Television
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Fourth Indian Telly Awards' jury meet kickstarts

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MUMBAI: It's that time of year again. The "judges" have gathered and are in session. The onerous task before them: vetting the record number of entries competing for the most coveted awards in television - edition fourth of the Indian Telly Awards.

The six-day long jury meet - on till 28 August - began today at a suburban hotel in Mumbai.

The Indian Telly Awards, the brainchild of Indian Television Dot Com founder and CEO Anil Wanvari, are divided into three main categories - Popular, Technical and Special.

Under the Popular awards, there are 60 categories that include six channel awards, 27 programming awards and 27 personality awards. Out of these, 34 categories will be adjudged by the jury and the rest will be done via online polling.

Falling under the Special awards category will be the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Big Idea Award (initiated this year). The Big Idea Award will be given to any marketing, advertising or technical idea that the jury finds exceptionally good.

The jury for the three categories of awards will be different. The jury for the Popular awards category comprise eminent personalities from the industry Lekh Tandon, Rathikant Basu, Kunal Kohli, Anju Mahendroo, Kunika Lall, Bharati Achrekar, Rekha Nigam and Aanjan Srivastava. The Technical awards will be judged by Dharam Gulati, Javed Sayyed, Vivek Agnihotri and Ashmith Kunder.

Five categories of the Popular awards were adjudged today by the jury. The judging process began in the morning and continued through the day. The categories were: Best Current Affairs Programme of the Year, Best Music Programme of the Year, Best Game Show of the Year, Best Talk Show of the Year and Best Edutainment/Science/Knowledge based show of the year.

The response from the television industry in terms of the entries for the awards this year has been phenomenal with close to 2,000 applications (which in turn makes the job of the jury that much more cumbersome). Also the number of categories have been increased this year to 93 from last year's 61, which means an additional of 32 new award categories have been introduced!

Said Rekha Nigam, "There is a lot of scope of bettering the quality of programmes that the channels and production houses send in. They need to realise that the audience they are catering to is exposed to a lot of technicality these days and hence what the channels offer them should be up to the mark. I feel there is a lot of room for improvement."

When asked how his experience as a jury member had been, a tired Kunal Kohli said, "Well it was long; fun but long!" On the other hand, Anju Mahendroo said, "I really enjoyed myself and I felt that the judging process was correctly done."

End of Day One of the jury meeting saw some members concurring on some things while also having conflicting viewpoints for others. But in the end all was amiable with the jury reaching a unanimous decision.

Day Two promises some more categories, some more heated debates and of course, a lot of fun!

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