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DD Free Dish has 3.5 crore subscribers: Prakash Javadekar

India has close to 5.5 crore DTH subscribers, he added.

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MUMBAI: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Saturday stated that DD Free Dish was the biggest direct-to-home (DTH) operator in the country with 3.5 crore connections.

"There are five to six major operators and they put together have 5.5 crore connections. The biggest DTH operator in the country is Doordarshan with 3.5 crore DTH connections where we are giving free Dish," he said.

The minister also added that India will soon become the largest country in the world where every household has a television set.

"There is a new dream that every household will have a TV in the coming years. There are 25 crore households in India and 18 crore have a TV set. There are still seven crore households without a TV," Javadekar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Javadekar made the comments during a program to launch distribution of Free Dish set top boxes in Kashmir. On the occasion, a signature tune for Doordarshan's satellite channel for Jammu and Kashmir DD Kashir too was unveiled.

"Today, we are making a small beginning in which we are giving set top boxes of free Dish TV for people living in far-flung areas and to poor people. However, as soon as our economy develops people will buy a TV as soon as they are able to address the six basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education and livelihood," the Minister explained.

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said free DTH connections will help in flow of information in regions that are not well connected.

"People in border areas will get some relief. They will get an avenue of entertainment and the information that should reach them," Singh said.

The Lok Sabha MP from Udhampur said the Dogri bulletin on DD Kashir satellite channel was a long pending demand of people in Jammu.

"Steps have been taken for promotion of Kashmiri language from time to time but similar steps for Dogri were delayed. Both Kashmiri and Dogri are rich but underrated languages," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said the distribution of Free Dish STBs would also prevent people from falling prey to fake news and false propaganda.

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