case of online media registration. Companies must go to their relevant offices in Kathmandu for online media registration and renewal of the operation permit (license).
The dated provision requires them to go to Information and Broadcasting department for the renewal of online media and also must visit Press Council Nepal for their listing (registration).
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Online media registration in Madhesh Province
Setting one example of the federal practice, online media registration in Madhesh Province is handled within the province itself. Chairman of Mass Communications Authority Shyamsundar Yadav announced the newly introduced provision recently.
According to the provisions of the Act, 2077, which states arrangements regarding state communication, registration in the province has been started for the past 11 months. So far 22 online media have been registered with the Authority.
“Section 20 of the Provincial Communications Act, 2077, states that those who wish to operate online media in the province must register and file with the authority with specified details,” said President Yadav.
According to the data of the authority, the number of online companies registered in the center is more than 164.
In the Madhesh province, registration in the department under the federal government and listing in the council, online registration in the Authority, and listing in the Madhesh Province Media Council are going on.
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Easier to regulate and monitor
Kailash Das, executive chairman of the Media Council, said that monitoring, regulation, and other tasks are easier to fulfill after online registration at the state level. ‘While working for the development of clean, independent and responsible journalism, the council should also monitor whether the media is following the code of conduct’, he said, ‘It is easier for us to do the necessary work after the record and list at the provincial level.’
From the upcoming fiscal year, the council is also planning to help registered online companies with public welfare advertisements and other managerial reforms and efficiency enhancement work.
Apart from Madhesh Province, the Office of the Communications Registrar under Bagmati Province has started online registration. However, the registration process requires the company to go to the Press Council Nepal in Kathmandu.
As per the Authority, there are 12 television stations, 170 FM radio stations, and over 800 newspapers registered in the Madhesh Province.