New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Wednesday warned non-news television channels from airing news content. The reminder of an existing mandate came a day before results for the Lok Sabha elections are declared.

According to a leading portal, I&B Ministry Director Amit Katoch issued a communication to all private satellite television channels spelling out what content can be aired. Reiterating the mandate to all TV channels, the I&B Ministry directive, which has divided all news channels into categories of non-news and current affairs, and news and current affairs, said all non-news satellite television channels are prohibited from carrying any content related to news and current affairs. They are meant for broadcasting entertainment content only.

A ‘news and current affairs TV channel’ would be a channel which has elements of news and current affairs in its programme content. At the time of applying for a non-news TV channel, the applicant company gives an undertaking that the channel is an entertainment one and does not have any news or current affairs based programme.

“It is hereby advised that all TV channels may strictly ensure that there is no violation of the aforementioned conditions of the guidelines,” said the directive.

However, the communication does not mention potential penalties which may be imposed in case a channel failed to comply.

The Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases and counting of votes would be held on May 23, Thursday.