Sunday, March 18, 2012

830 FM radio stations in 230 towns will be set up in two-and-a-half years: I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma

The government today said it is committed to ensuring implementation of digitisation of the television transmission and distribution industry and will begin the process from April onwards. "The government is committed to the digitisation of the TV industry in a time bound manner. In fact, implementation will begin from this April onwards so that the four metros are covered. By December 31, 2014, we plan to complete the digitisation of the television industry," Information and Broadcasting Secretary Uday Kumar Varma said at Ficci FRAMES 2012, a three-day global convention, here.

Talking about the road-map for expanding FM radio, he said around 830 FM radio stations in 230 towns will be set up in two-and-a-half years and an auctioneer will shortly be appointed to auction FM radio spectrum. Around 1,000 community radio stations would also be set up very soon, he said. "We also intend to digitise Doordarshan and All India Radio shortly," he said. Varma also announced government initiatives to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema.

"The government will organise initiatives to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema from May 3, 2012 to May 3, 2013. As you know, the first Indian movie, Raja Harishchandra, was released almost a 100 years ago,¿ he said. The government also plans to set up a new organisation to run the International Film Festival of India, he announced. "We intend to make IFFI a global landmark event. A new organisation to run the festival will be set up shortly, he said.

The government will also spend Rs 500 crore to set up a Film Heritage Mission with preservation vaults of international standards in order to preserve celluloid movie prints. "We intend to set up this institution to safeguard and archive our cinematic heritage. Restoration of movie prints will also be undertaken here,¿ Varma said. He said that the government plans to put in place a legal mechanism to fight movie piracy.

"During the 12th Five Year Plan period, we intend to start training programmes for the police to fight movie piracy and familiarise them with the Copyright Act. We have also proposed to carry out research on how to combat movie piracy, he said. He also announced that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Tourism to promote India as an international movie shooting location.

"We plan to set up a Film Commission which will give single window clearances. We have received complaints that multiple on-ground clearances are required to shoot at locations, he said. He said that the Film & Television Institute of India, the Satyajit Ray Film Institute as well as the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) will be declared institutions of national importance. "IIMC will start two new regional centres in Jammu & Kashmir as well as Kerala," he said. [The Financial Express 14/03]
(Jaisakthivel, ADXC, Tirunelveli, India,