Flashback 2014: A mixed bag for I&B ministry

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New Delhi, Dec 28: From controversies over Doordarshan telecasts to initiatives like Prime Minister's 'Mann ki Baat' or 'Kisan' channel, 2014 was a mixed bag for Information and Broadcasting Ministry which saw changes at the helm.

The charge of the ministry passed from Congress leader Manish Tewari to BJP's Prakash Javadekar as the NDA scored a resounding victory in the Lok Sabha elections and then, after a reshuffle, to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Doordarshan

During the Lok Sabha polls, one of the biggest controversies of the year erupted over the editing of a Narendra Modi interview by Doordarshan when he was leading the BJP's bid to capture power at the Centre.

After certain portions of the interview were not carried, the BJP went on the offensive saying it had been done under Congress pressure while Doordarshan claimed that "there was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview."

Then I&B minister Tewari said his ministry maintained an arm's length relationship with Prasar Bharati. However, after the NDA trounced the UPA in the polls, there was a kind of role reversal with Congress leaders questioning the coverage of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Vijaya Dashami address by Doordarshan, which was defended by the BJP-led government.

Doordarshan also had to face flak on a number of occasions during the year because of errors that went on air including mispronunciation of Chinese President Xi Jinping's name by a news presenter or when a visual of Manmohan Singh was carried instead of a picture of Modi or on other occasions.

All India Radio (AIR) had its moments when Prime Minister Modi decided to air his views in 'Mann ki Baat' programme. The contents of the speeches were widely carried not just by Doordarshan but private radio and TV channels as well.

While much happened, several projects continued to be held up or delayed in 2014. The Phase III expansion of radio is still awaited though the government has indicated that it intends to hold the auctions before the next budget.

PTI

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