6th Five Year Plan
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28 || Appendix

Chapter 18:
COMMUNICATIONS, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

Communications have a key role to play in the development process; and so have the information media. Programmes in these sectors will, therefore, be so geared as to enable their use being made more effectively for development activities, particularly in agriculture and rural development, education (including adult education) family planning, the preservation of ecological balance, protection of environment, energy management and more generally national integration.

18.2 Past experience suggests that many of the programmes intended for the poor do not reach them partly because of the lack of awareness on the part of the potential beneficiaries of the opportunities that are being made available for them. People's participation in the planning process as well as in the effective implementation of programmes can be greatly helped by the expansion of communications as well as through the information media. During the Sixth Plan, the choice of policy alternatives and the media structure will be so realigned as to give priority to this task.

18.3 Development of software is of cirtical importance in the foregoing context. Concerned agencies will be involved in preparing software relevant to their respective areas. INSAT will pose special challenge for software development which has to be area-specific to be able to make the desired impact. The 1980-85 Plan takes note of the important role of communication-information media and development of software to respond to national as well as local-specific needs.

COMMUNICATIONS

Review

18.4 Communication services include postal, telegraphs, telecommunications and overseas communications. Development of communication infrastructure being crucial to the growth of vital sectors like agriculture, industry, etc., due priority was assigned to communication services in the successive Five Year Plans resulting in substantial expansion of postal and telecommunication facilities. Despite this, the demand for communication facilities has continuously been rising, outstripping the growth and creating conditions of shortage and congestion.

18.5 An outlay of Rs. 1,266.61 crores was made for communication services in the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79) and the expenditure incurred was Rs. 850 crores for the period 1974-78. Against an outlay of Rs. 757.87 crores provided for the two year period 1978-80, the expenditure was Rs. 592.27 crores. During the course of six years (1974-80), 20,259 post offices were opened, raising the total number of post offices in the country to 136,999 while 770,000 Direct-exchange lines were added to the existing 1,244,000 lines. Besides, 11, 970 telegraph offices and 8,825 long distance public call offices were opened during the six year period raising their total number to 24,457 and 13,834 respectively.

PROGRAMMES

18.6 During the Sixth Plan, the communication services, particularly the postal and telecommunication services, will be extended to all parts of the country with a view to subserve a balanced and sustained growth in the key sectors of development. Special attention will be given to the development of communication facilities in rural areas including backward, tribal and hilly areas in order to correct the persisting imbalances in the communications net work. For the North-Eastern region, special measures will be aimed at strengthening the postal and telecommunication facilities.

Postal System

18.7 During the Plan period, expansion of postal net v/ork is envisaged mainly for the rural, backward, hilly and tribal areas. Measures will simultaneously be taken to improve the quality of the existing rural postal sendees.

18.8 As on 31st March 1980, the number of rural post offices in the country was 1,22,839. During the Plan period 1980-85, it is proposed to open another 8,000 post offices including 5,000 in tribal, hilly and backward areas. Postal counter facilities through mobile post offices will also be provided to 10,000 villages which do not now have regular post offices. About 10,000 Extra Departmental Delivery Agents are also proposed to be appointed for strengthening the rural post offices net work and improving the efficiency of rural mobile postal services. Clearance facilities are made available to the rural areas through the existing letter boxes numbering 3.08 lakhs and the position will be strengthened by installing 10,000 aiore letter boxes during the Plan period- To monitor the rural postal services, a new cadre of Planning and Monitoring Inspectors is proposed.

18.9 The Plan provides for renovation and construction postal buildings and staff quarters on a sizeable scale. Many of the postal buildings are old and the percentage satisfaction of staff quarters has remained inadequate. Provision is also being made for training the postal staff, increasing the fleet of rail-mail and maii-motor services and mechanisation and modernisation of postal operations.

18.10 An outlay of Rs. 172 crores has been provided in the 1980-85 Plan for the postal services. This includes provision for expansion of postal facilities as well as construction of postal buildings, staff quarters, etc.

