Media Helping in Nation Building

Category: News, Newspaper, Television
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2021
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'Media' is the medium of carrying information, education and entertainment to the masses. It is an easier and efficient means of communication which plays a key role in the overall development of an economy.

In an era where knowledge and facts are the tools for economic, political and cultural exchange, presence of the strong and constructive media in a country is important for catering to the diverse needs of individuals, society as a whole, small and large business and production houses, various research organizations, private sectors as well as the public sectors. Media is a conscience-keeper of the nation and has many tasks to perform in our day-to-day lives.

It helps the Government to achieve various socioeconomic and political goals; educate urban and rural masses; instill a sense of responsibility among the people; as well as provide justice to the needy. It largely consists of print media like newspapers, magazines, journals and other publications, etc. as well as electronic media like radio, television, internet, etc.

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With the changing scenario of the world, it has acquired the status of an industry. In India, the media and entertainment industry is undergoing remarkable change and is one of the fastest growing sectors. Themain factors responsible for this are rising per capita/ national income; high economic growth and strong macro-economicfundamentals; and democratic set up, good governance as well as law and order position in the country.

Specifically, spectacular growth of the television industry, new formats for film production and distribution, privatisation and growth of radio, gradually liberalising attitude of Government towards the sector, easier access to and for international companies as well as advent of digital communication and its technological innovations are the other attributes of the growth of the sector.

The media industry plays an important role in creating people's awareness about national policies and programmes by providing information and education, besides creating healthy business environment in the country. Thus, it helps people to be active partners in the nation-building endeavour. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal authority in India for formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws relating to media industry.

It is involved in catering to the entertainment and intellectual needs of various age groups and focusing attention of the masses on issues of national integrity, environmental protection, health care and family welfare, eradication of illiteracy as well as issues relating to women, children and weaker sections of the society. It plays a significant part in helping the people to have access to free flow of information. It is also responsible for international co-operation in the field of mass media, films and broadcasting and interacts with its foreign counterparts on behalf of Government of India.

The main functions of the Ministry are to:

  • Provide news services through All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) to the people
  • Develop the broadcasting and television network as well as promote import and export of films.
  • Educate and motivate the people for greater participative involvement in the various developmental activities and programmes of the Government
  • Liaise with State Governments and their organisations in the field of information and publicity.
  • Organise film festivals and cultural exchanges in the country.
  • Administer the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 in respect of newspapers.
  • Disseminate information about India within and outside the country through publications on matters of national importance.
  • Use interpersonal communication and traditional folk art forms for information/ publicity campaigns on public interest issues.
  • Serve as a constant link between the Government and the Press, by acting as a clearing house of official information and authentic data pertaining to the Union Government’s plans and programmes.

The Ministry is divided into the following wings, namely:

Information Wing - deals with the policy matters, the print media as well as the press and publicity requirements of the Government.

The organizations under this wing include:

  • Electronic Media Monitoring Centre
  • The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) - has been set up with the mandate to organise and entertain people and to ensure balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television through agencies like:
  • All India Radio,


Broadcast Engineering Consultants (India) Limited (BECIL)

Films Wing - handles matters relating to the film sector. Through its various units, it is involved in the production andndistribution of documentary films required for internal and external publicity, development and promotional activities relating to film industries including training, promotion of good cinema, organization of film festivals, import and export regulations, etc.

This wing has the following media units:

  • Films Division
  • Central Board of Film Certification
  • National Film Archive of India
  • National Film Development Corporation
  • Film and Television Institute of India
  • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute
  • Directorate of Film Festivals
  • Children’s Film Society

Integrated Finance Wing - performs important functions of maintaining and monitoring the Accounts of the Ministry, through its subordinate office of 'Chief Controller of Accounts'. The media industry has significantly benefited from liberal investment regime in the country. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been permitted in its various segments.

FDI upto 100 per cent has now been allowed for print media covering non-news publications and FDI (with FII) upto 26 per cent has been allowed for print and electronic media covering news and current affairs. However, the news sector has also been opened up for FIIs, NRIs and PIOs. The FDI (including FII) in FM radio broadcasting sector has been allowed at 20 per cent. While, FDI and FII upto 49 per cent have been permitted for cable network; direct to home (DTH) - (within this limit, FDI component not to exceed 20 per cent); setting up hardware facilities such as up-linking, hub (teleports); etc. At present, there are 110 million TV households in India, out of which 70 million are cable and satellite homes and rest 40 million are served by the public broadcaster, that is, Doordarshan.

Similarly, there are 132 million radio sets in the country. Further, over the years, the number of private satellite TV channels have grown very fast from 1 TV channel in 2000 to 273 TV channels till 31. 12. 2007. The news and current affairs TV channels constitute 58 per cent and non-news and current affairs TV  channels constitute 42 per cent of total permitted 273 TV channels. The former channels have grown from 1 in 2000 to 158 till 31. 12. 2007, while latter rose from 0 to 115. The Ministry has been making several policy announcements as well as framing guidelines in order to create conducive environment for healthy development of various mass media in the country.

Some of these are:

  • The formulation of 'Policy Guidelines for Downlinking of Television Channels' which implies downlinking all satellite television channels downlinked / received / transmitted and re-transmitted in India for public viewing. Under it, no person/entity shall | |downlink a channel which has not been registered by the Ministry. Henceforth, all persons/ entities providing Television
  • Satellite Broadcasting Services (TV Channels) uplinked from other countries to viewers in India as well as any entity desirous of providing such a Television Satellite Broadcasting Service (TV Channel), receivable in India for public viewership, shall be required to obtain permission from Ministry, in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed.

