The Indian government is working to set up a new television channel –on the lines of BBC World – to project India’s agenda globally on significant domestic and global issues.
According to reports, Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcasting agency, floated a draft Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting comments from private players.
The EOI will be finalised following these comments, and will then be floated to invite bids from the private players, who will be expected to draft a Detailed Project Report on establishing the channel.
The Print reported that the objective of the channel is primarily to provide India’s point of view globally on contemporary issues of both global and domestic significance and telling the India story to a global audience.
The channel would supposedly be called DD International.
The move comes amidst international criticism Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced over the years. From the passage of controversial bills every other year to handling of the pandemic, Mr Modi has failed to flatter the international press unlike India’s.
According to reports the Modi administration is also working on a home-bred ‘world democracy report’ and a ‘global press freedom index.’ This after India’s status was downgraded from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free‘ by the US government-funded NGO Freedom House.
When the Freedom House report downgraded India’s democratic rankings, the Indian government issued a point-by-point rebuttal.
In its statement, the government had said that the ‘Freedom in the World’ report is “misleading, incorrect and misplaced”.
The report had given India a ‘global freedom score’ of 67/100, after judging it on various political rights and civil liberties. The issues raised by the report included the alleged discrimination suffered by Muslims in India.
The freedom report also pointed to arrests of activists involved in different movements, and actions taken against some NGOs based in India.