Out of the Rs 1,100 crore estimated for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Rs 600 crore has been set aside for the recently announced Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) Scheme, which will cost a total of over Rs 2,500 crore.
Under the plan, which was approved by the Union Cabinet last month, the government will expand the reach of All India Radio’s FM channels to more than 80% of the country’s population and give out 8 lakh DD Free Dish Set Top Boxes to people living in remote, tribal, Left-Wing Extremism (LWE), and border areas.
The goal of the scheme is to improve public broadcasting in the country. It focuses on building up the infrastructure of Prasar Bharati, which includes All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
Prasar Bharati, which got Rs 315 crore last financial year, has not been given any extra money. When the BIND scheme was announced in January, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said, “The BIND scheme is the vehicle for providing financial support to the public broadcaster for expenses related to expanding and upgrading its broadcasting infrastructure, developing content, and doing civil work related to the organisation.”