The policy guidelines enumerates certain eligibility criteria's for applicant company, which are as follows:

  • The entity (applicant company) applying for permission of downlinking a channel, uplinked from abroad, must be a company registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956, irrespective of its equity structure, foreign ownership or management control;
  • The applicant company must have a commercial presence in India with its principal place of business in India;
  • It must either own the channel it wants to downlink for public viewing, or must enjoy, for the territory of India, exclusive marketing/ distribution rights for the same, inclusive of the rights to the advertising and subscription revenues for the channel and must submit adequate proof at the time of application;
  • In case the applicant company has exclusive marketing / distribution rights, it should also have the authority to conclude contracts on behalf of the channel for advertisements, subscription and programme content;
  • The applicant company should have a minimum net worth as prescribed, that is, networth of Rs. 1. 5 crore for downlinking of one |channel and Rs. crore for each additional channel;
  • It must provide names and details of all the Directors of the company as well as key executives such as CEO, CFO and Head of Marketing, etc to get their national security clearance;
  • It shall furnish technical details such as nomenclature, make, model, name and address of the manufacturers of the equipments/instruments to be used for downlinking and distribution, the Block schematic diagram of the downlinking and distribution system as well as also demonstrate the facilities for monitoring and storing record for 90 days. Similarly, the notification of 'Guidelines for Uplinking from India', wherein the applicant, seeking permission to set up an uplinking hub/ teleport or uplink a TV Channel or uplink facility by a News Agency, should be a company registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956. The company shall uplink only those TV channels which are specifically approved or permitted by  the Ministry. For setting up of uplinking hub/ teleports in applicant company, the foreign equity holding including NRI/OCB/PIO should not exceed 49%. The networth requirement varies from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crores for channel capacity one to ten. Theapplicant company, irrespective of its ownership, equity structure or management control, would be eligible to seek permission for uplinking a non-News and current affairs TV channel.

Networth required for single TV channel is Rs. 1. 5 crore and Rs. 1 crore for each additional channel. While, for uplinking a news and current affairs TV channel, networth required for single TV channel is Rs. 3 crores and Rs. 2 crores for each additional TV channel.The Ministry has issued 'Guidelines for Obtaining License for Providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) Broadcasting Service in India', wherein DTH service refers to the distribution of multi-channel TV programmes in Ku Band by using a satellite system for providing TV signals direct to subscribers premises, without passing through an intermediary such as cable operator.

The eligibility criteria's in the guidelines include:

  • Applicant Company to be an Indian Company registered under Indian Companies Act, 1956. Total foreign equity holding including FDI/NRI/OCB/FII in the applicant company not to exceed 49%. Within the foreign equity, the FDI component not to exceed 20%. The applicant company must have Indian Management Control with majority representatives on the board as well as the Chief | |Executive of the company being a resident Indian; etc.
  • A 'Policy on expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services through Private Agencies (Phase-II)' has also been announced to expand FM radio network through private agencies to supplement and complement the efforts of All India Radio.
  • This is to be done by operationalising radio stations that provide programmes with local content and relevance, improving the quality of fidelity in reception and generation, encouraging participation by local talent and generating employment. There are 21 channels already in operation undernPhase-I. Out of 337 channels offered for bid in Phase II, Letter of Indent (LOI) has been issued to 245 channels, of which all channels have signed the agreements. In all, 178 private FM channels are in operation till date in India including the 21 channels of Phase I. There is also a 'Policy for Import of Cinematograph Films and Other Films', wherein import of cinematograph feature films and other films (including film on video tape, compact video disc, laser video disc or digital video disc) has been allowed without a licence.
  • The importer of the film shall comply with the provisions of all applicable Indian laws governing the distribution and exhibition of films, including the requirement of obtaining a certificate of public exhibition prescribed under the Cinematograph Act 1952. Under it, import of any unauthorized/pirated films shall be prohibited. Import of foreign reprints of | |Indian films shall not be permitted without the prior permission in writing from the Ministry.  'Draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2007' has been announced to promote, facilitate and develop in an orderly manner the carriage and content of broadcasting.

For the purpose, it aims to provide for the establishment of an independent authority to be known as the Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India as well as encourage broadcasting services to be responsive for the educational, developmental, social, cultural and other needs and aspirations of people and include in their programming public service messaging and content; etc. As a result of all such incentives, the media industry in India has shown considerable growth over the years, with almost double-digit growth. It is projected to grow from an estimated size of Rs. 437 billion to Rs. 1 trillion by 2011. It provides ample opportunities for investors the world over, brings in more capital inflow into the country and presents significant avenues for both direct and indirect employment.

It helps in shaping people's views and outlooks about various national and international issues and thus helps in formulation of schemes, policies and programmes. It is a powerful medium for providing entertainment, disseminating information, nurturing and cultivating diverse opinions, educating and empowering the people of India to be informed citizens so as to effectively participate in the democratic process; as well as preserving, promoting and  projecting the diversity of Indian culture and talent of the country. Mass Communication IN a country like ours, mass communication plays a vital role in creating people’s awareness about policies and programmes of development. It helps in motivating them to be active partners in the nation-building endeavour.

A skillful synthesis between traditional and folk forms of communication on the one hand and modern audio-visual media including Satellite Communication on the other, is being attempted. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting being the nodal organisation in this field has a comprehensive set-up of its mass media units with their regional and branch offices as well as mobile units.

