The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday (5 January) approved a Central Sector Scheme ‘Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development’ (BIND) at a cost of Rs 2,539.61 crore.
This scheme is envisaged for infrastructure development of Prasar Bharati i.e. All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
The BIND scheme provides financial support to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organisation.
“Prasar Bharati, as the public broadcaster of the country, is the most important vehicle of information, education, entertainment and engagement for the people especially in the remote areas of the country through Doordarshan and All India Radio,” the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said.
“Prasar Bharati played a stellar role in communicating public health messages and awareness to the public during the covid pandemic,” it added.
The BIND scheme would enable the public broadcaster to undertake a major upgradation of its facilities with better infrastructure which will widen its reach, including in the LWE (Left wing extremism), border and strategic areas.
Another major priority area of the scheme is the development of high-quality content for both domestic and international audience and ensuring 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 also be done as part of the project.
At present, Doordarshan operates 36 TV channels including 28 regional channels and All India Radio operates more than 500 broadcasting centres.
The BIND scheme will also increase coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country to 66 per cent by geographical area and 80 per cent by population, up from the present 59 per cent and 68 per cent respectively.
This scheme also includes free distribution of over eight lakh DD Free Dish Set Top Boxes to people living in remote, tribal, LWE and border areas.
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