Telecommnications

18. While significant progress in telecommunications nns been made, the supply capabilities have not beer. able to keep 'pace with growing demand result-ins in mounting backlog. As an important objective of the tetecommunicaton Plan, it is proposed to reduce the backlog for telephone demand and to relieve the heavy congestion in the network over a ten year time-frame. Technological updating of telecommunication services is also envisaged by way of introducing modern techniques through SPC electronic Local Exchanges, SPC electronic TAXs. SPC electronic Telexes, Digital Trunk Exchanges, Digital Microwave Systems, Satelite Communication, etc. Consistent with ths emphasis on accelerated development of the rural and backward areas in the Plan, communication systems are n'-pposed to be suitably geared as a meaningful complementarity to this task. With the objective of evolving new patterns based on new technologies for use in rural areas, special studies are being carried out ''n n few selected districts throughout the country. During the Plan period, telecommunication net work based on innovative modes is proposed to be tried out in 1 selected districts. A significant 'step will be the nrov^ion of telecommunication facilities to remote ,nnd inaccessible areas through satellite communication. Ste-o-s will concurrently b taken to augment the indi-genoi", production of telecommunication equipments in order to reduce the country's dependence on imports and efforts intensified for updating technology.

18.12 The telecommunication Plan envisages an addition of 14 lakh direct exchange connections to the existing 20.14 lakh working connection's. About 18,300 telex connections are to be provided during the Plan period. The requirement of the rural areas including the backward, hilly and tribal areas are proposed to be met b'y opening 20,000 long distance public call offices. About 20,000 telegraph offices are also proposed to be opened during the Plan period and a large majority of them located i.n the rural areas. However, due to severe constraint on resources, while these targets may have to be somewhat modified, efforts will be made to approximate them as closely as possible.

18.13 On a priority ba'sis, the telecommunication net work of the North-Eastern Region will be strengthened during the Plan period so as to have communication links with the remotest locations. Different micro-wave and UHF systems supplemented by satellite communication linking several places in this region are planned for implementation during the Plan period. Earth stations are being set up at Shillong, Agartala, Itanagar, Imphal, Kohima and Aizwal and these staiions will start functioning as soon as Indian Na:ional Satellite (INSAT) becomes operational.

18.14 An outlay of Rs. 2,336 crores has been provided in the 1980-85 Plan for the development of telecommunications. of this, over 43 per cent is reserved for rural and semi-urban areas and more than 6 per cent for tribal areas. Further, an outlay of about Rs. 75 crores i's earmarked for the North Eastern Region.

INSAT

18.15 The Indian National Satellite is expected to be in orbit in 1982. INSAT will strengthen the long distance telecommunication links with various cities and remote areas through earth stations at different locations. Thirty one earth stations are being established. Of these stations, four will be at main area locations—Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and one at Shillong: 8 will be at primary area locations— Ahmedabad, Erankulam, Jullundur, Lucknow, Patna. Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad and Jaipur and 15 at remote area locations—Leh, Gangtok, Itanagar, Aizwal, Agartala, Kohima, Port Blair, Car Nicobar, Jodhpur, Srinagar, Kavaratti, Minicoy, Bhuj, Imphal nnd Panaji. There is provision for three transportable earth stations. The telecommunication Plan includes necessary outlays for the INSAT project.

Indian Telephone Industries Ltd. (ITI)

18.16 An outlay of Rs. 155 crores is provided for the development programmes of the ITI. In view of Ihe widening gap between the demand for and supply ot the switching equipment in the country, it lias become necessary to increase the indigenous production of switching equipment. Besides the ongoing schemes, the two important programmes of the ITI included in the Plan are (aJ second phase of the Rae Bareli Unit for creating a capacity of 2 lakh lines of crossbar equipment and (b) expansion of the Palghat Unit which i's engaged in the manufacture of smal.c.' type of electronic exchanges.

18.17 Two large electronic switching factories with a capacity of 5 lakh lines each are proposed to be set up during the Plan period. A provision of Rs. 50 crores has been made in the Plan for this purpose.

Hindustan Teleprinters Ltd. {HTL]

18.18 A provision of Rs. 14 crores has been made for the programmes of HTL. The Plan programmes include production of teleprinters and electric typewriters besides the replacement of old plant and machinery.