Electronic media akashvani

Broadcasting started in India in 1927 with two privately-owned transmitters at Bombay and Calcutta. The Government took over the transmitters in 1930 and started operating them under the name of Indian Broadcasting Service. It was changed to All India Radio (AIR) in 1936 and later it also came to e known as Akashvani from 1957. AIR is serving as an effective medium to inform and educate people besides providing healthy entertainment. NETWORK At the time of Independence there were six radio stations. All India Radio presently has 197 radio stations including 184 full-fledged stations, ten relay centres, and three exclusive Vividh Bharati commercial centres. AIR presently has 305 transmitters. These include 145 medium-wave, 55 short-wave and 105 FM transmitters and provide radio coverage to a population of 97. 3 per cent spread over 90 per cent area of the country. MUSIC Music constitutes 40 per cent of the total programmes broadcast over AIR omprising classical, light, folk, film and music in the regional languages. National Programme of Music (Hindustani and Karnatic) are the prestigious programmes broadcast on every Saturday and Sunday. These programmes are broadcast live from the four metros. Keeping in view the Centenary celebration of eminent artists of music, viz. , Pt. Onkar Nath, Musari Subramanya Iyer and Dr Doraiswami Aiyengar, special programmes have been broadcast in the National Programme of Music. Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan - an annual affair is another musical treat to serious classical music listeners and lovers. About 50 concerts of both Karnatic and Hindustani ere featured at different places and the recordings were broadcast for over a month. AIR Music competitions is another regular feature towards searching new talents amongst youngsters. The competitions are held in different categories like classical (Hindustani and Karnatic both) instrumental, light for boys and girls. During 1998, music competitions were held at different stations of AIR in which 111 candidates participated and eight won the prizes.

Vividh Bharati and commercial broadcasting service

Commercials were introduced on All India Radio from 1 November 1967 on Vividh Bharati. Now all the Primary Channel Stations, 30 Vividh Bharati entres, all Local Radio Stations and four FM Metro channels are taking Commercials. Commercials are also allowed over National Channel, New Delhi and the North-Eastern Service, Shillong. Vividh Bharati Service provides entertainment for more than 14 hours a day from 34 centres. The revenue earned by radio during 1998-99 was Rs 92. 26 crore. Some innovative commercial broadcasting was introduced by AIR during 1998-99. AIR took over all the slots on 4 metro FM channels with effect from 26 June 1998 which were earlier allotted to private parties. At present all the 4 metro FM channels are being run by All India Radio through in-house programmes. AIR was able to market all the available ommercial time during the broadcast of 1998 Parliamentary elections results for about 72 hours. AIR also did the marketing of World Cup Cricket, 1999 through its own in-house arrangement. Efforts are being made to undertake extensive marketing of air time on all the channels of AIR. DRAMA More than 80 stations of AIR broadcast plays in various languages. Radio adaptations of outstanding novels, short stories and stage plays are also broadcast. Besides original plays, a large number of stations regularly broadcast family drama with a view to eradicate social evils. The National Programmes of plays is broadcast on every fourth Thursday of the month n Hindi and its regional versions are broadcast by relevant stations simultaneously. Special model plays of 30 minutes duration are produced at the Central Drama Unit at Delhi, which are broadcast by 33 stations of AIR in a chain of six months. All India Competition for Radio Playwrights is being organised in 15 major languages. All the prize-winning entries are translated in Hindi and then circulated to all stations for further translation and production in various languages.

News services division

The News Services Division (NSD) of All India Radio disseminates news and comments to listeners in India and abroad. The history of news broadcasting in India is much older than that of All India Radio. The first ews bulletin went on the air from the Bombay station on 23 July 1927 under a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company. The News Wing of All India Radio came into existence ten years later in August 1937. From 27 bulletins in 1939-40, AIR now puts out 314 bulletins daily withMass Communication a total duration of 39 hours and 29 minutes. Out of these, 88 bulletins are broadcast in the Home Services from Delhi with a duration of 12 hours and 05 minutes, while 42 Regional News Units originate 137 news bulletins daily with a duration of 18 hours and 01 minute. In the External Services, AIR broadcasts 65 bulletins for 8 hours and 59 minutes in 24 languages (Indian and foreign).

The News Services Division has been putting out news headlines bulletins on the FM Channel since 28 May 1995. These are now available round-the-clock. AIR News on phone was introduced on 25 February 1998. The service provides the latest news highlights in Hindi and English on phone on dialing the specified numbers. AIR is now available on the Internet. AIR broadcasts special bulletins such as sports news, slow-speed bulletins and youth bulletins. Two youth bulletins are broadcast from Delhi in English and Hindi. AIR, Calcutta also broadcasts two youth bulletins in Bengali. During the Haj period, a five-minute Haj bulletin is aired from Delhi daily for the benefit of the pilgrims. Comments from the Press’ are broadcast every day. In addition, NSD puts out a number of news-based programmes and commentaries in English and Hindi. During Parliament Sessions, commentaries in Hindi and English reviewing the day’s proceedings in both Houses, are broadcast. Similarly, the RNUs put out reviews of the proceedings of their respective State Legislatures. The bulk of AIR news comes from its own correspondents spread all over the country. It has 90 regular correspondents in India and seven abroad at Colombo, Dhaka, Dubai, Pretoria, Kathmandu, Singapore and Islamabad. Apart from this, AIR has 246 part-time correspondents based at important istrict headquarters. AIR subscribes to the news agencies - UNI, PTI and their corresponding Hindi services - Univarta and Bhasha, and ANI to supplement its news sources. Other sources of news are the monitored reports from Monitoring Units (English and Hindi) attached to the General News Room and the Central Monitoring Services, which monitor the bulletins of major broadcasting organisations of the world.

