In a move to promote educational content through satellite, an MoU was signed between Shri Ashok Thakur, Secretary, MHRD and Shri Jawahar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati at New Delhi.
In the first phase 50 DTH channels will be launched for which the content shall originate from institutions of higher learning, that include IITs, IGNOU, State Open Universities, Central Universities, NITs, etc.
The content, mostly live, shall reach a Teleport / Earth Station (being hired presently) through optical fiber connectivity.
The Government has decided to use ICT to make deep inroads in the education system. For this DTH is the first choice, since TV, being the most widely available ICT delivery tool has the potential to reach out to approximately 16 crore Indian homes out of 24 crore households as its delivery is the most cost effective way to reach the masses.
Each channel shall deliver mostly live telecasts, 9 hours a day, to be repeated in the next 15 hours. The content generation and delivery through 50 DTH channels, shall amount to 1,64,250 hours of educational material a year, equivalent to 4106 Courses (each course of 40 hour duration) in UG & PG subjects.
The DTH channels of MHRD shall carry curriculum based content in almost all subjects being taught in universities and colleges. The programme is designed in such a way that educational content besides being viewed on TV sets shall also be made available to viewers on IP devices such as PCs, Tablets (including Aakash), smart phones and on other personal devices.
The entire budget for the next one and half year for 50 DTH channels will be around Rs. 250 crore to Rs. 300 crore. Later 1000 channels will be launched under a 4600 crore rupee programme under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT).
These educational channels will handle structured lecture series and all the lectures will be made available on portal. Special Purpose Vehicle with the representative of Prasar Bharati and MHRD will be established to implement the project.