Television

Parliamentary Committee pushes for DD Kisan launch during current fiscal

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NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has said that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) should complete all remaining infrastructural and studio up-gradation work for Doordarshan’s Kisan Channel scheme during the current fiscal itself. The Committee also asked MIB to judiciously spend the Rs 35 crore, which has been earmarked for content.

The Standing Committee on Information Technology, which also examines issues relating to MIB urged the Ministry and Prasar Bharati to focus on areas of advancement of the channel by generation of rich content and ensure active participation of experts in the field of agriculture and agronomy so that the dedicated Kisan Channel proves to be an advancement over the Krishi Darshan Programmes and that the farmers benefit out of it.

The Committee noted that the Scheme of Kisan Channel had been approved during the year 2014-15 with an initial allocation of Rs 100 crore: Rs 90 crore for Doordarshan and Rs 10 crore for All India Radio (AIR).

A Ministry source told Indiantelevision.com that the allocation to AIR was for content generation for the DD Kisan TV channel.

However, the Committee said that the budget estimates allocation was reduced to Rs 26 crore at the revised estimates stage, which was utilized fully during the year 2014-15.

The Ministry informed the Committee that the BE allocation for the Scheme was reduced owing to factors such as gestation period involved in carrying out research for writing script authenticated by Agricultural Scientists and experts preparing rich content.

The Committee stressed the significance of a channel like this in an agrarian country like India where issues like dissemination of real time information on farming techniques, water conservation, organic farming, etc. hold crucial importance to the farmers.

With regard to the targets, the Committee noted that earmarking of a dedicated studio had been made; 51 professionals had joined the channel against 67 posts advertised; and efforts had been made to impart training and orientation of manpower working in Kisan Channel from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). Integrated automated play out system for the channel had been installed and apart from procurement of equipment, the Direct-to-home facility had been upgraded.

During the year 2015-16, the Ministry proposes to spend Rs 10 crore on infrastructure development and Rs 35 crore on generating content for the channel.

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