According to latest official data, as on November 30, there are 404 permitted news and current affairs channels in the country and 417 non-news and current affairs channels.

In all, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has now allowed 821 TV channels in both categories to function in the country.

Around the same time last year, on December 2, 2013, the number of permitted private satellite TV channels in India was 784 of which there were 389 news and current affairs channels and 395 non news channels.

"In the last few months, the number of permitted TV channels has steadily risen as the process of granting of permission has been streamlined and approvals are being given regularly.

"Earlier there some issues like those related to the process of security clearance for companies that wanted to start channels, that needed to be streamlined. These processes have been streamlined, the number of channels has been are steadily going up," a senior official said.

According to the data, from 784 in December last year, the total number of channels allowed in the country rose to 792 by March 10. Of these there were 392 news and current affairs channels while the number of non news and current affairs channels stood at 400.

By mid September, this number went further up. From 392 in March, the number of news channels reached 400 by September 15. The number of non-news and current affairs channels had touched 413 by this time.

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