|8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<<
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation
COMMUNICATION, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
The Eighth Plan
All India Radio
10.11.1 Having achieved almost full coverage of its signals, the thrust in the Eighth Plan of AIR will be on consolidation and modernisation of existing facilities so as to bring about a qualitative change in broadcast. The programmes for consolidation will involve the National Channel, transmission for border areas, new FM transmitters and external services.
10.11.2 The Plan contemplates extension of the National Channel so that it reaches a much larger area and population. This will release time for the regional and local stations which can then focus better on their respective target population. Strenghening of the external services of AIR is also envisaged.
10.11.3 For extending the National Channel, it is imperative that AIR strengthens its engineering infrastructure. This will primarily comprise a number of additional stations. The FM option has been chosen for these stations to enable a steady signal throughout day and night. Since, however, the large number of existing receivers have reception facility only for AM broadcasts, the AM transmission has to be continued. Thus, the Plan envisages a judicious mixture of AM and FM, low power as well as energy - efficient stations.
10.11.4 The Seventh Plan made a visible contribution to the map of local radio *in the country and the Eighth Plan will consolidate and replicate this effort. The need for 79 additional local radio stations in the Eighth Plan has been identified mainly on the basis of cultural homogenity of the areas. Improving signal strength and proper coverage in several pockets will constitute a special objective in the Eighth Plan. Some areas of the country although covered by transmitters from neighbouring States, are not within the day - time range of transmitters of their own State. Relay transmitters will be set up in such areas. Very low power transmitters will be installed so that certain remote areas with low density of population and situated in difficult terrain are covered by AIR.
10.11.4 Under the expansion programmes, a second channel with FM transmitters and additional studios is proposed to be set up at 15 centres subject to some prioritisation. A separate, channel will also be provided for the Armed Forces. Three short wave transmitters of 250 Kw each located in and around Delhi will be installed for coverage in the border and neighbouring areas of the country. These transmitters will be provided with adequate number of antennas so that all border areas in North/North West and and East/North East are covered.
10.11.5 Commercial broadcasting was introduced on the Vividh Bharati channel in 1967 to mobilize resources for the network. At present, 29 centres carry commercial broadcast service. During the Eighth Plan, the commercial service on Vividh Bharati will be introduced at 10 additional centres which have been identified on the basis of potential audience and generation of revenue. The Vividh Bharati centre at Panaji is also proposed to be converted into a commercial channel. Additional duplicating facilities will be provided at Bombay for catering to the requirement of the new centres.
10.11.6 On completion of the Seventh Plan schemes, there will be 16 short wave transmitters of 500 KW supporting the external services. Besides, one 50 KW transmitter at Gorakhpur is dedicated to service in Nepali. Currently, AIR broadcasts approximately 75 hours of programmes daily in 23 foreign languages. To face the challenge from other foreign broadcasting organisations which are introducing 500 KW transmitters for their external serv-ices'~"osing multiple frequencies for a single service, it is essential that AIR has transmitters of matching power which can overcome inteference. It is, therefore, proposed to augment the capacity of external services through four SW transmitters of 250 KW each and two of 500 KW each during the Eighth Plan. Location of some relay transmitters in friendly countries are contemplated in order to provide proper coverage of external services in Oceania and countries in the Pacific Ocean.
10.11.7 Modernisation and greater application of the state-of- the-art technology in all spheres of broadcasting operations for improving the quality of broadcasts will be a major endeavour of the Eighth Plan. Thus, the Plan will provide for introduction of equipment based on digital technology selectively and Compact Disc Systems in all transmission booths of existing network. Since the effort has to be matched by availability of compact discs of Indian Music, this area will engage special attention. Schemewise outlays are given in Annexure-10.7.