External services division

The External Services Division (ESD) broadcasts programmes for about 70 hours a day in 25 languages (16 foreign languages and nine Indian languages) for listeners in different parts of the globe. The broadcast project the Indian oint of view on World Affairs through daily commentary and Press reviews and acquaint the overseas listeners with the developments in India along with information on the myriad facets of Indian life. The target areas of ESD p almost all the continents and include areas of East, North-East and South-East Asia, West, North-West and East Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe and the Indian sub-continent. The services in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati are directed to Indians overseas, while those in Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi and Sindhi are meant for the listeners in the sub-continent and the bordering countries. During the year, due coverage was given to all conferences, seminars, ymposia and festivals of films and trade of National and InternationalMass Communication importance in the form of Radio reports and interviews besides, the visits of foreign dignitaries to India and of Indian dignitaries abroad. Special initiatives were taken to give wide publicity to India’s geo-political compulsion for a nuclear and Agni-II test in view of the security environment in her immediate neighbourhood. ESD transmitters, also carry the 9 P. M. National bulletin in English, originally meant for Home Services. External Services Division continues to supply recordings of music, spoken word and other programmes to about hundred countries and foreign roadcasting organisations, under the Programme Exchange scheme. Introduction of internet broadcasting by AIR has enabled its listeners in various parts of the world like USA, Canada, West and South Africa to avail of AIR’s services on Internet.

National channel

The National Channel was inaugurated on the 18 May 1988 and is located at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Presently, it works as a night service covering over 76 per cent of the population of the country and provides a judicious blend of information and entertainment. Having the whole of India as its zone, it draws the best available talent in the country. The programme complexion of the Channel has been designed to make it epresentative of the cultural mosaic and ethos of the nation as a whole. Programmes entitled Ek Kahani - dramatization of selected best short stories from regional languages and Basti Basti - Nagar Nagar to familiarise the people of other states with various tourist spots all over the country are being broadcast. Hourly news-bulletins, alternatively in Hindi and English, are broadcast from the National Channel throughout the night. Whenever the Parliament is in session, National Channel broadcasts recordings of the question hour for the benefit of the listeners. Sahargahi, a special early morning programme is broadcast from the National Channel in the holy month of Ramzan.

Central monitoring service

The Central Monitoring Service (CMS) monitors news and news-based programmes of foreign radio and television networks. It also feeds the Newsrooms of AIR and Doordarshan with news flashes. During the year, the CMS on an average monitored about 100 broadcasts and 38 telecasts from 15 radio and three television networks every day in eight languages including one foreign language. The organisation brought out a report everyday containing all the material monitored on that day. Besides, the CMS brought out two weekly reports, a weekly analytical report giving an analysis of the important news of the week and a weekly special report on Kashmir ased on the anti-India propaganda of Pakistan’s radio and television networks on the Kashmir issue. The CMS has two field units—one at Jammu and the other in Calcutta.

Transcription and programme exchange service

Transcription and Programme Exchange Service (T&PES) consists of Sound Archives, Transcription Unit, Programme Exchange Unit, Foreign ProgrammeMass Communication Unit and Satellite Transmission Unit. The AIR archives store about 47,000 tapes of various formats which inlcude vocal and instrumental music of both Hindustani and Karnatic styles; light, folk, tribal and patriotic music of different regions and also orchestral compositions. Besides, the Archives has he voice recordings of distinguished personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Aruna Asaf Ali and many others. Apart from this, the speeches delivered by all the Presidents and the Prime Ministers are also preserved in the Archives. Recordings from the Archives are now being transferred to compact discs which will replace the tapes now being used. So far, 235 CDs of spoken word and music have been prepared. This year the Archives has helped prepare a CD/Cassette consisting of voice recordings of Rabindranath Tagore and a ocumentary on Rabindranath Tagore produced by Satyajit Ray. This along with a monograph on Tagore which has been jointly produced by AIR and Vishwa Bharati, has been released by the Prime Minister in Calcutta on 20 May 1999. Project on Data Entry updating tapes of PMs and Presidents has been completed and work on Hindustani and Karnatic music is in progress. It has added to its collection 125 tapes which include, among others, the radio autobiography of Shiv Mangal Singh ‘Suman’ and Milkha Singh. The Programme Exchange Unit (PEU) exchanges good quality programmes among the AIR stations as per their requirements in its library. Approximately 8,000 tapes containing the recordings of music and spoken ord programmes are preserved, among them are the Ramcharit Manas Gaan and award winning programmes of Akashvani Annual Awards and the language lessons in Bengali, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu. A bi-monthly bulletin Vinimaya is published from T&PES giving details of available foreign programmes, Karnatic and Hindustani music (vocal and instrumental) and other forms of musical programmes, viz. , orchestral compositions, stage songs, folk and tribal music, etc. , and spokenword programmes, i. e. , features, plays, talks, opera and interviews, etc. , for circulation among the AIR stations. It also gives daily information regarding ur satellite transmission to meet the requirements of the stations. Transcription unit procures from AIR stations and News Services Division, all the speeches delivered by the President and the Prime Minister in different parts of the country and abroad. The unit received 117 such speeches delivered from January to November 1998. Central Tape Bank (CTB) looks after the needs of AIR stations for exchanging good programmes among the stations. CTB has 76,000 number of tapes circulated among 194 AIR stations. The Foreign Programme Unit procures the best of the programme material from different countries for All India Radio. During 1998 the foreign nit of T&PES received 438 programmes from SAARC Secretariat, France,Mass Communication Germany, Bulgaria, World Radio, Beijing, Sweden, Australia, United Nations. These programmes are screened and circulated to stations in Audio magnetic tapes and through INSAT 2C and INSAT 2C 3. T&PES has a satellite transmission on RN Channels of INSAT-1D and RN Channels of INSAT-2A. A total of 500 programmes transmitted through these channels were recorded by different AIR stations for future use.

