Retired cops, engineers may now guard border transmitters
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 22:33
New Delhi: If things go according to the government's plan, retired police personnel and engineers may soon help in guarding Doordarshan transmitters in sensitive border areas.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni today said that she was "committed to implementing this proposal at the earliest".

In an interview to DD News on the occasion of completion of one year of UPA-II, Soni said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was personally concerned over reports of poor reception of DD and All India Radio in some border areas.

In this light, she had suggested that "retired police personnel and retired engineers from the Army's Engineering Corp could be deployed to maintain transmitters in sensitive border areas".

With several TV channels in the pipeline awaiting the ministry's permission to go on air, Soni said she had written to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in this regard "suggesting that the ministry could take up the evaluation of such proposals from the point of view of previous media experience (of owners of these proposed channels) and their capability to run a media organisation".

She stressed on the need to implement steps for eliminating the practice of misusing media ownership for personal gains. Some such incidents had been brought to her notice, she said.

The minister also spoke about the recent Rs 660 crore proposal sent by the ministry to the Planning Commission for setting up the National Film Heritage Mission, wherein her ministry aims to digitalise, preserve and restore all films currently available with government and private agencies.

Referring to the recent Cabinet decision to allocate over Rs 1,500 crore for digitalisation of DD and AIR transmission, she said this would enable DD channels to be viewed even in the remotest areas of the country.

On setting up a nodal agency for content regulation of private TV channels, Soni said her ministry had "set up a task force for wide-ranging consultations to evolve a participative and consensus-based approach on the issue".

For introducing greater transparency in the system of measuring TRPs, Soni said her ministry had set up a committee of eminent industry professionals under FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra, "to examine the existing system of TRP and recommend changes to make it more broad-based and representative".

She said this would enable editors of media organisations to tailor their content to best serve the needs of the people.


First Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 22:33

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