AIR may get 24-hour news channel | punjab | Hindustan Times
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AIR may get 24-hour news channel

The union ministry of information and broadcasting is planning to launch a round-the-clock news channel for All India Radio (AIR) and strengthen the transmission of AIR and Doordarshan (DD) in the border areas.

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2013 00:17 IST
HT Correspondent

The union ministry of information and broadcasting is planning to launch a round-the-clock news channel for All India Radio (AIR) and strengthen the transmission of AIR and Doordarshan (DD) in the border areas.


Disclosing this during a meeting with Punjab-based heads of various media units, information and broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma said the government was exploring the various aspects and technicalities involved in launching a 24-hour news channel on All India Radio.

Varma reviewed the existing status of AIR and DD transmission in the border areas and discussed in detail the progress of digitisation of AIR and DD. He said the government had come up with a scheme to adequately strengthen transmission facilities in border areas. "To achieve this end, sufficient funds have been marked in the 12th plan," said Varma.

He observed that digitisation was taking place more rapidly in India as compared to USA, UK, and China, which took 10 to 15 years to accomplish this task.

Varma said digitisation of transmission signals would completely change the broadcasting scenario in the country within the next couple of years.

Urging the officers to improve the quality and content of their programmes, Varma underlined the need for evolving a system of getting feedback from the masses to assess people's response to such programmes. He directed the DD authorities to explore the possibility of introducing a toll-free number on which viewers could directly voice their opinions.

He also instructed AIR officers to explore the feasibility of relaying Vividh Bharti programmes on FM Rainbow during its non-broadcast slots.

Reacting to certain reports on monopoly by certain private cable TV operators, Varma said the matter had already been referred to TRAI, which had been asked to give its legal opinion in this regard.

Speaking about Prasar Bharti, he said an expert committee under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda had been set up to determine and define the relations between the government and Prasar Bharati.

Stating that the process of filling vacancies under Prasar Bharti has already been initiated, Varma said the government would pay the salaries of all employees who were with AIR or DD till 2007 for the next five years.

The I&B secretary also reviewed the functioning of the Press Information Bureau and said he would look into its functional difficulties.