DD News channel gets EC nod

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission today gave the go ahead to pubcaster Doordarshan to proceed on schedule with the launch of its proposed news channel.

According to sources in the information and broadcasting ministry, a formal letter to this effect will be issued this evening.

The election commission had earlier sought clarifications from Prasar Bharati on whether the relaunch of DD News on the eve of assembly elections in four states would breach the model poll of conduct, considering that the channel's new avtaar and upkeep would be financed by the government. 

According to the model code, the government cannot take decisions that may seem to be amounting to handing out sops to the general populace or highlighting its own achievements. This temporary ban starts from the time election dates are announced by the EC and remains in effect till the whole poll process is over. 

Prasar Bharati had maintained that the decision to relaunch DD News was taken by its board on 11 July this year and that the file concerned had been moving between Prasar Bharati and the I&B ministry since January. Also, the pubcaster had argued that if the EC objected to a new channel as breaching the model poll conduct, nothing would anyway stop it from increasing the news bulletins and current affairs programming on DD's other channels. 

Meanwhile, Aaj Tak's political editor Deepak Chaurasia also took up the post as consulting editor to DD News over the last weekend. With all hurdles along the way cleared, DD News' relaunch now appears to be a certaintly.

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