No condom advertisements on television from 6am-10pm: Centre

MIB bars broadcasters from airing condom ads between 6 am to 10 pm

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said condom advertisements will now be allowed only between 10pm and 6am to avoid exposing children to such material and to comply with government rules.

The government on Monday strictly asked TV channels not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms because these are "indecent especially for children" and can create "unhealthy practices" among them.

The advisory cited various sections of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994, which states that no advertisement endangering the safety of children or that creates in them "any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner" shall be carried in a cable service.

It also cited broadcasting regulations prohibiting "indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes".

Media baron and head of leading news daily Times of India, Vineet Jain, called it "senseless censorship" in his tweet.

Sterilisation is by far the most popular method of contraception in India, especially in rural areas, but the procedure is nearly always carried out on women and often in unsafe conditions.

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The ministry has also warned of action against any TV channel found flouting its order, which comes in the wake of a plea by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) earlier this month to decide the telecast timing of such advertisements. ASCI had received several complaints on the content of condom advertisments...

A Tuesday Reuters report revealed that about 15.6 million abortions are performed on women each year in India.

"[It is] poised to undo decades of progress on sexual and reproductive health", said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India.

Child psychologist Achal Bhagat told the BBC the decision was questionable.

In September, a condom advertisement featuring Sunny Leone drew protests from a Surat-based group.

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