Farm and home programmes

Farm and Home units function at various stations of AIR. The average duration of farm and home broadcasts is 60-100 minutes per day from each station.

The broadcasts also include programmes for rural women and rural children. Broadcast of mother and child care series in collaboration with UNICEF and State governments has been undertaken by many AIR stations. The main thrust has been on issues relating to rights of the child, gender bias and child abuse, etc. Environmental Protection programmes receive adequate emphasis in these broadcast to retain ecological balance. “Farm school on air” as a method of communicating distant education on farming has been adopted by many AIR stations. Besides imparting technical and other information, the thrust of the broadcasts are :

  • dissemination of information relating to ways and means for increasing roduction of cereals, oilseeds, pulses, vegetables, fruits, etc. ;
  • diversification of agriculture, social forestry, preservation of environment and farm forestry;
  • poverty alleviation schemes, health and sanitation, etc. ;
  • adult education programmes
  • role of panchayats in rural development.

The programmes also lay emphasis on the various economic measures taken by the Government, aimed at rural development.

Family welfare programmes air

Stations broadcast more than 10,000 programmes on Family Welfare every month in all the major languages/dialects of our country. Programmes on AIDS, TB, Dengue, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, water borne diseases, alaria eradication programme, child survival and safe motherhood programme, sterilization, vasectomy, tubectomy, etc. , are broadcast under the title of family welfare programmes. Success stories are also broadcast regularly. SPORTS During 1998-99, AIR provided extensive coverage to the National and International Sporting events held in India and abroad. Major international events covered were the World Cup Hockey Tournament at Utrecht, Asian Games at Bangkok, Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, World Cup Cricket Tournament in the UK and the Wimbledon Tennis Championship in London. AIR also encourages traditional games like Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, etc. , hrough broadcast or running commentary in order to popularise them among the youth of the country and to foster sports talents in the domain of traditional sports and games. All India Radio presents Akashvani Annual Awards to outstanding broadcasts for every calendar year in different disciplines and subjects. Special prizes, Lassa Kaul Awards on National Integration and ‘Correspondent of the Year’ for excellence in News Reporting are also awarded. There is also an award for a special topic documentary. This year’s subject is ‘Senior Citizen’. An award at national level is given to the Best Choral Singing Group (Senior nd Junior Groups) for a competition held for children at various regional centres. An award for “Audience Research/Survey Reports” has also been introduced from 1995. AIR also awards the Best Commercial Broadcasting Service Centre and awards for Technical Excellence.


Doordarshan, the national televison service of India devoted to public service broadcasting is one of the largest terrestrial networks in the world. The flagship of Doordarshan—DD-1—operates through a network of 984 terrestrial transmitters of varying powers reaching over 87 per cent of the population. There are 57 additional transmitters giving terrestrial support to other channels. Doordarshan uses a large number of transponders on he Indian National Satellites (INSAT) and other satellites to network its terrestrial transmitters and also to extend coverage. The signals of Doordarshan’s International service could be received in most part of the globe. Doordarshan has established programme production facilities in 46 cities across the country. Doordarshan programmes are watched in India by 360 million viewers in their homes. Doordarshan earned around Rs 4 billion during the financial year 1998-99 through commercial advertisements.

The early years

The first telecast originated from a makeshift studio in the Akashvani Bhavan, New Delhi on 15 September 1959. A transmitter of 500 W power arried the signals within a radius of 25 km from Delhi. The regular service with a News bulletin was started in 1965. Television went to a second city, Mumbai, only in 1972, and by 1975 Calcutta, Chennai, Srinagar, Amritsar and Lucknow also had television stations. SITE The first experiment with satellite technology in India, known as the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), was conducted in 1975-76. This was, incidentally, the first attempt anywhere in the world of using the sophisticated technology of satellite broadcasting for social education. The year 1982 witnessed the introduction of a regular satellite link between Delhi nd other transmitters, the starting of national programme and the era of colour television in the country. The Asian Games held in Delhi that year acted as the major impetus for bringing out these changes within a short period. After 1992, television facilities have been rapidly expanding and during certain periods the country got an additional transmitter every day. In theMass Communication decade 1981-90, the number of transmitters increased from 19 to 519.

Three-tier service

Doordarshan has a three-tier primary programme service—national, regional and local. In the national programmes the focus is on the events and issues of interest to the whole nation. These programmes include news, current ffairs, science, cultural magazines, documentaries, serials, music, dance, drama and feature films. The regional programmes originating from the State capitals and relayed by all transmitters in the respective State telecast programmes of interest at the State level, in the language and idiom of that particular region. The local programmes are area-specific and cover local issues featuring local people.

Information programmes

On the National Network news bulletins are telecast in Hindi and English at regular intervals. All the major Kendras telecast news bulletins in the evenings in their respective languages where the regional events are covered in greater detail.

Some Kendras telecast regional news in Urdu also. Doordarshan has a number of programmes on current affairs where topical issues are discussed in-depth, bringing out the various viewpoints. Information programmes also include telecast on agriculture, rural development, health, family welfare, consumer’s rights, environment, etc. There are programmes specially targeted for women, children and youth. Doordarshan brings to its viewers all the major national and international sports and games through live telecast. There are other programmes on sports, including interviews with eminent sports persons, sports education, etc. Doordarshan also has an exclusive sports channel.

Educational TV

The educational programmes are at different levels ranging from basic health education for the not-so-well-educated to the higher education programmes for university students. In 1961 India’s first school television service was commissioned at Delhi for the institutions run by the Delhi Municipal Corporation. ETV programmes for school children are telecast from a number of regional Kendras in different languages covering both formal and informal education. The software for these programmes are produced by the Central Institute for Education Technology in Delhi and State Institutes of Education Technology of different Centres. To put quality education within the reach of students residing even n small villages and towns, the University Grants Commission, has a countrywide classroom telecast on the national network. Besides this, syllabus-based programmes for the students of Indira Gandhi National Open University are also being telecast on the national network.


