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24-hour TV channels for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 9: Come Monsoon Session of Parliament in July, two 'new look' round-the-clock dedicated TV channels, one each for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, will go on air.

The channels will feature live telecast and daily wrap of House proceedings and weekly reviews. The special programmes will include 'Meet Your MP', party stand and events related to culture and heritage.

As trial runs, the Lok Sabha Television will telecst live proceedings of the second half of the Budget Session, commencing tomorrow, from 1030 hrs to 1900 hrs.

This will continue till May 23, the concluding day of the Session.

The two channels have already booked a transponder on INSAT-3C and are in the process of building the required software. The channels will also be available on DD Direct Plus (Direct-To-Home).

A landmark in the history of telecasting of parliamentary proceedings was created when two dedicated satellite channels were launched on December 14, 2004 for telecasting live the entire proceedings of Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

The entire proceedings of the two Houses of Parliament are since being telecast live through separate dedicated satellite channels by Doordarshan.

A brainchild of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the channels, which are mandatory for cable operators to carry, hope to generate revenues by offering advertisement slots to public sector undertakings.

''Meetings have already been held with cable operators in the metro cities and an arrangement for live telecast of the proceedings will be in place by June,'' sources in Sansad Television Networlk told sources.

Pointing out that most of the programmes would be in-house production, the sources said efforts would be made to earn enough revenues for making the channels self-sufficient.

The Lok Sabha Speaker had earlier said the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry had been approached to meet the expenditure required for setting up infrastructure facilities for the live telecast of the proceedings of the legislatures as per the recommendations of the committee of presiding officers of legislature bodies.

Driven by the need to make the citizens aware of the deliberations in Parliament, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has taken several steps to record and telecast/broadcast the proceedings of the Lok Sabha with the help of Doordarshan and AIR.

A beginning was made in this direction when for the first time the President's Address to members of both the Houses of Parliament was telecast live on December 20, 1989.

Subsequently, an audio-visual library was set up in 1992 for keeping the records of the proceedings in cassettes and CDs and providing facilities to members to view the same.

Initially, select proceedings of the Lok Sabha were recorded on U-matic tapes and VHS cassettes. Since April 18, 1994, complete recordings of the Lok Sabha proceedings and other parliamentary functions are being maintained on U-matic, Betacam, VHS cassettes and Video CDs in the library.

In view of the demands from MPs and storage convenience of CDs, the Lok Sabha Telecasting Unit has started getting the recordings of the House proceedings transferred in CD format. Rajya Sabha proceedings in CD format are also being acquired.

As a prelude to complete live telecast of parliamentary proceedings throughout the nation, a Low Power Transmitter (LPT) was set up in Parliament House on August 25, 1994 to provide for live telecast of Lok Sabha proceedings, within a range of 10 to 15 km.

from Parliament House. With the installation of another LPT, the Rajya Sabha proceedings are also being telecast live since December seven, 1994.

The proceedings of the Question Hour of both the Houses are also being telecast live on alternate weeks throughout the country on the Primary Channel of Doordarshan from 1100 hrs. to 1200 hrs. since December seven, 1994.

With the launch of DD-News Channel, Doordarshan has been telecasting live the Question Hour of both Lok Sabha And Rajya Sabha simultaneously on National Channel and DD-News Channel of Doordarshan on alternate weeks from the Winter Session of 2003.

While telecasting the Question Hour of one House on National Channel, Doordarshan is telecasting live the Question Hour of the other House on DD-News Channel.


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