Television

India to get its first educational TV channel

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Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Doordarshan are planning a joint venture educational TV channel, which would be the first of its kind in India. The free-to-air channel christened DD Gyan Darshan is expected to be launched this month provided the uplinking facilities are commissioned. The channel would be beamed via Insat 2B using a C-Band transponder. The earth station is located in the Sanchar Kendra Complex.





Doordarshan would be providing the hardware and a free transponder to IGNOU and it has also lent its name for the new channel. The costs involved in running the channel are to be borne by the Human Resource Development Ministry of the Union Government. The nodal agency for the channel would be IGNOU's Electronic Media Production Centre (EPMC). 





The programming for the channel would be provided by various sources like the Consortium for Education Communication and the University Grants Commission, the NCERT and its educational television units, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Department of Space, Science and Technology.





A test transmission will be on initially for three months. The channel would have eight hours of original programming which will be repeated once more to give a 16-hour block. For quite a few years, DD has been working in partneship with IGNOU and has been airing educational programming on its main channels in the morning and afternoon. The graduation towards a 16-hour channel is a reaffirmation of its educational intents and its role as a public service broadcaster.





It should be noted that a couple of months back Zee Network had announced the launch of Zee Interactive Learning Systems (Zils) which also plans to impart education through a television channel, Internet, print and multimedia. The network has today called for entrepreneurs to become its franchisees and help spread the concept. It hopes to make Zils a Rs 5,000 million venture.

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