Overseas Communications Service (OCS)

18.19 A provision of Rs. 85 crores has been made in the Plan for the Overseas Communications Service. Besides providing for the completion of the major spillover schemes such as IOCOM Cable Project and Indo-USSR Tropo Scatter Link, the Plan includes provision for new schemes like (a) construction of Videsh Sanchar Bhavan and Gateway Terminal Complex at Calcutta; (b) construction of a Satellite Earth Station in the Eastern region (as Phase II of the project relating to Calcutta Videsh Sanchar Bhavan and Gateway Terminal Complex); (c) Westward Submarine Cable Link from Bombay to the Gulf Region and (d) creation of facilities to work with INMARSAT, etc.

Monitoring Organisation

18.20 In the last few years there has been a major shift in wireless operations in the country in view of the rapid advances in satellite and space communications and also the installation of wide ranging network of VHF, UHF, and Microwave radio communication systems. The Plan, therefore, envisages updating the monitoring facilities to respond to the rapid advances in the radio communication systems. Two new monitoring stations are proposed to be set up at suitable locations not covered by the existing network. For the monitoring of space emissions, it is proposed to establish a new monitoring centre during the Plan period. A provision of Rs. 8 crores has been made for the various activities of the Organisation.

OUTLAYS

18.21 A total allocation of Rs. 2810.27 crores has been made for all tile programmes in the Communication sector. However, additional outlays could be considered during the formulation of successive Annual Plans depending on the resources generated by the P and T Department. The following table indicates the programme-wise outlay in the Central Communication Sector:

Table 18.1 Outlays in the Central Communication Sector
(Rs. in crores)

Sl.No. Item Fifth Plan (1974-79) Sixth Plan (1980-85)
(0) (1) (2) (3)
A. P and T Department
(i) Postal Services 2418 172.00
(ii) Telecommunications (including 1NSAT) 1149.45 2336.00
Total—A 1173.83 2508.00
B. Other Communications
(i) Ministry of Conimunications (Main) 40.00
(ii) Indian Telephone Industries 52.85 155.00
(iii) Hindustan teleprinters 3.00 14.00
(iv) Oienea Co-naiiaicatioas Service 35.87 85.00
(v) Moaitoring Orgcinisatioa 1.06 8.00
Total B 92.78 302.00
TOTAL (A) and (B) 1266.61 2810.00

Note : A separate allocation of Rs. 51.65 crores has been made towards the specis segin to flNSAT during 1984-85. Expenditure in; ths spiw segint in e-irligr years will be adjusted against the overall flan proisioa of Rs. 2,316 crores for Telelecomincations.

SOUND BROADCASTING, TELEVISION AND INFORMATION SERVICES

18.22 The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the Centre and the Departments of Information and Publicity in the States are mainly responsible for keeping the people informed of the policies, plans and programmes of the Central and State Governments. Radio, Television, Films and other forms ot audio-visual media prepare software with informational, educational and developmental content along -With cultural and entertainment inputs. Sustained professional research in software programming would provide more imaginative intermeshing of the various programme elements.

18.23 With a network of 84 broadcasting centres including 66 fuli-fledged stations and 14 auxiliary centres as well as two exclusive Vividh Bharati Commercial Centres and two relaying centres, the All India Radio provides coverage to 90 per cent of the population and 78 per cent of the area of the country. Television, first introduced in Delhi on an experimental basis in 1959, has at present 7 full-fledged centres, 3 programme production centres, 7 SITE-on-going centre's and 4 relay centres. The network currently covers an area of 2 lakh sq. kms. with a population of over 832 lakhs. It is felt that information media now need to be restructured so as to respond more fully to the tasks of development with proper coordination inter-se as well as with the information apparatus or the State Governments.

Sound Broadcasting

18.24 During the Sixth Plan, the radio network is proposed to be strengthened for supporting the development programmes of the country. The major thrust would be on upgrading the power of medium wave transmitters, converting auxiliary centres to full stations, setting up new stations m uncovered pockets, provision of a powerful short wave transmitter for the North Eastern Region, pilot scheme for local radio broadcasting and strengthening of the External Services.

