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MIB to collect data on satellite capacity needs, digital chatter

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NEW DELHI: The Indian government has not only embarked upon data collation of the satellite capacity needs of TV channels in India but is also preparing to get real-time insights on digital chatter.

In a letter sent earlier in January to Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd or BECIL, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has asked the sister government organisation to collect data on capacity requirements by TV channels on Indian satellites as also the life of foreign satellites catering to Indian customers.

Pointing out that the data was needed on an urgent basis, the MIB has directed the BECIL to consult industry associations such as the IBF and the News Broadcasters Association, apart from DTH and HITS players, on information relating to “total estimated requirement” of the broadcasting sector on Indian satellites and “end of life period of foreign satellites”.

Though MIB hasn’t spelt out the need to collate such data, nudged by the Department of Space and ISRO, the ministry, in the recent past, has been obliquely hinting TV channels to shift to Indian satellites before various government permissions being sought could be given.

Most foreign satellite companies operating in India, however, have been conveying to the government and regulator TRAI (one such meeting happened in New Delhi about a week back when TRAI called for feedback on NTP 2018) that ISRO has been doing a great job in flying high India’s flag in the space but the dream of Digital India, as envisaged by PM Modi, could get a major fillip if foreign satellites, too, could be used to provide broadband and other related services to Indians.

Meanwhile, the BECIL has also floated a tender seeking vendors to set up a 'Social Media Communication Hub' that would help the MIB keep a tab on trending news and act as the eyes and ears to get insights into digital chatter mostly involving the federal government’s flagship schemes.

“The tool should have the capability to crawl [the] worldwide web and social media to monitor and analyze various trends emerging, as well as to gauge the sentiments amongst netizens. The tool should be comprehensive with the capability to generate reports and do customizations as per the requirements of [the] Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” the tender floated by the BECIL stated.

The platform or the hub sought to be set up should facilitate creating a 360-degree view of the people who were creating the buzz across various topics with an ability to analyse as well as visualise large volumes of data across diverse digital platforms in real time.

The broad features that are required for this social media monitoring tool, as enumerated by the BECIL, are following:

--- Listening and responding capabilities: The platform is expected to not only listen to the standard digital channels listed below but also enable easy extension to integrate proprietary data sources such as the mobile insights platform.

--- The tool should be able to interface with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Play Store, emails, news blogs, forums and complaint websites for the purposes of monitoring.

--- Real-time integration for Facebook and Twitter needs to be demonstrated. Also, the platform will need to demonstrate the ability to configure data collection, insights and response for the platform.

--- The platform should have support for Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, along with English.

“This software tool should be able to perform like [a] search engine, which will work both as web crawler and social media crawler, and would be able to search various hash-tags [and] keywords across the social media platforms,” the tender document stated, adding that the tool/software should be able to identify fake news with particular focus on such conversations on social media and specialised websites.

For this hub, MIB is looking at a 20-member strong team (scalable later) of SM analytics and domain experts in social media analysis with experience in handling tools such as Oracle CRM and Brandwatch to be stationed on the premises of the ministry.

Also Read :

MIB, DoS nudge TV channel to use Indian satellites

MIB reverts to earlier norms of seeking nod from ISRO on uplink/downlink of TV channels

MIB bumps up TV channel processing fee

MIB categorises all non-Hindi and non-Eng TV channels as regional

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