10.11.8 The thrust of Doordarshan's Plan will consist of consolidation of the achievements by suitably augmenting the production facilities at the existing centres and replacing equipment which has outlived its useful life, extension of coverage to about 76% of the population on completion of all the Eighth Plan schemes and increasing the use of satellite linkage. An important effort will be to overcome the congestion of the National Channel by starting a Second Channel which will permit diversification and variety. This Channel should provide entertainment of such a quality that it can compete effectively against foreign satellite TV services, private cable TV networks and video services. Very high professional skill and motivation to meet the challenge of others can only make the new Channel a success. To ensure this, a new approach may he needed on its structure and organisation. <
10.11.9 In the software area, emphasis will be on augmentation of studio and outdoor facilities, phased reduction of sponsored programmes and corresponding increase in commissioned and in-house programmes. A ratio of 40:60 between sponsored and in-house/commissioned programmes is targetted during the Eighth Plan. News gathering activities will also be extended to all State capitals and the teams will be provided with the latest gathering and editing equipment. The production facilities will see a multi -pronged approach in the Eighth Plan consisting of spill over schemes of the Seventh Plan replacement of old equipment, setting up of production facilities at new centres with greater emphasis on post-production complement, modernisation, upgradation and additional facilities at existing centres and augmentation of outside broadcast coverage facilities.
10.11.10 Television coverage in the border areas was given considerable importance during the Seventh Plan. Nevertheless, even after completion of the Seventh Plan schemes, the coverage will need to be improved, particularly in the North East. For this purpose, 12 high power transmitters will be set up at different locations in Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and 100 low power transmitters mostly in hilly regions and tribal areas.
10.11.11 During the Eighth Plan, the existing satellite based services will be expanded with main emphasis on introduction of more regional services in the languages of the States through terrestrial re-broadcast transmitters. Satellite news gathering facility is also proposed to be introduced. Scheme-wise outlays are given in Annexure-10.8.
10.11.12 The main thrust of the information media during the Eighth Plan will be on the modernisation of the information storage, retrieval and transmission system. The Press Information Bureau plans to develop an integrated transmission network for the Bureau so that news can be released simultaneously to newspapers located at different parts of the country. The integrated network will be of benefit particularly to small and medium newspapers. In order to keep pace with the fast modern photo techniques,the Photo Division on its part will be acquiring latest equipment like computerised auto processors, cibchrome processors, auto computerised enlargers. It also plans to develop a computerised photo bank. The Directorate of Field Publicity will similarly, procure modern equipment like video projection system. It is also proposed to install computers in all the regional centres. These computers will be hooked up to a main frame computer at the head quarters, thus providing a fast and reliable communication channel.
10.11.13 The schemes of the films media during the Eighth Plan will in many ways be a continuation of the programmes of the earlier Plan. However, the emphasis will be on re-orientation of the functioning of the organisations based on modern methods. Thus the Film Division which at present is shooting a large number of films in colour, has to convert them into black and white due to lack of funds and also to ensure their release in all the theatres of the country. Needless to say, this is not only counter productive but also wasteful. Hence a major scheme during the Eighth Plan will be production of adequate number of colour prints of the films produced by the Film Division. Similarly, the National Film Archive of India, apart from completing the ongoing schemes, will instal multi-terminal computers to computerise archival of data and films. The Television Institute will procure new equipment like S-VHS camcorder, directors view finder, multi projector multi standard in order to replace old and outdated equipment. Media - wise outlays in respect of Information and Publicity sub-sector are given in An-nexure-10.9.
10.11.14 For the Eighth Plan, an outlay of Rs.3634 crore has been provided for the Information and Broadcasting sector.
Strategy and Problems
10.12.1 The important issues, in so far as information and broadcasting sector is concerned, are autonomy of media irf-cluding more effective use of media for de* velopment of communication, regulation of cable television, increasing coverage of rural areas and ensuring that target audience is reached either through individually owned or community TV sets. There is already a commitment to convert the electronic media into an autonomous corporation. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcsating Corporation of India) Act, 1990 was passed some time ago by the Parliament. There are several questions relating to the functioning of the electronic media which need careful consideration. Autonomy is not a matter just of structure and form but of substance as well. It can flourish only in a competitive situation. Also it is not something that can be conferred but must be earned. At the same time, autonomy can not imply the absence of accountability. These issues have to be addressed and resolved, if autonomy has to be effective. Further, the electronic media must be in a position to generate resources needed for expansion and modernisation out of its own earnings, if autonomy is to be sustained in practice.
10.12.2 On the issue of funding of the electronic media particularly, Doordar-shan, irrespective of whether or not autonomy is forthcoming, it is necessary that these organisations make the most of commercial opportunities available to them. Doordar-shan should be able to sustain itself out of its own income both for current expenditure and investment needs. Currently, Doordarshan's revenue generation is often severely handicapped on account of use of its prime time free of cost by advertisements issued on behalf of Government Departments. In order to promote cost consciousness among the latter, as well as more accountability in Doordarshan, use of this time should be paid for. Charges for advertisement time should also be fixed having regard to what the market can bear.
