Mumbai: The cabinet committee on economic affairs has approved the ministry of information and broadcasting's proposal for the broadcasting infrastructure and network development (BIND) central sector project, providing Rs 2,539.61 crore for Prasar Bharati's infrastructure development, including All India Radio and Doordarshan (DD).
"The BIND scheme is the vehicle for providing financial support to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to the expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development, and civil work related to the organisation," the I&B ministry said in a statement.
The BIND scheme will allow the public broadcaster to upgrade its facilities with better infrastructure, expand its reach, including in LWE, border, and strategic areas, and provide high-quality content to viewers.
Another major priority area of the scheme is the creation of high-quality content for both domestic and international audiences, as well as ensuring the availability of diverse content to viewers through the expansion of the DTH platform's capacity to accommodate more channels.
The project will also include the purchase of OB vans and the digital upgrade of DD and AIR Studios to make them HD-ready.
Doordarshan currently operates 36 TV channels, including 28 regional channels, and AIR operates over 500 broadcasting centres. The scheme will expand the country's coverage of AIR FM transmitters to 66 per cent by geographical area and 80 per cent by population, up from 59 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively.
The scheme also includes the free distribution of over eight lakh DD Free Dish STBs to residents of remote, tribal, low-income, and border areas.