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BBC World Service launches IndiaOnline on ground event

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MUMBAI: BBC World Service, the radio division of BBC, has announced that the site bbcurdu.com is launching a series of events in three Indian cities to meet its audiences and discuss the place of Urdu in India.

Starting today 1 February in Delhi, the IndiaOnline series then goes to Hyderabad and Mumbai, engaging personalities from the media, politics and cinema scene.

BBC Urdu service head Mohammed Hanif says the bbcurdu.com team is excited about the IndiaOnline initiative. "We are stepping from the virtual world into the real world to come face to face with our users. A good proportion of bbcurdu.com users are India's Urdu speakers. Along with the opportunity to directly interact with our online users in India, the IndiaOnline series of discussions will give us a chance to gain fresh insights into the status of Urdu in modern-day India and share them with Urdu-speakers, wherever they are in the world."

In Delhi and Hyderabad, the bbcurdu.com journalists will discuss the subject of Urdu and New Media in panel discussions. In Delhi the event is being held in partnership with Jamia Milia Islamia and will be held at the Ansari Auditorium at 4 pm today.

In Hyderabad, where bbcurdu.com has partnered Maulana Azad Urdu University, the discussion will take place at 10 am on 5 February at the Jubilee Hall.

In Mumbai a high profile panel will discuss the relationship between Urdu and Bollywood and how it has changed over the years. This event will be held at 6 pm on 12 February at the Xaviers Institute of Communications.

bbcurdu.com has up-to-the minute news, features and analysis on Pakistan, India and South Asia as well as news from the rest of the world. Along with text, visitors are able to listen to the audio of radio programmes and comment in online debates.

Having recently ventured into online video, it claims to be the largest Urdu news site in the world with more than 13 million page impressions a month.

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