Prakash Javadekar, minister of state for information and broadcasting, has hinted at efforts towards collaborations between private television channels and public broadcaster Doordarshan, in an attempt to revamp the latter’s content and programming.
Earlier, Javadekar had expressed his intention to make Doordarshan and All India Radio the preferred choice of the Indian audience. He has said the two have to find ways to remain relevant as “they were launched at a time when they enjoyed monopoly in the broadcast space and today, they face fierce competition from numerous private channels”.
On Saturday, Javadekar met TV producers here to discuss issues plaguing the sector and explore possibilities of their collaboration with Doordarshan. The meeting was attended by attended by Dalip Tahil, veteran theatre, film and television actor, TV producers Rajan Shahi and Sumit Mittal; Mahesh Kamath, head of soon-to-be launched Epic TV; TV producers Durga Jasraj, Niraj Jaitley and Manish Goswani, among others.
“It was a welcome change to be invited for dialogue with the minister. Until now, there was no platform where content creators like us got actual representation and direct access to the ministry. While the specifics were not discussed, the issues at our end were heard by the minister. It was heartening to know he had done his research and was well aware of what is plaguing the industry — unions, workers, etc,” said Shahi, the force behind Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, one of the longest running shows on STAR Plus.
Tahil said such meetings might become periodic and expressed optimism about the new regime. Another person who attended the meeting said apart from reaching out to them and hearing their side of the story, the minister also assured hastening the process of licensing and approval by the ministry. “He said he intended to finish the work pending under the previous government for 16 months, in 16 weeks. It will be a welcome change if processes involving the ministry are accelerated,” he said.