10.12.3 Apart from autonomy and funding, ensuring credibility of the broadcasting media is vital and of immediate necessity. The importance and urgency of this is all the more because of the increasing onslaught from foreign radio and television broadcasts, including those recieved via satellite, either directly or through cable distribution. Therefore, pending final action on the creation of Prasar Bharati, the endeavour should be to ensure that the electronic media enjoy full functional autonomy and work with professionalism to spread information and education without compromising entertainment considerations.
10.12.4 A significant development in television technology is the advent of cable television the world over. Emergence of cable television is a natural corollary to advances in satellite communication which has broken national boundaries. Cable television with the rooftop dish antenna and distribution of programmes through the cable network raises issues like whether it should be allowed in the private sector; if permitted, whether there should be a system of licensing and transmission of Doordarshan programmes be made obligatory by the cable television operators and whether there is need for a policy to ensure quality of programmes distributed on the cable television network.
10.12.5 Within the framework of existing laws the conclusion seems inescapable that it would be practically impossible to prevent the operation of cable television. Attempts can be made to regulate its growth but these are unlikely to be effective. The pragmatic approach will be to allow it to function within a liberal regulatory framework to ensure maintenance of minimum standards in respect of hardware and adherence to existing laws relating to public dissemination of news, control of obscenity and maintenance of public order. It is desirable that a policy be enunciated as early as possible. The official organisation will have to learn to live with the competition from cable television and match it in quality.
State Level Programmes
10.12.6 State level programmes relating to strengthening of Departments of Information and Publicity, including film media will be substantially strengthened. The Film Development Corporations set up by various State Governments will be encouraged to be s and lfsupporting in their commercial operations.
10.12.7 Television has come to be recognised as the most persuasive, effective and sought after medium for educational institutions and rural areas, where 40% population live below poverty line and vast majority of people cannot afford to buy a television set. Therefore, the concept of community viewing has proved highly attractive for reaching the urban and rural poor, farmers and industrial workers to meet their needs of entertainment, information and education. Community viewing which started in India simultaneously with the advent of television in the country in 1959 is still in an early stage. According to the latest available statistics, the total number of community viewing sets as on 1.1.90 was 50,032. In other words, almost one in every ten villages of the country has access to a community viewing set. State - wise break-up of community TV sets is given in Annexure-10.10.
10.12.8 The scheme of community viewing is an important component of State Plans because this is an activity which is best handled by the State Governments. The scheme envisages installation of TV and their maintenance through technical support from the field level staff.
10.12.9 The biggest problem in the scheme of community viewing is effective maintenance of the existing community viewing sets. Inadequate supply of electricity, inadequacy of staff and transport facilities as well as the absence of an effective organisation for undertaking maintenance at widely dispersed centres are contributory factors. Despite these difficulties, the importance and potential pay-off from community viewing is very high and it should be given top priority. Training unemployed youth through TRYSEM or other schemes in maintenance of sets should be explored as also participation of voluntary agencies and the panchayats. By the end of Eighth Plan, at least half of the 5.5 lakh villages in the country should be covered by a community viewing set. Achievement of this target rests with the respective State Governments.
Science and Technology Programme
10.12.10 The focus of Science and ' Technology programme in the Eighth Plan will continue to be on the development and introduction of higher and appropriate technology with the objective of improving the quality of production, transmission and reception. Major programmes envisaged relate to : computer aided design for studios, stereophonic sound broadcast and acoustic engineering; digital and high definition TV; fibre optic transmission links; antenna systems for microwave transmission and receiving; radio working and television receive-systems designs, compatible to future satellite system (viz. INSAT-II series) etc.
Financial Outlay for the
Eighth Plan - Postal Sector
Achievement During the Seventh Plan -Telecom. Sector
Proposed Physical Targets for the Eighth Plan - Telecom. Sector
Proposed Physical Target
for the Eighth Plan for the National Capital Region
Actual Outlay and
Expenditure: Information and Broadcasting Sector
for Seventh Five Year Plan of Information and Publicity Sub-sector
* 1074 TV sets have been provided in 368 villages.
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