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Kisan TV launched; Modi calls for greater synergy between farmers & agricultural scientists

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NEW DELHI: Doordarshan’s Kisan TV channel was launched today (26 May) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling upon agricultural scientists to create a link with the farmers through the channel to reach the latest technologies and related information to them.

Dedicating the channel to the nation at a function in the tastefully decorate Vigyan Bhavan, Modi said that the channel could serve as a medium to take forward the green revolution and the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ given by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

As an example, he said that satellite technology has helped the country get more accurate weather forecasts, which can help the farmers plan ahead. Similarly, agricultural scientists can help farmers become self-reliant in growth of pulses, which has virtually come to an end and led to shortage of proteins among the young.

Those present on the dais included Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth Prasar and Bharati Board Chairman Surya Prakash. Others present included I&B secretary Bimal Julka, Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, PB Advisor VAM Hussain, DD director general C. Lalrosanga, DD Kisan DDG Ranjan Mukherjee, DD Kisan advisor Naresh Sirohi, and several senior officials of Doordarshan.

The channel was launched with Prime Minister Modi pressing the remote control with a short clip from the channel. The tagline of the new channel is ‘DD Kisan – Badalte Bharat ki Shaan.’ The Prime Minister also flagged off two Kisan Raths, which will go all over the country to apprise people about the new channel. Kisan TV is a free-to-air channel available on all direct-to-home (DTH) platforms.

Modi said that the channel would help bring about greater cohesion between farmers all over the country and between farmers and the agricultural scientists and Universities.

He added that some feel that the country already has far too many television channels, but he was convinced that each has a role to play. For example, he said sports channels, more than the government or sports bodies, had helped encourage young people to take to sports in a big way and win laurels for the country.

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh informed that a special cell had been set up in his Ministry to coordinate amongst agricultural universities and scientists on the one hand and with the channel on the other. He said, “India is a country of farmers and therefore it is important for them to know how they can help the yield through modern methods.”

I&B’s Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the occasion and venue itself were reminiscent of the need for cohesion. “Program kisan ka, bhavan vigyan ka,” he said referring to Vigyan Bhavan where the event took place.

He noted that this was first programme taking place on the commencement of the second year of the National Democratic Alliance Government.

Rathore said that the channel, which will be available in all languages, will not only take the scientist to the farmer, but will also make sure of the need for entertaining the farmer.

Prasar Bharati Board chairmam Surya Pralash clarified that the channel was primarily in Hindi but all important programmes will be dubbed in different languages and shown in the respective parts of the country.

He noted, “As far as I know, India is the first country to have a television channel devoted to farmers and agriculture.”

Referring to the role of Prasar Bharati as a public service broadcaster, he said that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry would remain answerable to the people as long as public money was being put into the channel. He admitted calling the broadcaster autonomous and yet answerable to the Ministry was akin to a ‘tight rope walk.’ 

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