DD announces first list of commissioned Urdu programmes

Submitted by ITV Production on Aug 08
indiantelevision.com Team

New Delhi: Doordarshan, India?s public broadcaster, has approved 163 proposals for programmes to be telecast on DD Urdu chanel, following a directive from the Prasar Bharati board on Monday.

Each of the proposals will be given 13 episodes each. DD on Wednesday placed on its website the list of 163 serials.

The board had on 6 August authorized Doordarshan to immediately proceed to build a bank of programmes for DD Urdu for the next six to eight months.

The Prasar Bharati has decided to grant phase-wise approval to the commissioned programmes for the DD Urdu channel. Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Jawhar Sircar had told indiantelevision.com that the details of the selected programmes covering all six genres to be commissioned by the pubcaster in the first phase would be uploaded soon on the DD website.

"It was a long and complex matter. Besides budget considerations too had to be balanced", said Prasar Bharati Board Chairperson Mrinal Pande.

Out of a total of 1046 proposals received for commissioning of Urdu programmes, a total of 579 proposals were shortlisted by the three Committees under the chairmanships of M. K. Kaw, Prof. Shahid Mehndi, and former DG Shiv Sharma.

The Board felt that approvals in respect of all these 579 proposals was not feasible, not only because of the huge expenditure involved but also because of issues relating to quality control, limitations on slotting and maintaining a balance between various categories and genres. The proposals shortlisted on minimum benchmark basis, final selection for the first phase of commissioning was on the basis of fund availability and requirements in various genres, as per the fixed point chart during the current financial year.

Although Doordarshan?s DD Urdu commenced in November 2007 and over 1000 proposals for new programmes were submitted in two batches by around 800 producers since 2009, the channel is only beaming repeat programmes or those taken from DD Kashmir for more than three years.

According to the producers, proposals for commissioning programmes had been invited twice, and each proposal had to be accompanied with a processing fee of Rs 25,000.

Brief proposals were invited up to 21 August 2009, wherein approximately 639 proposals were received. Presentations for the same were conducted from September 2010 to November 2010 before a duly (single) constituted committee.

The second Commissioning was notified without concluding the earlier exercise by making minor modification in the brief, but without notifying any reasons for this action.

The proposals were invited up to 1 October 2010 and up to 430 fresh proposals were submitted. The presentations for the same were conducted from 26 December 2011 to 23 February 2012 before three Committees comprising three members each.

The producers claim that the action by the public broadcaster has not only harmed the interests of Urdu, but harmed the image of the broadcaster itself.

They said each of the producers spent Rs 200,000 to Rs 500,000 each and had undergone several hardships. Apart from the processing fee of Rs. 25,000 for each proposal, the producers had spent money on reputed writers, directors and language experts, expenses were made during the presentations including air/rail travel, hotel and local conveyance for the experts were undertaken twice, money was paid for acquiring of rights of novels /published works; re-payment of the same to maintain the status quo so that the proposal still remains viable; and professional fees (although token) were paid to the creative team to remain with the project, apart from payments to language experts.

The formal announcement about DD Urdu came on 15 August 2006. The channel has been on air for 24 hours from 14 November 2007. The Channel?s mandate was to encapsulate heritage, culture, literature, information, education and societal issues specific to the target audience.