The entertainment programmes include music, dance, plays and serials. Mass Communication Feature films and programmes based on excerpts from feature films are also telecast on the national network and from the regional kendras. METRO CHANNEL In 1984 a second channel was added in Delhi to provide an alternative viewing to the heterogeneous metropolitan population. Later, similar acilities were provided to viewers in Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. In 1993 these four terrestrial transmitters were linked through satellite to provide an exclusive entertainment channel for the urban audience. This service, known as DD-2 Metro Entertainment Channel, is now available terrestrially in 54 cities. In other parts of the country the programmes of this channel could be received through dish antennas or through cable operators. The metro channel targets the younger viewers in urban areas.

Regional language channels

To provide additional software in the major languages of the country, some of which are spoken by more than 50 million people, Doordarshan has 11 regional language satellite channels.

The programmes on these channels include the regional service, which is available terrestrially in the concerned state and additional programmes which could be received in the satellite mode. These programmes are carried on the INSAT satellite which has footprint over the entire country and the regional language programmes could be watched by people irrespective of their place of residence.

International channel

Doordarshan-India, the international channel, is in operation from 1995 and reaches about 50 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe through PAS-1 and USA and Canada through PAS-4 and PAS-1 satellite. It is presently on the air for 19 hours each day.

Audience research

The Audience Research Unit of Doordarshan, manned by professional researchers, is involved in studies on the various aspects of broadcasting. It also operates a system of getting ratings on Doordarshan programmes each week. Audience Research is also monitoring the voluntary feedback from viewers and maintains Data Banks at the national and kendra level.


Over the years Doordarshan’s viewership has increased phenomenally and now an estimated 69 million homes have televisioin sets which mean that 362 million people can watch Doordarshan programmes in their homes. Community TV sets have been established under various schemes operated by Central and State governments.

In rural areas most of the privately-owned sets also act as community sets, attracting a number of viewers from nonTV homes and the total number who watch Doordarshan at least once in a week exceeds 500 million. In the last four years programmes of commercial channels operating from outside India are available for some sections of the population, but Doordarshan has retained more than 70 per cent of the totalMass Communication viewership in urban areas and more than 90 per cent of the viewership in the rural areas in most of the States.

Prasar Bharati

All India Radio and Doordarshan functioned as departments under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

There were persistent demands that the electronic media should be free from Government control and they should have autonomy in their functioning. The Parliament had passed an Act to give autonomy to the media in 1990 itself, but at that time the Act was not notified. In 1997 the Government decided to notify this Act and Prasar Bharati, the autonomous Broadcasting Corporation of India, came into existence on 23 November 1997. A Board consisting of a chairman, an executive member and a number of part-time, full-time, ex-officio and elected members is to manage the affairs of Prasar Bharati. There is also to be a representative of the Government of India on the Board.

Press and print media registrar of newspapers for India

Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), commonly known as Press Registrar came into being on 1 July 1956. Besides, the statutory functions, the Registrar recommends import of printing machinery and allied materials for newspapers. The duties and functions of the Press Registrar are defined in the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 and rules made thereunder as amended from time to time. As on 31 December 1998, the total number of newspapers and periodicals was 43,828 as compared to 41,705 in 1997. There were 4,890 dailies, 331 tri/bi-weeklies,15,645 weeklies, 12,065 monthlies, 5,913 fortnightlies, ,127 quarterlies, 383 annuals and 1,474 publications with periodicities like bi-monthlies, half-yearlies, etc. Newspapers were published in as many as 100 languages and dialects during 1998. Apart from English and 18 principal languages enumerated in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, newspapers were published in 81 other languages, mostly Indian languages or dialects and a few foreign languages. The highest number of newspapers were published in the Hindi language. Daily newspapers were brought out in 18 principal languages and Kashmiri was the only principal language that did not have a daily newspaper. Newspapers were published from all States and Union Territories. Uttar

Pradesh with 7,895 newspapers retained the prestigious position of publishing the largest number of newspapers in India. In the case of dailies also, Uttar Pradesh held the top position with 805 dailies. Bombay Samachar a Gujarati daily published from Mumbai is the oldest existing newspaper. In 1998, the total circulation of Indian Press was 12,68,49,500 copies. The Anand Bazar Patrika, Bengali daily from Calcutta with a circulation of 5,86,637 copies was the largest circulated single edition newspaper. The Times of India, an English daily from Mumbai which had a circulation of 5,66,378 copies stood second. Hindustan Times, English Daily from Delhi with aMass Communication irculation of 5,55,911 copies occupied third position. The Times of India having six editions in English with a circulation of 13,90,827 copies occupied first position among multi-edition dailies during 1998. The Malayala Manorama published with eight editions in Malayalam with a total combined circulation of 11,23,745 copies stood second. Gujarat Samachar with five editions in Gujarati occupied third position with a total circulation of 8,59,015 copies. Among periodicals, Malayala Manorama, a Malayalam weekly published from Kottayam was the largest circulated periodical with 11,58,108 copies. Saras Salil, Hindi Fortnightly from Delhi with a circulation of 9,32,753 copies ccupied the second position.

Press Information Bureau

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) is the nodal agency of the GovernmentMass Communication to disseminate information to the print and electronic media on government olicies, programmes, initiatives and achievements. Functioning as an interface between the Government and the media, the PIB also provides feedback to the Government with people’s reaction as reflected in the media. With its eight Regional Offices and 32 Branch Offices and Information Centres, the PIB disseminates information through different modes of communications, such as press releases, press notes, feature articles, backgrounders, press briefings, interviews, press conferences and press tours, etc. The information material released in Hindi, Urdu and 13 other regional languages reaches to over 7,000 newspapers and media organisations.

