DD National, Doordarshan
`s key channel, is the most extensively available television channel. Telecast had begun on September 15, 1959 on a tentative basis, from a temporary studio at Akashvani Bhavan, New Delhi. It was a part of All India Radio
at that time. Initially it aired developmental and educational shows, with 20 receivers from Delhi.
History of Indian DD National
Daily transmission was introduced from 1965. In 1976, it was detached from All India Radio and was fully managed from New Delhi, by two different Director Generals. National Programming of Doordarshan was commenced from 1982, after local stations were linked with the INSAT 1A. Moreover in 1982, the speech given by the Prime Minister of that time, Indira Gandhi
, was telecast live along with the live broadcast of the 1982 Asian games, Delhi. Furthermore a program was launched to place new transmitters that would enhance Doordarshan`s reach. By the next year, the channel covered almost 28% of the populace, which further increased to 90% by 1990 due to the commercialisation of the channel and increase in revenue and sponsorship.
Till mid-80s, channel transmission was limited to evenings only. Later in 1987, the channel commenced morning broadcast with a two hour telecast. In 1989, afternoon transmission, targeted at housewives, was launched. Since late-90s, the channel broadcasts from 4:30 am till 2:00 am terrestrially while the satellite feed is available 24 hours a day.
Programmes of Indian DD National
Various educational components are obtained from the contributions from varied sources like Universities, such as Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), University Grants Commission (UGC), Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and State Institutes of Education Technology (SIET). In addition to this, there were sponsored programmes like Turning Point, Adult Education programmes, Terra Quiz and Bhoomi, programmes on issues related to women, tribal women and other public service programmes which are broadcast on regular basis.
DD National broadcasts National programmes that are mainly aimed at promoting national integration and inculcating a sense of unity and fraternity. DD National is the leading channel in the country in terms of absolute viewership. DD National blends a healthy and strong mix of entertainment, information and education. The telecast time of this composite public service channel is so devised that it caters to the needs of different viewers, i.e., the different target audience, at different timings.
News and Current Affairs
The information component on DD National consists of news and current affairs programmes. The 8.00 to 8.30 p.m. Samachar (News) is the most watched news bulletin in the country. The Question Hour in Parliament is telecast live on the DD National and DD News Channel. A specific window is earmarked for programmes in regional languages between 3.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. on all weekdays for public utility and entertainment programmes in the regional languages and dialects.
Major National Events
All major National events like the Republic Day Parade, Independence Day Celebrations, National Award Presentation ceremonies, President and Prime Minister`s addresses to the Nation, important Parliamentary debates, Railway and General Budget presentations, Question Hour in Lok Sabha
and Rajya Sabha
, Election results and analysis, swearing-in ceremonies, President and Prime Minister`s visits abroad and visits of important foreign dignitaries to India are covered live on DD National. Important sports events like Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Cricket Matches and other important sporting events are also telecast live.
The entertainment programmes mainly consist of mid-day daily soaps telecast between 12 noon and 3.00 p.m. and serial Programmes from 8.30 pm to midnight. This includes telecast of feature films, as well as award winning regional films on weekends, also music programmes like Rangoli, Chitrahaar, and Superhit Muqabla, that used to be telecast earlier. Soaps like Buniyaad
, Humlog, and Nukkad were very accepted. After which there came thrillers like Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand, and Tahqekaat. Kashish and Farmaan were two romantic soaps. Shanti was amongst the first daily soaps that started on Doordarshan, which quickly became a trend followed by Swabhimaan, Itihaas etc.
A new format film slot, Bioscope, was introduced on DD National during 2004. In this slot a Hindi feature film is telecast in serialised form on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 pm. Keeping in view its commitment for promoting quality cinema, Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) and Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) National award winning regional feature films are telecast on the last Sunday of the month at 11.30 p.m.
Doordarshan has a three tier programme service - National, Regional and Local. The emphasis in the National programmes is on events and issues of interest to the entire nation. These programmes include news and current affairs, magazine programmes and documentaries on science, art and culture, environment, social issues, serials, music, dance, drama and feature films. The regional programmes are aired at particular times and also on the Regional Language Satellite Channels, catering to the interests of a particular state, in the language of that region. The local programmes are area specific and cover local issues featuring local people.
has entered into a partnership with the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) to source quality documentaries on various issues of concern to the public. These documentaries, produced by eminent as well as budding film makers are telecast on DD National every Sunday at 9.30 p.m. Like the famous documentary `War and Peace` by the famous filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. Prasar Bharati also participates actively in the annual documentary film festival known as the Open Frame.
Now Doordarshan is often criticised for poor telecast and presentation quality. However, Doordarshan is still the only television provider for vast majority of the population, who don`t have satellite television.