Radio and Television

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50 years of Indian Television
India witnessed its first television clipping 50 years ago. Since then, rest is history. Today India is amongst the world’s biggest television markets. Approximately half of all Indian households own a television today. From a single television channel, over 300 satellite TV channels are broadcasted today.

Beginning: Doordarshan had a modest beginning with the experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959 with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. The television service was extended to Bombay and Amritsar in 1972. Till 1975, seven Indian cities had television service and Doordarshan remained the only television channel. Television services were separated from radio in 1976. Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi. Finally Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence. National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, color TV was introduced in the Indian market with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by then PM Indira Gandhi on 15 August 1982, followed by the 1982 Asian Games.

TV Programs: The 80s was the era of Doordarshan with shows like Hum Log (1984), Buniyaad (1986-87) and comedy shows like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984), Mythological dramas like Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1989-90) glued millions to Doordarshan and later on Bharat Ek Khoj, The Sword of Tipu Sultan and Chandrakanta. Hindi film songs based programs like Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Superhit Muqabla crime thrillers like Karamchand, Byomkesh Bakshi. Shows targeted at children include Dada Dadi ki Kahaniyan, Vikram Betal, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama.

Post Liberalisation Television: The central government launched a series of economic and social reforms in 1991 under PM Narasimha Rao. Under the new policies the government allowed private and...
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