The Bureau at headquarters has a team of officers who are exclusively attached to various ministries and departments for the purpose of assisting them in disseminating information to the media. They also provide feedback to their respective ministries and departments. As part of the Special Services, the Feedback Cell in the PIB prepares a daily digest and special digests based on news stories and editorials from national as well as regional dailies and periodicals. The Feature Unit of the Special Services of the Bureau provides backgrounders, updates, features and graphics. These are circulated in the national network and also sent to the Regional and Branch Offices or translation and circulation to the local Press. PIB arranges photo coverage of Government activities and the photographs are supplied to dailies and periodicals published in English and other Indian languages all over the country. During 1998-99, 2,78,485 photographs were supplied to the newspapers and periodicals. The PIB is linked with 30 of its Regional and Branch Offices over computer network to facilitate speedy feeding of information. The Bureau has a Home Page on Internet which makes available publicity material such as press releases, features, photos and graphic for international consumption. The PIB internet home page is accessible at website www. nic. in/IndiaImage/PIB.

The press releases from the Bureau are also faxed through computers to local newspapers as well as all resident correspondents of the important outstation newspapers. PIB has started photo transmission by computer to its offices. PIB is connected to its 22 regional-centres by video conferencing system. This enables media persons at regional centers to participate in press conferences in New Delhi and also in other parts of the country. PIB provides accreditation facility to media persons so as to make easy access to information from the government sources. 1,006 correspondents and 226 cameramen are accredited with the Bureau’s headquarters. Besides, bout 133 technicians and 56 editors/media critics have also been granted these professional facilities. The Bureau’s eight Regional Offices are located at Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Calcutta, Lucknow, Guwahati, Bhopal and Hyderabad. All the Regional Offices, Branch Offices and information centres are linked with PIB headquarters by teleprinter also. A National Press Centre set up in the Press Information Bureau, New Delhi serves as a nerve centre for both nationalMass Communication and international Press. The Centre has all the facilities of international standards like a telecommunication centre, a press conference hall and a cafeteria.

News agencies press trust of India

India’s largest news agency, Press Trust of India is a non-profit sharing cooperative owned by the country’s newspapers with a mandate to provide efficient and unbiased news to all its subscribers. Founded on 27 August 1947, PTI began functioning from 1 February 1949. PTI offers its news services in the English and Hindi languages. Bhasha is the Hindi language news service of the agency. PTI subscribers include 450 newspapers in India and scores abroad. All major TV/Radio channels in India and several abroad, including BBC in London, receive PTI service. The news services are provided at speeds up to 1,200 bits per second (about 1,400 words per minute) by satellite, data channels and ticker lines.

With a staff of over 1,500 including 400 journalists, PTI has over 100 bureaux across the country and foreign correspondents in major cities of the world including Beijing, Bonn, Cairo, Dhaka, Islamabad, London, Moscow, New York and Washington. In addition, about 300 stringers contribute to the news file at home while 20 part-time correspondents bring news from the rest of the world. Besides the English and Hindi language news services, the other services of the agency include the on-line Photo Service, mailer packages of Feature, Mag, Graphics, Science Service, Economic Service and Data India, nd screen-based services as News-scan and Stockscan. PTI has a television wing, PTI -TV, whi ch provide s spot cove rage and make s corporat e documentaries on assignment basis. PTI has arrangements with Reuters and AFP for distribution of their news in India and with the Associated Press for its photo service and international commercial information. PTI is a partner in Asia Pulse International, a Singapore-registered company, formed by PTI and five other Asian media organisations to provide an on-line data bank on economic developments and business opportunities in Asian countries. PTI is also a participant in Asianet, a cooperative arrangement among 12 news agencies f the Asia-Pacific region for distribution of the corporate and government press releases. PTI is a leading partner in the Pool of News Agencies of the NonAligned Countries and the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies. The agency contributes its news to these two news exchange arrangements and in turn receives news from the other participating members for its use. PTI has just completed 50 years of its operations. The DepartmentMass Communication of Posts brought out a special 15-rupee multi-colour, multi-lingual stamp on PTI to mark its golden jubilee. President K. R. Narayanan released the stamp on 5 March 1999. Another highlight of the celebrations was a 2- ay international seminar on media issues in New Delhi on 12 and 13 March 1999 which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and attended by a galaxy of media personalities both from India and abroad.

United news of India

United News of India (UNI) was registered as a company in 1959 and began its news operations from 21 March 1961. UNI is now one of the largest news agencies in Asia with over 100 bureaux in India and abroad. It has more than 1,000 subscribers in the country and over 30 abroad. Its news service is provided to subscribers in four Gulf countries as well as Mauritius and Bhutan. It has reporters in 400 big and small towns in India. Its orrespondents are located in a number of world capitals also. UNI also has collaboration with a number of foreign news agencies. It has more than 300 journalists working full time and about 400 as stringers. UNI launched a full-fledged Indian language news service Univarta, in Hindi in May 1982. A decade later, it launched Urdu Service on teleprinter for the first time in the world. Other teleprinter services of the news agency include UNIFIN, a specialised service for banking, financial and commercial organisations as well as UNISTOCK, a service for stock exchanges and stock brokers. In July 1986, UNI started its television wing which provides news eatures, newsclips and documentaries for Doordarshan and other organisations. Another specialised service run by the news agency is UNISCAN, a news service fed into television sets. A national photo service, started in 1987, is another pioneering venture. UNI also supplies computerdesigned graphics in ready-to-use-form on economic and other topical subjects on a regular basis.

