New cut-off date for DAS Phase III not to be extended, says I&B secretary Ajay Mittal

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Kolkata: The cut-off date for third phase of cable TV digitisation, already delayed due to multiple court cases, will not stretch beyond 31 January 2017.

The government, which had to extend it earlier due to various court cases, will provide no further relaxation.

“We are not going to extend the deadline for Phase III of DAS (digital addressable system). We had to extend it earlier due to various court cases,” Information and Broadcasting ministry’s Secretary Ajay Mittal said at an interactive session of the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While the new cut-off date for DAS Phase III is 31 January, for Phase IV it is 31 March 2017. Analogue signals will be switched off on the target dates in the respective areas.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to extend the Phase IV dates,” Mittal said.

According to Mittal, DD News is the top news channel in the country. With digitisation, the real figures of viewership for Doordarshan would be captured.

Mittal also questioned the quality of content on kids channels and the value systems they promoted.

With digital media seeing the fastest growth, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had set up a new media wing.

Though new media posed several challenges, Mittal maintained that the best form of regulation is self-regulation.

The government was trying to get back the original copy of the first ‘Devdas’ film which is now in Bangladesh, he said.

Mittal said that the Rs 200-crore national museum of cinema would be thrown open soon.


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