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Centre to Set up 'BBC World'-Like Channel to Relay 'India's Point of View' on Global Issues: Report

Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

Prasar Bharati has reportedly floated a draft Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting comments from private players.

The Centre is planning to set up a new channel, DD International — on the lines of BBC World — that will project India’s voice globally on significant domestic and global issues.

According to an exclusive report by The Print, Prasar Bharati, floated a draft Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting comments from private players. The EOI will be finalised following these comments, and will then be floated to invite bids from the private players, who will be expected to draft a Detailed Project Report on establishing the channel.

Sources in Prasar Bharati informed The Print that the new DD International channel aims to be a truly global channel like BBC World, and ensure that it is not just watched by the Indian diaspora but also by a global audience.

The objective of the channel, according to the draft EOI, is primarily to provide India’s point of view globally on contemporary issues of both global and domestic significance and telling the India story to a global audience.

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After India’s status was downgraded from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free‘ by the US government-funded NGO Freedom House, the Centre is also considering coming up with a home-bred ‘world democracy report’ and a ‘global press freedom index.’

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the ministry of external affairs is in talks about two new indices to be brought out by an independent Indian think tank.

The discussions to do this were going on before recent reports by Freedom House and V-Dem Institute downgraded India’s democratic rankings.

News18 could not independently verify the developments.

In March this year, the Centre issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the report by Freedom House that downgraded India’s ranking on its freedom index and classified it as a ‘Partly Free’ country.

In its statement, the government had said that the ‘Freedom in the World’ report is “misleading, incorrect and misplaced”.

The report had given India a ‘global freedom score’ of 67/100, after judging it on various political rights and civil liberties. The issues raised by the report included the alleged discrimination suffered by Muslims in India.

It also pointed to arrests of activists involved in different movements, and actions taken against some NGOs based in India.

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