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India Radio and Doordarshan which now constitutes Prasar Bharati
were purely Government organizations till 1997. They played the role of
National and Public Service broadcaster and served as the voice of the
Government and the people. Then, to give it better functional autonomy and
to be a true Public Service and National broadcaster it was decided
by the Hon’ble Parliament to convert it into Prasar Bharati. This move was
expected to enable the organization to function freely and fearlessly as a
true Public Service Broadcaster.
AIR has a network of 236 Broadcasting Centers with 143 Medium
Frequency (MW), 54 High Frequency (SW) and 161 FM Transmitters. The
coverage is 91.42% of the area, serving 99.13% of the people in the
largest democracy of the world. AIR covers 24 languages and 146 Dialects
in Home Services. In External Services, it covers 27 Languages, 17
National and 10 Foreign Languages. In addition to this terrestrial
network, AIR started Direct to Home (DTH) services with 12 channels on
free to air band.
Doordarshan has a network of 64 Production Centres and 1404 Transmitters, to telecast the programmes in 24 channels. The coverage is 89% of the area, serving 94% of the people in India in addition to crores of viewers overseas through satellite network. Doordarshan started Direct to Home (DTH) services with 30 channels on free to air band. Doordarshan is the only broadcaster in the world offering DTH services on free of cost. It had marked a "real revolution " in Public Service broadcasting, benefiting 20 million households that are in remote areas with no television signal and another 45 million who had no cable access.
Objectives of Prasar Bharati.
The major objectives of the Prasar Bharati Corporation as laid out in the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 are as follows:
§ To uphold the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution;
§ To promote national integration;
§ To safeguard citizens’ rights to be informed on all matters of public interest by presenting a fair and balanced flow of information;
§ To pay special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health & family welfare and science & technology;
§ To create awareness about women’s issues and take special steps to protect the interests of children, aged and other vulnerable sections of the society;
§ To provide adequate coverage to diverse cultures, sports and games and youth affairs;
§ To promote social justice, safeguarding the rights of working classes, minorities and tribal communities.
§ To promote research and expand broadcasting faculties & development in broadcast technology.
PRASAR BHARATI – Public Service Broadcaster.
The goal of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) is to meet community needs, which exist beyond traditional geographic and institutional boundaries. Today, Prasar Bharati through All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) provides maximum coverage of the population and is one of the largest terrestrial networks in the world. In a country, where the illiteracy rate is high, this medium has a great potential to inform, educate and entertain people. The immense social responsibility of the Prasar Bharati-AIR and DD is consonant with the potential of the network as it reaches vast masses of the people throughout the country. Over the years, Doordarshan and All India Radio true to their role as public broadcasters have been engaged in multifarious activities. At this time of radical change, we must keep the best of what we do and reinvent the rest. The future promises to be exciting and challenging for all. With the move into digital age, public broadcasting is in the forefront of using new technology to provide better service and programmes to an even wider and more diverse community. A national service planned, developed and operated by the Prasar Bharati presently touches the lives of millions each and everyday, providing the highest quality experience in cultural and performing arts, information and public affairs documentaries and educational programming.
The goal of Public Service Broadcasting the world over is to make needed information available at doorsteps of everyone. It should be wide ranging in its appeal, reliable, entertaining, instructive and informative serving only one master – its public. It strives to engage all communities through broadest of thought provoking programmes and outreach projects. It channelises the information and ideas that improve communities socially, culturally and economically.
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