Doordarshan Assam, a 24-hour dedicated channel for the State was launched on Tuesday Credit: Govt of India

Guwahati: Union minister for information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar launched Doordarshan Assam, a 24-hour dedicated channel for the State, via video conferencing from New Delhi on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said, “The channel is a gift to people of Assam and this channel will cater to all sections of the population of Assam and will be immensely popular.”

The minister said that it is important that all states have their own Doordarshan channel. The channels of other states are available on DD Free Dish.

The minister applauded the programmes on six national channels of Doordarshan. Re-iterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of turning Northeast into India’s growth engine, Javadekar said that the region has immense natural and human resource potential, and the connectivity has been improving steadily. The Doordarshan channel in Assam is part of a never-before focus on Northeast under the current Government.

The chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, joined the occasion from Assam. Calling it a significant day for the people of Assam, the minister said, “This channel will boost the growth of Assam in all spheres of human activities, while at the same time help percolate the initiatives and programmes of the government to grassroots.”

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Union minister for information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar launched Doordarshan Assam

Sonowal acknowledged the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “PM Modi, from day one, has been sincerely trying to focus on the true potential and possibilities of Northeast.”

Professor Jagdish Mukhi, governor of Assam, while addressing the occasion over video conference, said, “It is a happy moment for all of us in Assam because the public broadcaster is adding a feather to its kitty with the launch of DD Assam.”

Heaping praise on Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati, Prof. Mukhi said that because of its relentless roles, the unique, rich and colourful culture of Assam received patronage from all over the country.

Secretary, Ministry Of I&B, Amit Khare, present at the Doordarshan Kendra in New Delhi, said that since the launch of DD ArunPrabha by the Prime Minister last year, the Ministry was discussing the conversion of DD North East to a new channel exclusively for Assam. Khare stressed that Assam is the gateway to Northeast and Northeast is the gateway to ASEAN countries added that the State can be a great link between India and ASEAN.

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The secretary said “I am sure DD Assam will provide a new platform for the emerging talent of the region and bring the rest of India closer to north-east and also make the talent of north-east to all of India.”

Shashi ShekharVempati, CEO, Prasar Bharti, said that with the launch of DD Assam, all States in Northeast now have state specific channel and for the first time the rich diversity of Northeast has a satellite footprint which can be viewed anywhere in India through DD Free Dish platform.

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DD North East channel was conceived as 24×7 composite channels by PrasarBharati for all eight states of Northeast region, and commissioned on 01.11.1990; launched on 15.08.1994 and was made 24 Hrs channel from 27.12.2000.

DD ArunPrabha channel was later introduced for Arunachal Pradesh which is being beamed from Itanagar. DD Arunprabha channel was launched by the Prime Minister on 09.02.2019.

Subsequently PrasarBharati decided to put all the other limited hours channels originating from capital of different Northeastern States on ‘DD Free Dish” to have national connect. Five channels for states of North-Eastern region namely, DD Meghalaya, DD Mizoram, DD Tripura, DD Manipur and DD Nagaland beamed from Doordarshan Kendra Shillong, Aizawl, Agartala, Imphal, Kohima respectively have been placed on DD FreeDish(DTH) Platform w.e.f. March 9, 2019.

It was subsequently felt appropriate to repurpose DD North East channel into exclusive channel for Assam. This 24X7 channel which is being beamed from Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati is dedicated to the people and culture of state of Assam and will have around 6 hours fresh Assamese programming with specific slots for languages such as Bodo. Test transmission of DD Assam commenced from 1st December 2019.

During the current Covid-19 crisis, as an interim measures, the uplinking is being done on the channels originated from Northeastern states round-the-clock.

From the month of April 2020, DD Nagaland, DD Tripura, DD Manipur, DD Meghalaya, DD Mizoram have been converted provisionally into 27×7 channels from limited hours channels by utilizing the DD News/DD India streams given the limited resources available at the respective originating Kendras.

This is ensuring that no channel remains blank and all DD channels carry content 24×7 through a combination of local news/content during specified hours and national news at all other times.

Sources said that efforts are being made to telecast attractive content on DD Assam which will include mega-serials, music programmes, travelogues, reality shows, feature films etc. The content thus will have ethnic touch highlighting cuisine, textiles, folk culture and tribal life of the region.

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