The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been consistently monitoring the progress made towards digitisation during Phase II of the process. I&B Minister Manish Tewari has been reviewing the progress on a daily basis. As per the latest data regarding the progress achieved, so far 67 per cent of the digitisation target has been achieved in 38 cities, set for digitisation by March 31, 2013.
As per the data received from the DTH operators and MSOs, as on March 23, a total of 108 lakh Set Top Boxes (STBs) have already been installed in Phase II cities, against the target of 1.60 crore, registering overall achievement of over 67 per cent digitisation.
Four cities, namely, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Allahabad, have achieved nearly 100 per cent digitisation. Seventy five per cent digitisation has been achieved in eight cities viz. Jodhpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Pune, Faridabad, Nashik, and Ghaziabad.
Analysis of the data further reveals that out of 38 cities to be digitised in Phase II, 28 cities have achieved more than 50 per cent digitisation individually. These cities are Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Allahabad, Jodhpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Pune, Faridabad, Nashik, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Vadodara, Sholapur, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bangalore, Indore, Ranchi, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhopal and Howrah.
The Task Force set up by the Ministry has been meeting every week to take stock of the progress. The Ministry conducted second round of meeting with nodal officers of 38 cities on March 8 to ascertain preparedness in these cities.
As part of the public awareness campaign to sensitise the consumers on the benefits of digitisation, the Ministry has also stepped up the Public Awareness campaign through print and electronic media. All India Radio has been broadcasting the radio jingles on its national and regional networks for creating public awareness. Private FM broadcasters are also airing radio jingles. The Ministry has already brought out a print advertisement in all 38 cities in the respective regional languages. SMS campaign is presently under way in these cities. As part of the awareness initiative, television channels have been frequently running video spots, black out advertisements, scrolls, etc. to make the people aware of the benefits of the process and the deadline of the switch-over from analogue to digital.
The Control Room of the Ministry, which also has a toll free number, has been receiving a number of calls from consumers of Phase II cities. In order to facilitate a seamless transition on the due date of March 31, 2013, the Ministry has asked major MSOs to depute their representatives in the Control Room to address and clarify various queries relating to acquisition of Set Top Boxes, various schemes of purchase of STBs, package rates offered by MSOs, etc.