The Centre is working on a Rs 500-crore plan to counter the propaganda from neighbouring countries in the border areas of the Northeast and Kashmir.
“Popular entertainment and news from All India Radio and Doordarshan would be the key to reach the masses living in the border areas,” said BS Lalli, chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati, the corporation that manages public broadcasters AIR and Doordarshan.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) has, for the first time, decided to operate special mobile transmission vans for deeper penetration.
Transmitters attached to the vans will send out strong signals to cover an area of 8-10 sq. km. “Mobile transmitters will ensure that the quality of the signal is much better than what is being beamed from across the border, especially in Jammu and Kashmir,” a senior official of Doordarshan’s engineering department said on condition of anonymity.
Doordarshan and All India Radio together covers 48 per cent of India’s landmass and reach 99 per cent of the population.
But in the war for air waves, Pakistan has an edge in the border areas. “They (Pakistani broadcasters) have a good mix of news and entertainment,” said media analyst P.N. Vasanti of the Centre for Media Studies.
The government also decided to set up three high-power and four low-power transmitters to beam radio and television signals in Kashmir, Doordarshan officials said.
In the Northeast, the government has started implementing a Rs 400-crore special package for setting up high and low-power transmitters at 60 locations in Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.