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DD Kisan set for launch on May 26

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NEW DELHI: Keen to counter criticism on the land acquisition bill, the government is all set to launch DD Kisan — India’s first 24×7 channel for farmers. While the channel has been in the works for about a year, it was announced in the 2014 Union Budget, its biggest challenge will be to put the government’s point of view on the land acquisition bill to counter the opposition’s “pro-corporate, anti-poor” stance.

Sources said PM Narendra Modi could launch the channel at a farmers’ rally in Uttar Pradesh on May 26 to commemorate one year of the NDA government. However, a final decision is yet to be taken on the issue.

Some of the components planned for the channel include a ticker from the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, daily market rates for commodities and weather updates. Sources said it would also support campaigns by other ministries like the agriculture ministry campaign to adopt crop diversification to enable farmers to get out of the debt trap.

“The channel will provide intensive messaging for alternative crop patterns from agricultural experts to move out of specific crops and invest in others,” a source said. The channel is also expected to talk about government campaigns like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ on improving the child sex ratio and Swachch Bharat.

Meanwhile, dry runs started in March-end and the Hindi channel is now ready with about 376 hours of fresh content. So far, public broadcaster Doordarshan has a one-hour Krishi Darshan program on agriculture and animal husbandry. “The attempt is to break away from the Krishi Darshan mould and introduce new programming that is educative and entertaining,” an official said.

Among the issues that will be addressed through the channel are new farming techniques, water conservation, organic farming, weather reports, credit availability and market reports. The programming will include quiz shows, talk shows, phone-in programmes, news bulletins besides fictional content like films, cookery shows, game shows and song-based programmes.

The channel will initially have a live broadcast of 3.5 hours every day including one hour of mandi and weather reports, one hour of agricultural issues, horticulture, animal husbandry, one hour of phone-in on core agricultural issues, half an hour of news bulletin. Prasar Bharati also plans to dub or sub-title select programmes for regional centres.

Source: The Times of India

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