The Information and Broadcasting ministry is mulling expansion of Doordarshan’s round-the-clock news broadcast to around 100 countries with a view to reach out to the diaspora and put across India’s perspective on domestic and international issues, a senior official said. Currently, DD India primarily produces various cultural and general entertainment programmes for broadcast in overseas countries. It also produces round-the-clock news and current affairs programmes for broadcast in only few countries, including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China and the United Arab Emirates, he added. “The ministry is considering the expansion of 24×7 news broadcast to a number of countries.The data is being compiled on various parameters for the purpose,” the official said.
The decision to start broadcast of news in a particular country will depend on financial implications like cost of engaging a local cable for carrying the Indian channel as well as stationing correspondents in that particular country, the official added. The factors that would also be considered for starting news broadcast in a country include percentage of Indian diaspora in total population of that nation, foreign direct investment inflow and outflow, remittance and tourists arrival from that country, the official said.
The ministry will also look at whether India has strategic partnership with that nation, number of visits of the prime minister to that country, whether the Ministry of External |Affairs has joint secretary level officer there and proximity of that nation to multilateral agencies, the official added. “The purpose of the proposed initiative is to reach out to the huge Indian diaspora and put across India’s perspective on various domestic and international issues,” the official said. The initiative would put India in the league of countries like the UK and China whose public broadcasters reach a number of countries.