I&B commissions new programmes for overhaul of North East channels

NEW DELHI: An amount of Rs 80 million and Rs 105 million, respectively, was allocated to Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Guwahati and PPC (NE) Guwahati for commissioning of programmes in 2002-'03, information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said.

As a reply to questions posed by BJP member Indramoni Bora in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad, said that 1,487 episodes were commissioned for DDK's producers from the northeast and 1,379 episodes to PPC Guwahati.

Replying to another question on the northeast, Prasad said that the 24-hours Northeast Satellite Channel was started on 27 December 2000, with a view to extend coverage to the population in the hilly terrain.

According to Prasad, the required capital outlay of Rs 3,213.5 million, projected for the period 2001-'02 to 2004-'05, will be spent in four phases. A number of special programmes have been commissioned, which include those with development themes, cross border terrorism, militancy, magazine programme on events and achievements in the northeast and a fiction serial on an award-winning novel .

Prasad said that the northeast channel is also available outside the region through satellite. About Rs 1,421 million has been approved mainly to upgrade the programme service for the 24-hours satellite channel.

Meanwhile, the government has stated that a core group has been set up to consider amendments to the copyright act and different groups of the music industry have made their submissions with regard to retention/ deletion/ modification in Section 52 (1) (i) of the Copyright Act 1957.

Replying to a question by N P Durga in Rajya Sabha, Prasad said that the nodal ministry for the Copyright Act, 1957, is the ministry of human resource development. He added that in 1999, the Copyright Division started the exercise of amending the Copyright Act, mainly to bring it in consonance with WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996, and WIPO Performance and Phonogram Treaty, 1996, and the TRIPS Agreement.

Prasad said that there is no unanimous view of the entire music industry on Section 52 (1) of the Copyright Act.

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