The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs authorised a central sector scheme named “Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development” (BIND) on Wednesday for Prasar Bharati’s infrastructure development, including All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD), at a cost of 2,539.61 crore.
The plan, put up by the information and broadcasting ministry, is a way to give Prasar Bharati financial help for costs associated with expanding and upgrading its broadcasting infrastructure, developing new content, and undertaking organization-related civil work.
The I&B ministry announced that eight lakh DD Free Dish DTH Set Top Boxes (DTBs) would be given out to people living in remote, tribal, Left Wing Extremism (LWE), border areas, and smaller districts as part of the programme, which would increase All India Radio’s FM coverage to more than 80% of the country’s population.
With better infrastructure, the public broadcaster will be able to upgrade its facilities significantly, expanding its reach to include LWE, border, and vital locations while offering viewers high-quality content. Another top priority area of the plan is the creation of top-notch content for both domestic and international audiences, as well as guaranteeing that viewers can access a variety of material by upgrading the DTH platform’s capacity to support more channels. The project will also include the purchase of OB vans and the digital upgrading of DD and AIR Studios to make them HD ready.
Currently, All India Radio has more than 500 broadcasting facilities, and Doordarshan runs 36 TV channels, including 28 regional ones. According to the announcement, the Scheme would raise the geographic and population coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country from 59% and 68% respectively to 66% and 80%, respectively.
The project has the potential to increase the reach of public broadcasting while also creating indirect employment through manufacturing and services related to the supply and installation of broadcast equipment. For people with a variety of experiences in industries including television and radio production, transmission, and related media services, content generation and innovation for AIR and DD may result in indirect employment.