2012: India to be 97% broadband enabled


    MUMBAI: Even as India is stepping into a future, which is poised to be digital across all platforms, a lot of questions face the media and entertainment industry. For starters questions like does India have the talent pool for digital content creation? Are the digital platforms able enough? In which year will digital content see a boom in India?


    Addressing the industry at the ASSOCHAM Focus conference in New Delhi, Planning Commission member secretary Raajeva Ratna Shah disclosed the 11th five year plan for 2008-2012. The plan is in keeping with digital content production and distribution in India.


    Shah said, “The government along with Nasscom and private industry associates will set up 20 IIIT’s (Indian Institute of Information Technology) in various parts of the country for which the Planning Commission has already made a provision of Rs 100 crores. The government will ensure broadband accessibility to almost every citizen in countryside, covering 97 per cent of its geographical area by 2012.”


    These two policies have been approved by National Development Council and its full fledged meeting concluded on 19 December under the cof the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.


    During the session, Raajeva Ratna Shah also mentioned that:  


    • The animation created by India has been top class, the quantity is low. India is yet to make a mark in the world of animation.
    • By 2015 analog format will be completely out. Broadcasting will be digital too, in fact, Doordarshan channels are digital already. Since the last four years no analog mode terrestrial transmitters have been allowed. All private broadcasters are digital.
    • Television set manufacturing companies should manufacture TV with digital screen. Until now, cable operators converted digital content into analog for broadcasting purpose. But by 2015- 2016 there should be more digital TV sets.
    • The digital content created henceforth should be more interactive. The broadcast mode content until now had the viewer in a layback mode.  
    • Digital content should be created for rural areas in local language in keeping with their standard of living and work environment. Rural India is a market of one million people who represent the bottom of the pyramid and future stream of money. Broadband revolution will ride on wings of entertainment throughout the country It will drive other special content like medicine, banking education etc. to rural areas.

    Elaborating further on the IIITs, Shah said, “Relevant industry associates have to come forward with a blue print. The government will not encourage any particular industrial house to take initiative for setting up IIITs. The industry associations having a clear cut vision of such institutions would be entitled to receive a part of allocations out of Rs 100 crores in which education would be imparted for skill contents relating to nano IT/computing content, bio- IT/computing content, information security, telemedicine, telebanking and finance.”