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MIB asks nodal officers of UP, Bihar and Karnataka to step up efforts for DAS Phase IV

MUMBAI: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka are the states which seem to be moving slow in Phase IV of digital addressable system (DAS).

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) additional secretary and digital addressable system (DAS) Task Force chairperson Jayashree Mukherjee asked nodal officers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka to step up efforts to complete digitisation in Phase IV areas.

With the deadline for Phase IV nearing, the ministry wanted an update on the progress made so far. It also pushed for deployment of set-top boxes (STBs) manufactured in India as there seemed to be no scarcity of supply.

Noting that only four months are left for DAS Phase IV, Mukherjee told the representatives of Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal to give details of the progress of implementation of digitisation in Phase III and measures being undertaken by them to implement Phase IV in their respective states.

The nodal officers said that they were holding regular meetings to monitor the progress and were trying to resolve the issues with stakeholders, in order to achieve the target of complete digitisation by cut-off date of 31 December 2016.

Mukherjee requested all stakeholders to pull up their socks to meet the deadline of Phase IV cable TV digitisation.

The 17th meeting of the Task Force on implementation of Phases III & IV of DAS was held on 31 August.

Nodal officers

Mukherjee asked the state nodal officers to take help of the assistant project directors of regional units to implement complete digitisation in their states and carry out regular monitoring of the progress at the state, as well as district level, preferably on weekly basis.

She mentioned that the schedule of the meeting planned at state level may be sent to the ministry so that if required, ministry’s representative could also be present in some of these meetings.

Domestic STBs

Mukherjee also noted that there was no scarcity of STBs with the domestic manufacturers, and hence multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) could consider placing orders for the same.

During the meeting, the representative of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) mentioned that they were not getting sufficient orders of STBs from the big players, though they had a good enough stock of STBs.

Public awareness campaign

In order to mount publicity campaign, the broadcasters could develop their own AV spot and start using it by 30 September, besides running scrolls on their channels, she stated.

On the advice of MSO representative, it was decided that an advisory would be issued by the ministry to all MSOs to carry public awareness campaign on their local channels.

Regarding public awareness campaign, the representatives of the IBF informed that their members had already started campaigning using 2 AV spots provided by the ministry. They further informed that scrolls were also being planned by their members.

The chairperson emphasised the need for developing their own AV spots by IBF members, as was done on earlier occasions. The IBF representative assured developing the same and starting using it by 30 September 2016.

The ministry will issue press notes regularly on the status of cable TV digitisation.

Grievance redressal mechanism

Earlier, the MIB joint secretary (broadcasting) K Sanjay Murthy had mentioned that the issue of setting up a grievance redressal mechanism at the national level for MSOs, LCOs and consumers had been discussed with the representatives of broadcasters a few days back. He enquired into the status of setting up of such a system.

The IBF representative mentioned that they would submit a proposed plan by 10 September to the ministry.