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This File was last Updated/Modified: April 04 2014 17:38:20.

Infrastructure Development

Information and Broadcasting Sector

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry covers three broad media sectors namely, AIR and Doordarshan, Information and Films.

Media sectors witnessed dramatic changes in 1990s and the position of Doordarshan as monopoly broadcaster has been eroded due to emergence of more than 30 private broadcast channels.

Augmentation of the programme content, enhancement of technical features, quality broadcast, wider choice of programme channels, renewal of old and obsolete equipment and addition of new facilities were among the thrust areas of the broadcasting sector for the Ninth Plan.

Technological upgradation, increased coverage, modernization of programme designing and creation of new facilities were the priorities for the Information and Films Sector.

An outlay of Rs. 2567.05 crore consisting of a budgetary support of Rs. 449.55 crore and an IEBR of Rs. 2117.50 crore was earmarked for the Ninth Plan for I and B Sector, while the outlay for Information and Films Sector were Rs. 93.30 crore and Rs. 182.70 crore respectively.

The utilization of Plan funds in the I and B sector was 78.1%, 64.9% and 98.4% (estimated) during the first three years of the Ninth Plan for the I and B Sector.

The Ministry is drawing a Perspective Plan for the Broadcasting Sector to meet the challenges of competition from new and converging technologies.

Among the important new measures taken in the I and B Sector are allowing of satellite channels, opening of FM Broadcasting to private sector, approval of Rs. 430 crore special package for J and K, introduction of digital technology by Doordarshan, industry status to the film industry and unfreezing of newspaper titles.

A number of schemes spilled over from the Eighth Plan to Ninth Plan and considerable amount of funds have been found unutilized during the first two years of the Ninth Plan. All efforts should be made by the Ministry to ensure timely implementation of schemes and optimal utilization of Plan resources.

Ministry needs to take urgent action to clear the prevailing uncertainty in respect of two major issues mentioned in the Ninth Plan document namely, the use of Airwaves and the status of the Prasar Bharati.

Special care needs to be taken for speedy implementation of the J and K package and similar packages need to be worked out for North-East and Hill/Tribal Areas.

Ministry should also lay down guidelines to ensure that the allocated fund is fully utilized by the different media units.

Science and Technology

Harnessing of S and T for societal benefits, R and D programmes on mission mode, nurturing of outstanding scientists, establishing linkages between industry and research institutions/laboratories for the development and marketing technology, development of clean and eco-friendly technologies, awareness on technology marketing and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues have been the major thrust.

Concerted efforts have been made for strengthening R and D activities, S and T infrastructure in universities and academic institutions, promoting indigenous technology using Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) and Inter-Sectoral S and T Advisory Committee (IS-STAC) mechanism and also through the programmes of Technology Developmnt Board (TDB), Programme Aimed at Technology Self Reliance, Home Grown Technologies etc.

Some of the important achievements in the areas of technology development include : transfer of technology of radiation processing of food, development of radiation source for treatment of eye cancer, superconducting technology based ore separator and power generator, fish freshness biosensor, lactate and cholesterol biosensors, multi model imaging and image identification of cancer related diseases, optical fibre based immuno sensor for Kala-zar, new anti malarial plant based drug, non hazardous process for anti AIDS drug, prototype kit for rapid detection of mustard oil, technology transfer for producing biofertilizer and tissue culture protocols for eucalyptus, sugarcane and populus, diagnostic kits for detection of HIV I and II, therapeutic vaccine for leprosy, drug delivery system for systemic fungal infections etc. The technology development programme should be demand driven recognizing importance of market mechanism so that the sophisticated research facilities and vast S and T expertise could be optimally utilized.

Number of science and society related programmes were implemented to demonstrate application of S and T for improving quality of life by creating productive jobs, reducing drudgery, improving health and environment in the areas blacksmithy, carp breed hatchery, low cost preservation and processing of horticulture products, food irradiation, application of radio isotope and laser for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, use of potential fishing zone maps for fishing activities etc. Science and society related programmes need to be more closely tied up with the programmes of the development sectors so that the programmes relating to poverty alleviation, employment generation etc. could be strengthened with S and T inputs and large scale application of the new technologies is possible.

Major achievements in the areas of Space S and T were successful launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C 1 carrying IRS-ID, PSLV C2 carrying IRS P4 (Oceansat) along with two auxiliary Korean (KITSAT) and German (TUBSAT) satellite and INSAT 2E besides indigenous development of cryogenic upper state with the establishment of test facilities and fabrication of engine. In the areas of nuclear science, major achievements were nuclear tests at Pokhran range, attainment of full power level by neutron source KAMINI reactor, successful operation of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor, setting up of Synchrotron Radiation Source facility etc.

Apex level S and T mechanism was non-functional, however this has now been reconstituted recently and efforts were being made to evolve policy directives and implementation mechanism on various S and T matters including Technology Vision 2020. This mechanism need to play a critical role in providing policy and implementation guidance for harnessing S and T for development of various sectors of economy.

The S and T funding need to be significantly increased through greater participation of the industry.

Although, efforts have been made to attract students in science and promote young scientist to adopt science as a career through various fellowships and awards like Swarnajayanti fellowship, Better Opportunities for Young Scientist in Chosen Areas of S and T (BOYSCAST), Kishor Vigyanik Protsahan Yojana, Promote Youth Leadership in Science (CPYLS), Bioresource awards etc. yet there is a large scale migration of students from India to other country or from one career option to another resulting non-availability of specialized and trained manpower in the field of S and T. A policy direction on manpower development to suit the national requirements need urgent attention.

The S and T thrust in response to WTO needs is to be focused on conformance to global standards particularly for IPR awareness, information, generation and exploitation mechanism, quality assurance system etc