Thiruvananthapuram

Snag takes VICTERS channel off air

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: The VICTERS educational channel of the IT@School project went off air five days back after the transmission hub developed a fault.

Without a back-up arrangement in case of a fault, the channel, which has a wide viewership among students in rural areas, is now available only in its online stream. Replacing the hub temporarily is a challenge as no other channel is running on similar equipment.

The Virtual Classroom Technology on Edusat for Rural Schools (VICTERS) is the only channel in the State to air specific curriculum-based programmes for students. Over the past few days, the channel has been receiving calls from students from different parts of the State enquiring about the disruption in telecast.

Outdated equipment

According to Executive Director K.P.Noufal, the channel has in recent years been facing frequent disruptions owing to outdated equipment.

“The entire equipment was provided free of cost by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), when the channel was launched in 2005. Only a few know the fact that even the name ‘VICTERS’ was coined by the ISRO, commonly for all such channels across several States.

Clearance

“We have been requesting them for clearance to update the equipment. But, they cannot do it for one State alone. Any such updating of equipment need to be taken up across all States, as all of these share the same spectrum,” says Mr. Noufal.

The State Government had allocated Rs.2 crore funds to purchase equipment a year back, but without the clearance from ISRO nothing could be done.

“Last month, a senior officer from ISRO visited our studio and realised that we are different from the channels in the other States, as we are developing several hours of our own content.

Only one company, an agency of the ISRO, makes this equipment here. We will get the paper work done soon to upgrade it at the earliest, to make digital transmission possible,” he says.

As a temporary arrangement, similar equipment available in Ranchi will be sent to the State capital here in two days time.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 10:06:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/snag-takes-victers-channel-off-air/article7653971.ece

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