100 days of I&B Ministry: Focus on digitisation, speedy clearance of TV channel licenses

Other focus areas include tax concession to domestic manufacturers of set top boxes, third phase of FM radio auction and using social media effectively

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Sep 3, 2014 8:16 AM
100 days of I&B Ministry: Focus on digitisation, speedy clearance of TV channel licenses

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has undertaken key initiatives in different sectors aimed at enhancing the outreach of policies and programmes across platforms, said   Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting at a press meet to present his   ministry's 100-day report card. Some of these innovative initiatives have been encouraging people’s participation, enhancing government’s presence on the social media platforms and strengthening communication at the grassroots. 

The minister listed these initiatives as:

Launch of new Kisan Channel: Government has allocated an amount of Rs 100 crore for Kisan Channel, which will disseminate real-time information to the farmers regarding new farming techniques, water conservation, organic farming, etc.

Establishment of Social Media Presence of Government of India: In order to facilitate Ministries/Departments in registering their presence on social media, govt. has organised a half day training workshop on July 11, 2014 at the National Media Centre.

Launch of new Arun Prabha Channel for the Northeast: In order to provide a strong platform for expression of cultural identities and for creating greater awareness about the North Eastern Region, the government has announced the launch of a new 24x7 Channel for North East, called Arun Prabha.

Third and fourth phases of Digitisation: A Task Force has been constituted to steer the remaining two phases, Phase III and Phase IV of digitisation, which will cover about eight crore cable TV homes in India. It is also a step towards the Prime Minister’s dream of a Digital India, as it will enable quick penetration of broadband connectivity in India.

Third phase of FM radio auction: On the request of this Ministry, TRAI has furnished its recommendations on migration of FM Radio Broadcasters from Phase-II to Phase-III.  The issue is being examined.

Goa declared the Permanent Destination for International Films Festival of India: In order to develop “Brand IFFI" on the lines of other International Film Festivals,  Goa has been declared as the permanent destination for International Films Festival of India.

North East Film Festival: For the first time, a three-day North East Film Festival was held in Delhi (Siri Fort Complex) on a grand scale. It will henceforth be an annual feature, a prominent event in the film festival calendar of the Directorate of Film Festivals.

Meeting with stakeholders related to Set Top Boxes to promote Indigenisation of Digitisation: Efforts were taken to fulfill the long pending demand of domestic manufacturers of Set Top Boxes to get tax concession (C Form benefit) in order to compete with imported STBs.

e-initiatives: The office of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) under M/o I&B has streamlined its Single Window Public dealing mechanism at its office. RNI has achieved 100 per cent success in online e-filing of annual statements by publishers for 2013- 14.

Boost to Community Radio movement in the country: The government has allotted an amount of Rs 100 crore for “Supporting Community Radio Movement in India”. This would enable setting up of 600 community radio stations across the country in the 12th Five-Year Plan. This major initiative of the new government will strengthen the connect with the population living in rural and marginalised areas.

Simplification of procedures for granting television licenses for starting additional television channels: Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to the proposal of I&B Ministry for not seeking security clearance for such channels whose security clearance have already been sought earlier along with the Board of Directors. This decision has paved the way for speedy clearance of additional television channel permissions, which will benefit the broadcast industry in a big way.  After the decision was taken, twenty three TV channels were given permissions by the Ministry.

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