In a bid to upgrade Prasar Bharati’s broadcast infrastructure and network, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a scheme worth more than Rs 2,500 crore for Doordarshan and All India Radio. Under the scheme, eight lakh DD Free Dish DTH set top boxes (STBs) will also be distributed to people living in remote, tribal, LWE, border areas and ‘aspirational’ districts.
About The Scheme:
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced the Central Sector ‘Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND)’ scheme with an outlay of Rs 2,539.61 crore up to 2025-26, which was approved by the CCEA.
Significance of This Scheme:
- The BIND scheme is the vehicle for providing financial support to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organization.
- The BIND scheme will enable the public broadcaster to undertake a major upgradation of its facilities with better infrastructure which will widen its reach, including in the LWE (Left Wing Extremism), border and strategic areas and provide high quality content to the viewers.
- Another priority area of the scheme is the development of high-quality content for both domestic and international audiences and ensuring availability of diverse content to the viewers by upgradation of capacity of the DTH platform to accommodate more channels, the ministry said. Purchase of OB vans and digital upgradation of DD and AIR studios to make them HD ready will also be done as part of the project.
- In addition to enhancing the scope of public broadcasting, the project for modernization and augmentation of broadcast infrastructure also has the potential to generate indirect employment by way of manufacturing and services related to supply and installation of broadcast equipment.
- According to the statement, content generation and innovation for AIR and DD has the potential of indirect employment of persons with varied experience of different media fields in the content production sector, including TV/Radio production, transmission and associated media related services.
- The project for expansion of the reach of DD Free Dish is also expected to generate employment opportunities in the manufacturing of STBs.
About India’s Public Broadcaster:
Prasar Bharati, as the public broadcaster of the country, is the most important vehicle of information, education, entertainment and engagement for the people especially in the remote areas of the country through Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR). Prasar Bharati played a stellar role in communicating health messages and awareness to the public during the Covid pandemic.