Broadcast Engineering Society (India) (BES (I)), celebrated National Public Service Broadcasting Day today at Constitution Club, New Delhi on 12 November 2014. Shri Kailash Satyarthi, the Noble Peace Prize Laureate 2014 from India was the Chief Guest.
Dignitaries present at the event included Shri Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati, Shri F Sheheryar, DG, All India Radio, Sh N A Khan and Engineer-in-Chief Doordarshan and Animesh Chakravarty, Engineer-in-Chief AIR.
BES celebrates the day every year on 12 November because Mahatma Gandhi made his first speech to the Nation on All India Radio on 12 November 1947 at Nilokheri Refugee Camp, Kurukshetra, Haryana. Celebrations started Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan, “Vaishnav Jan”, followed by welcome address by Sh. O.K. Sharma, President BES (I).
Delivering the keynote address, Shri Jawhar Sircar spoke about the importance of Public Service Broadcasting in a large democratic country like India. He explained how All India Radio emotionally bonded all communities in the Nation, post independence. He also told that Doordarshan Television took this responsibility further by providing content of our cultural heritage like Mahabharata and Ramayana, strengthening the emotional unity of the country.
Talking about the future developments in Public Service Broadcasting in India, Shri Sircar said that keeping up with the technological developments, we need to strengthen FM Radio now and upgrade to DRM III and Internet streaming Radio within the next few years as the present digital radio technologies will become obsolete soon.
Also, in television, Prasar Bharati is exploring expanding its FreeDish DTH service to 112 channels and bring up its subscriber base adding some popular private channels. He suggested that apart from auctioning the transponder space to Private channels, there is a need to get some International knowledge based channels in regional languages like Discovery and National Geographic Channel, even if we have to pay for them. We also need to explore the option adding some popular channels without charging any carriage. This would also entail a good marketing set-up which he has already initiated.
Shri Satyarthi who has been honoured with the Noble Peace Prize this year for saving thousands of children from slavery all over the world, spoke about giving emotional support to our children and not to pressurize them with overload of guidance. He appreciated All India Radio saying that it helped him to great a extent in his ‘ Bachpan Bachao Aandolan’ to reach out to parents who had lost their children.
Three veteran engineers of Prasar Bharati namely, M C Aggarwal, G S Sarma and A R Krishnamurthy were given lifetime achievement awards. Sh P K Singh, Hon Secy of BES thanked all the guests and dignitaries attending the event