Doordarshan agrees to apply for permission for four IGNOU channels

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan has agreed to apply for licence to telecast four channels of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, even as the 32 channels of the Human Resource Development Minstry are still to find a place in the pubcaster’s Freedish.

Interestingly, one Gyan Darshan channel and one one Gyani channel had been taken off DD and All India Radio respectively in 2014 for non-clearance of dues.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding now signed between Doordarshan and IGNOU regarding the transmission of four Gyan Darshan Educational channels, DD has agreed to apply for permission to telecast four Gyan Darshan channels from IGNOU Earth Station Delhi to operate in C-band from GSAT-10. IGNOU is not eligible to apply under the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines as it is not a broadcaster.

The Gyan Darshan Bouquet of Educational TV Channels is an educational media initiative of MHRD in collaboration with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Prasar Bharati and the Indian Space Research Organization with IGNOU as the nodal agency.

It consists of four TV Channels: GD-I & II (by IGNOU), GD-III - Eklava (by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi), and GD-IV - Vyas Channel (by University Grants Commission, CEC).

Gyan Darshan had been initially launched on 26 January 2000 as a solitary 24x7 hour satellite channel under the banner of Doordarshan which provided a Transponder on INSAT 2B satellite, free of cost.

Gyan Darshan ran successfully till 2 June 2014 as a must carry channel for educational programmes but was shut down by ISRO to facilitate its migration from INSAT 3C to GSAT-10.
IGNOU now needs to apply for a fresh License to start the uplinking of its Channels for GSAT-10 Satellite.

Speaking on the occasion, DD DG Supriya Sahu said, “I am happy that we have signed this MOU with IGNOU and joined hands with a premier institution like IGNOU. This partnership would ensure that the educational channels of IGNOU reach and benefit millions of students across the country. I think this is one of the most outstanding initiatives in the field of Public Broadcasting”.

IGNOU Vice Chancellor Ravindra Kumar said, “Gyandarshan has always been a flagship programme for IGNOU and educational community. Today we (IGNOU & DD) are both happy and enormously excited that Gyandarshan has once again become a reality.”

Earlier in October 2014, indiantelevision.con and had reported that the channels Gyan Darshan and Gyanvani had been shut down because of non-payment. While the figures were DD were not available, AIR DG Fayyaz Sheheryar had said the dues amounted to more than Rs 21.6 crore.

He had then said that it had to be understood that Gyanvani and Gyandarshan were radio and television channels respectively run and owned by IGNOU and Prasar Bharati only provided the platform for the broadcasts.

Later, IGNOU had launched these channels on the Internet. had learnt at the time that IGNOU had applied to WPC for a licence to run television channels, but had been refused by the Department of Telecom which had told them that only Doordarshan can apply for such a channel.

But DD had refused to apply for the channel on behalf of IGNOU in view of the report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India which bars allotment of licences to government bodies to start their own channels.

These web-based channels can be accessed by the students directly from their homes at without having to go to the Regional Centres or Local Study Centres.

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