The government has cleared schemes to digitalise Doordarshan and All India Radio, with investments of Rs. 1,540 crore over the next two years.
On Thursday, the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved proposals of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding the 11th Plan scheme of Doordarshan and AIR for digitalisation of transmitters and studio connectivity.
“This process of digitalisation of both Doordarshan and Akashvani will enable the most vulnerable section of our people in the remotest of the remote areas to receive a higher quality signals,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, speaking to journalists after the Cabinet Committee's meeting.
The scheme would give people a wider choice of Doordarshan channels, and would also include high definition TV. So far as radio is concerned, digitalisation was urgently needed to help AIR combat the competitive challenges sure to arise after the FM III policy, when private radio stations would start covering towns with populations over one lakh, said Ms. Soni.
The 11th Plan earmarks Rs. 620 crore for the digitalisation of Doordarshan. It would involve 40 digital terrestrial transmitters (DTTs), networking of DTT through satellite, digitalisation of archiving facilities, a news room automation system and e-governance.
The AIR scheme involves replacement of MW transmitters with digital transmitters, digitalisation of studio/networking, a new proposal for regional archives and upgrade of Central Archives Digitalisation Archiving facilities and news room automation, and has a budget of Rs. 920 crore.