Pitroda panel mulls DD going fully digital, freeing spectrum

Pitroda panel mulls DD going fully digital, freeing spectrum

Pitroda panel mulls DD going fully digital, freeing spectrum

Should the public broadcaster Doordarshan go competely digital and spare the resulting extra spectrum so that it can yield government precious revenue?

This and other important aspects related to technology, autonomy, financing and human resource are being discussed threadbare by Sam Pitroda-led expert committee on Prasar Bharati that hopes to ready the first draft of its recommendations within two weeks.
Pitroda told reporters after attending a meeting here today that the committee had formed eleven sub-committees to look into various aspects related to Prasar Bharati and seven of them have already submitted their reports.

"There are eleven sub-committees. Seven have already submitted their reports, four are close to submitting them. So if each one submits 10-12 recommendations, there are almost a hundred recommendations.

"These are too many, so we are trying to consolidate and see if we can summarise them into 10-15 major ones and may be another 15 minor ones," Pitroda told PTI. He said that in a meeting today, it was decided that another sub-committee would be formed to consolidate the recommendations of the eleven panels.

Asked what were the important issues that the committee was looking at, Pitroda said that they ranged from technology, funding to matters related to autonomy of the public broadcaster.

"Recommendations (of the sub-committees) include things like how do we go from analogue to digital technology. How do we free up some spectrum? What does it mean to free up some spectrum, what do we get out of it? How do we monetise existing assets, archival material, how do we monetise land?" he said.

"There is spectrum that we use today which could be freed up, we don't need that spectrum if we go all digital. But then that spectrum can be commercially sold for some other use...Indian government could get revenue," he said.

Pitroda said that the recommendations of the seven sub-committees were discussed.
"We will have the next meeting in next two weeks to have a look at the first draft of the report...We are hoping in the next month or month-and-a-half we will have a good idea of the final report," he said.

Pitroda said that there was unanimity in one of the sub- committees that Prasar Bharati has to look at its audience as citizens and not as consumers. He also said that Prasar Bharati should take views of India across the globe.

He said that the issue of autonomy for the public broadcaster and the Prasar Bharati-government relationship were important matters.