Nitin Mahajan, Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 15 April 2012. The government has sought the highest ever allocation for its “content revolution” propaganda war against terrorists and extremists. The information and broadcasting ministry has proposed to spend an amount of 1,000 crore on programming and content development in disturbed areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states over the next five years.
During the forthcoming 12th Five Year Plan, under the special package the I&B ministry has also proposed to enhance funding for programming of DD Urdu, which serves the minority community.
Sources stated that the government wants to spend 200 crore per year on Doordarshan’s content development in these regions. Over and above the 1,000 crore in these five years for Doordarshan, the government also proposes to spend an additional 80 crore on similar content development in disturbed areas over the next five years. “This will bring the proposed total outlay to a whopping 1,080 crore for the content revolution in Prasar Bharati,” sources added.
As part of the package the government also proposes to focus on development of DD Kashmir (its dedicated channel for Kashmir) and DD International. The strengthening of DD International has been proposed to enhance the country’s capability to project itself in foreign lands.
The government has also proposed a massive 10-fold increase in the amount of its budget spent on strengthening of Doordarshan and All-India Radio broadcasting and coverage in border areas, as reported by this newspaper first. The ministry has proposed to spend 986 crore on strengthening of national broadcasters in border areas during the coming 12th Plan period.
It is believed that the strengthening of national broadcasters will help the government to counter the misinformation campaign being unleashed by terrorist and extremist outfits. The enhancement of infrastructure and broadcasting capability will also ensure fulfilment of the responsibility of the public broadcaster in dissemination of authentic information to citizens in these disturbed areas.