I and  B Minister delivers the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2017
New Delhi : Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has said that the model structure of broadcasting should focus on democratized viewership. This should be based on an accurate measurement system that reflects the strength of regional languages, varied tastes of viewers/consumers and bridges the divide on issues related to agenda setting, creative content and revenue between the mainstream and regional platforms.
Smt. Irani stated this while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2017 here today on the topic "Model for Broadcast landscape for Democracies"

Elaborating further, the Minister said that while broadcasting sector is based on business propositions and technological upgradation, the Mann ki Baat programme of the Hon'ble Prime Minister was an ideal example of how a technology platform blended PM's message with citizen understanding and awareness of the issues highlighted by him in each episode.

Talking about the prevailing trends in the News segment of the broadcasting landscape, Smt. Irani said that News today had become a "Spectator Sport" as technology had blurred the lines between content and broadcast. As a consequence, while a certain section of the Media Space adhered to codes, ethics and conduct rules, the other segment was driven by rush for TRP's, eyeballs thereby being influenced by the "Headlines competing with Hashtag". This was extremely important in the light of the social media explosion taking place in the country which provided a new pathway for information dissemination.

Speaking on the profile of the public broadcaster Smt. Irani said it had placed public interest before business and profit interest as in the case of private channels. It was incumbent upon Prasar Bharati to speak freely and fairly for the progress of the nation. The Minister called upon the public broadcaster to weave stories on the lives of ordinary people which could have an impact both within India and abroad. This would also enable it to weave information with the citizenry of the country.

The Minister mentioned it would be the endeavour of the I&B Ministry to promote the concept of "Design Thinkers" for content generation in the digital space in the light of the growing use of technology by the young generation in areas of internet, mobile content and Animation & Gaming. This would also incorporate the elements of the New India vision envisaged by the Hon'ble Prime Minister by 2022.

Highlighting the fulcrum strength of Ministry of I&B, Smt. Irani said that the Information Service officers profile would be strengthened in the future by giving them skill sets along with an integrated administrative exposure so as to enable them to serve policy and programmes of the people through the medium of information. This would be along the lines of Sardar Patel's vision of creating a steel frame to serve the people through the channel of information dissemination.

The annual lecture was organized by the All India Radio as a mark of respect to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Minister of Information and Broadcasting. These lectures were started in 1955 and the first Memorial lecture was delivered by Sri C. Rajagopalachari. In this series, the speakers in the previous years included Dr. Zakir Hussain, Shri Morarji Desai, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and other luminaries.

(Posted on 27 October 2017, 1675854920 3O238O181O138)