Non-aligned news agencies pool

The Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool (NANAP) is an arrangement for exchange of news among the news agencies of non-aligned countries who for long have been victims of imbalances and bias in the flow of news. The Pool came into existence in 1976 with India as its first Chairman (1976-79).

The Pool is a worldwide operation embracing four continents, viz. , Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. The Pool news is exchanged in four languages—English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Pool activities are coordinated by an elected body known as the Coordinating Committee with a Chairman as its head. The Chairmanship, is co-terminus with the tenure of the Coordinating Committee and goes by rotation. The Chairman and members of the Coordinating Committee are elected on the basis of regional representation, continuity, active participation and rotation. The Coordinating Committee meets once a year and the meetings are open to all member agencies. Mass Communication Advt.

Mass Communication Six General Conferences and 17 meetings of the Coordinating Committee have taken place since the inception of the Pool. The last General Conference of the Pool was held in Tehran in June 1992, when the Iranian news agency IRNA assumed the Chairmanship of the Pool from ANGOP of Angola. The countries elected to the Coordinating Committee in Tehran were India, Indonesia, Vietnam, DPR Korea, Kuwait, Syria, Mongolia, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Oman from Asia; Angola, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia from Africa; Yugoslavia from

Europe; and Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela from Latin America. At the Tunis General Conference of the Pool in November 1982 a resolution was adopted to form a Monitoring Group, for closer review and monitoring of the Pool operations. The Monitoring Group was last reconstituted in Tehran in 1992 when Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Libya, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Peru, Cuba and Yugoslavia were elected to it. India has played a vital role in the creation and expansion of the Pool. India News Pool Desk is operated by Press Trust of India. The agency receives news copy from Pool Partners and in turn contributes Indian news nto the exchange arrangement on a daily basis. The incoming news traffic from Pool member agencies into PTI is in the range of about 15,000 words per day. PTI’s contribution into the network is about 7,000 words per day. The news is exchanged through a network of statellite/terrestrial/E-mail communication links with Antara (Indonesia), Bernama (Malaysia), Lankapuvath (Sri Lanka), GNA (Bahrain), VNA (Vietnam), Prensa Latina (Cuba), Tanjug (Yugoslavia), BSS (Bangladesh), RSS (Nepal), MENA (Egypt) and NAMPA (Namibia). Leading national dailies of the country publish between 20 to 30 Pool items a month. As part of the News Pool operation, the Indian Institute of Mass

Communication, New Delhi, which is recognised as a premier institute for training in journalism in the Non-Aligned countries, has been offering a regular course in News Agency Journalism. The five-month twice a year course is popular with journalists belonging to the member agencies of the Pool. PRESS

Council of India

The Press Council of India has been established under an Act of Parliament for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India. The Chairman of the Council is by convention, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Council has 28 members - 20 from the newspaper world, ive are Members of Parliament (three nominated by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and two by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha) and remaining three are nominated by the Sahitya Academy, the Bar Council of India and the University Grants Commission. The Council is reconstituted every three years. The Council has its own source or revenue in that it collects levy from the registered newspapers and news agencies. It also receives grantin-aid from the Central Government for performing its functions. Mass Communication As an autonomous quasi-judicial body, the aim of the Press Council is to administer ethics and to inculcate principles of self-regulation among the Press.

It also keeps under review any development likely to interfere with the freedom of the Press. The Council discharges its functions primarily through adjudications on complaint cases received by it, either against the Press for violation of journalistic ethics or by the Press for interference with its freedom, where the Council is satisfied during the inquiry that a newspaper or a news agency has offended against the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or working journalist has committed any professional misconduct, the Council may warn, admonish or censure them or disapprove of their conduct. The Council is also mpowered to make such observations as it may think fit in respect of the conduct of any authority, including Government, for interfering with the freedom of the press. The decisions of the Council are final and cannot be questioned in any court of law. During 1998-99, the Press Council of India received 1,213 complaints of which 361 were filed by the Press and 852 were against the Press. The Council adjudicated 342 cases. 575 cases were dismissed by the Council for lack of sufficient grounds for inquiry. The Council disposed of 917 matters during 1998-99. The Council has also suo moto initiated studies on various matters that had bearing on the freedom of the Press and its standards. During 998-99 the Council prepared a report on “Right to Privacy of Public Figures and the Press” and formulated guidelines to achieve a balance between the right to privacy of public persons and right of the Press to have access to information of public interest and importance. The Council also prepared a report on Press Coverage of the 12th General Elections on 2 June 1998 which gave an overview as to how the Press covered election news. In its advisory capacity, the Council considered and rendered its opinion to various authorities and organisations in matters relating to Press freedom. The Press Council of India is an active member of the World

Association of Press Council (WAPC), an umbrella organisation of Press Councils and similar bodies committed to championing the cause of free speech and freedom of responsible Press on international level. The Council organised the 5th International Conference of World Association of Press Councils on 4-5 April 1998 in New Delhi to mark the 50th year of Independence. Approximately 40 representatives of International Media/ Press Organisations of 19 countries attended the Conference apart from 200 distinguished Indian participants. The National Press Day (16 November) celebrations this year were dedicated to the memory of late Nikhil Chakravartty, a renowned journalist ho was also a member of the Council. On 16-17 November 1998 the Council organised a two-day Nikhil Chakravartty Memorial Seminar. The Seminar was also attended by prominent-media representatives from the SAARC countries. The National Press Day celebrations were organised atMass Communication the state/district level by authorities, press organisations and associations throughout the country.


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Media Helping in Nation Building. (2018, Oct 22). Retrieved from

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