The I & B Ministry has listed an ‘Unparallel Growth’ of media as a major achievement during one year of UPA government.
The Ministry claims that with the opening of uplinking facilities for private media, nearly 150 TV channels have been registered for uplinking from India. It takes pride in the launch of India’s first free-to-air DTH service on Doordarshan – DD Direct Plus. Prasar Bharati has made a claim of enlisting close to three million subscribers since the launch of this service in December last. In its report card, the I & B Ministry has mentioned the launch of two new dedicated channels to telecast live the parliamentary proceedings of both the houses besides launching educational channel – EDUSAD in collaboration with IFRO.
Interestingly the fact sheet issued by the I & B Ministry has no mention of the go-ahead given to Star TV and Sun TV’s DTH ventures. It may be mention that the timing of the approval given particularly to Star TV’s long pending DTH application immediately after the retirement of I & B Secretary Navin Chawla has kicked up a debate in the media. On the other hand the I & B Ministry has taken credit for speeding up the process of setting up a quasi-judicial autonomous body to regulate content on television channels though the UPA government has not been able to introduced the bill on Television Regulator in the parliament so far.
It is equally interesting that the I & B Ministry is completely silent over its performance on the radio front where there has not been much forward movement on the important issue of opening up new FM channels.