18.25 The Plan for sound broadcasting recognises the need for development of a dedicated national broadcasting channel. The present national hook up necessitates cutting into regional and local service. The Plan provides for a beginning in this direction with one MW transmitter at Nagpur to be installed for this purpose. Outlays are being provided to strengthen the medium wave transmitters to protect them from interference caused by high powered transmitters of neighbouring countries.

18.26 The expansion of the coverage is being sought through opening of new stations at select places including the North Eastern Region where a high powered short wave transmitter is to be set up. Besides, a pilot scheme of setting up radio stations with low power transmitters are programmed for local areas to augment the development oriented programmes for such regions. The pilot scheme visualises location of such stations in areas with large population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

18.27 Funds are also being provided for installing high-powered short wave transmitters to strengthen the External Services, development of software to effectively respond to local specific needs, for installing diesel generators at centres particularly in the coastal and cyclone prone areas as standby power supply to enable undisturbed cyclone warning to the inhabitants and replacement of the transmitters at Delhi damaged during 1978 floods. The Plan also provides for a permanent building to store archives of recorded programmes of national interest.

18.28 A total provision of Rs. 122.38 crores has been made for Sound Broadcasting including Rs. 25.00 crores for spillover schemes and Rs. 97.38 crores for new schemes.

Television

18.29 The Plan envisages expansion of TV coverage by opening new TV stations and through the satellite system. It is proposed to provide direct reception of programmes through satellite by installing direct reception set's in the villages in areas where electrification of villages is low and by installing transmitters at suitable locations in areas of high density of electrified villages. This will enable rebroadcasti.ng the programmes through conventional TV sets. It is also proposed to set up TV stations at some of the State capitals.

18.30 A, provision of Rs. 86.95 crores has been made for Television expansion which includes Rs. 65.95 crores for continuing schemes and Rs. 21.00 crores for new ones, emphasis being laid on the completion of the spillover schemes from earlier Plans.

Information Services

18.31 One of the main objectives of the programmes of Information and Publicity is to reach the rural, backward and tribal regions, including the North Eastern parts of the country through appropriate media of mass communication suited to these areas. People's involvement in the developmental activities will continue to be the critical factor in the successful implementation of the Plan programmes. Information and Publicity support will be effectively provided to achieve this end.

18.32 The strategy for expansion of information and publicity activities will be on an integrated basis with each communication medium functioning as part of an overall operational multi-media structure designed to achieve optimum results. Under this arrangement, programmes taken up by media like radio and TV will be followed up by the other media like press, printed materials, films, exhibition, song and drama, etc.

18.33 The field publicity units, including those of State Governments, will have a pivotal role in respect of reaching out to the people and coordinating with other media. During the Plan period the field units will intensify their activities, with clo^e coordination between the Central and State Units. At present there are 232 Central field units to cover 400 district? in the country. A modest inciease in the number of units is envisaged during th-s Plan period. Other media units like Photo Division, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity and the Publications Divisipu will also enlarge their activities.

The Press Information Bureau has also drawn up programmes for servicing small and medium newspapers.

18.34 Among the various mass media, film is a very powerful channel of communication. Programmes for the production of films will, therefore, receive high priority. Introduction of 16 mm technology and decentralisation of film production with particular emphasis on films for rural audiences and an increase in the production of films for children are envisaged during the Plan period. The Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the Film and TV Institute of India will augment their training facilities in the context of intensification of various media activities.

Outlays

18.35 In the Sixth Plan the total provision for schemes relating to Information and Publicity is Rs. 63.01 crores. Of this, an outlay of Rs. 31 crores is for the schemes of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and an outlay of Rs. 32.01 crores is for the schemes of the States and Union Territories.

18.36 The statement given below indicates the outlay for Information and Broadcasting in the Sixth Plan.

Table 18.2 Outlays for information and Broadcasting
(Rs. crores)

Sl. No. Sector Outlay
(0) (1) (2)
I. Sound Broadcasting 122.38
II. Television 86.95
III. Information and Publicity
(a) Centre 31.00
(b) States 28.46
(c) Union Territories 3.55
Total 272.34
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