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Telangana govt plans to have own satellite to telecast channels

MUMBAI: In what can cause concern to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Telangana government is planning to have its own satellite to telecast multiple channels.

TRAI had already recommended that state governments should not be running TV channels or distribution platforms like cable TV networks. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has still not given its nod to this recommendation.

Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao, who launched the T-SAT network of two channels formerly known as Mana TV1 and Mana TV2 now renamed as the T-SAT Vidya and Nipuna, said Telangana government wishes to have its own satellite to telecast channels targeting various segments like education, agriculture, health, skill development and employment.

Rao, who recently met ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar, said such channels would integrate technology with social skills and develop the content for the benefit of large section of the people.

The minister said that if not today, the day Telangana having its own satellite was not far. ISRO was recently in news for launching 104 satellites at a time.

According to Rao, the Mana TV channels made a huge impact on the training of youngsters for various education and competitive tests. The YouTube segment of the channel was accessed by 1.27 people, up from just 10,223 almost a year ago. Viewership increased to 7.74 crore minutes from just 25,443 minutes.

The difference was marked after the channels were aired by Cable TV networks to 70 lakh households on the prime band, The Hindu reported. Earlier, only those with Receive only Terminals (RoTs) had the access.

Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said that the channels should have separate programmes on agriculture and the officials would be happy to provide the content and the expertise to reach out to the farmers, the daily reported.

Health Minister C. Lakshma Reddy agreed and wanted to use the platform to create awareness among people on health issues and government programmes.

For running TV channels, state governments will have to depend on the centre as the MIB has to grant permission. Similarly, state governments cannot run cable TV networks without obtaining licence from the MIB.