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DD to present weekly Sanskrit news magazine from July

MUMBAI: Doordarshan is all set to present a weekly Sanskrit news magazine focusing on events from around the world. The service will launch this July.

DD is presently working on designing the programme, which will be mainly divided into news, features and debates completely in Sanskrit.

According to the Economic Times, the programme will showcase current affairs and other stories of interest from around the world. Going ahead, depending on the interest of the viewers, the officials could look at adding more features. The team is taking help from experts in the language to ensure the quality of the content.

Doordarshan additional director general of news Akshay Rout said, “We are putting in the best efforts to get reporters, editors and anchors fluent in Sanskrit, mostly on contractual basis. The half-an-hour programme will be telecast on weekends. We will finalise the name in the next few days.”

The report adds that DD officials are studying the trends and patterns with regard to the use of Sanskrit across the country in preparation for the project.

An official adds to the report saying, “We have unprecedented demand for Sanskrit programmes in some states like Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and even abroad. Doordarshan has channels and programmes in all languages, including Urdu. Why not Sanskrit?”

Earlier, DD had a news bulletin in Sanskrit called ‘Varta’ at 6:55 am everyday. There are plans to extend the duration to at least ten minutes in the coming days.

Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash told ET, “We are examining the feasibility of the existing bulletins. Right now, it is a five-minute bulletin, which I think is too short. It is neither here nor there. We may extend the time once we have the necessary staff.”

The first Sanskrit bulletin on AIR was broadcast in 1974 almost four decades after the national radio service started in 1936. The report mentions that Sanskrit was the last language to be taken up by AIR’s news service division, after even Sindhi and Nepali.

ET added that the plans for the news programmes in Sanskrit come in the wake of the focus on the language ever since the Modi government came to power. The broadcaster is also likely to see a revamp in the coming months.

Besides the programme on Sanskrit, Doordarshan will also present a weekly programme ‘Good News India’ in different languages to show how lives of people are being transformed across the country.

“The focus of news has always been on crime and mishaps but one must not focus that there are inspiring stories too in everyday life. The objective of the programme will be to motivate people,” Rout added.