The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a large infrastructure development scheme for the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati that runs both Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio(AIR). The outlay of the scheme named Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) is Rs.2,539.61 crore and is for the time period upto 2025-26.
Purpose of BIND Scheme
The BIND scheme is intended for for providing financial support to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organization.
As a public broadcaster of the country, the Prasar Bharati is a significant source for communicating information in the public interest. The organization played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic in disseminating important public health messages and awareness to the public. It not only provides information but also educates and engages people. Undoubtedly, expenses are needed for expansion and upgradation of work. Hence, the BIND scheme would provide for the necessary financial support to improve the infrastructure.
Expansion to the Left Wing Extremism Areas:
The BIND scheme will enable Prasar Bharati to undertake major upgrades of its facilities with improved infrastructure, which will expand its reach to include areas with left-wing extremism, strategic locations, and border regions and provide high quality content to the viewers.
High-quality content development
The BIND scheme also intends to develop high-quality content for both domestic and international audience and ensure availability of diverse content to the viewers by upgradation of capacity of DTH platform to accommodate more channels.
- Purchase of OB vans and digital upgradation of DD and AIR Studios to make them HD ready will be undertaken as part of the project.
- At present, DD operates 36 TV channels including 28 regional channels and All India Radio operates more than 500 broadcasting centres.
- The scheme will increase the coverage of AIR FM transmitters in India to 66% by geographical area and 80% by population up from 59% and 68%, respectively.
- The Scheme also envisages free distribution of over 8 lakh DD Free Dish STBs to people living in remote, tribal, Left-wing extremism-affected and border areas.
Apart from enhancing the scope of public broadcasting, the project for modernization and augmentation of broadcast infrastructure also has the potential to generate indirect employment by way of manufacturing and services related to supply and installation of broadcast equipment. Content generation and content innovation for AIR & DD has the potential of indirect employment of persons with varied experience of different media fields in the content production sector including TV/Radio production, transmission and associated media related services. The project for expansion of the reach of DD Free Dish is expected to generate employment opportunities in the manufacturing of the DD Free Dish DTH Boxes.