I&B to begin digitising AIR, DD archives

The Union information and broadcasting ministry has decided to initiate the process of digitisation of archives of All India Radio and Doordarshan. I&B minister Ambika Soni is understood to have instructed the ministry

officials to finalise a plan for a time-bound restoration and preservation of the archival resource base held by the two national broadcasters.
Amongst the rich archival material in the possession of these two broadcasters are speeches by various Prime Ministers, Presidents, leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and thousands of hours of recording of classical and folk music.
Official sources stated that the plan is to preserve the rich cultural and historical broadcasts on these channels for the future generations and also make these accessible in the form of a digital library. The project was initiated after it was pointed out that several other international broadcasters have already preserved the programmes held in their libraries.
Sources stated that the I&B minister has asked for a time bound finalisation of the project. “She has instructed the ministry officials to engage the services of best technical experts in conservation, restoration and preservation of these archival material,” sources added.
The minister has also pointed out that with the Planning Commission already giving its in principle approval for the creation of a National Film Heritage Mission, at the cost of Rs 660 crore, the task of digitisation of archives of All India Radio and Doordarshan will not be difficult.
It is understood that the entire process will help the ministry in tabulation of the programmes available with the national broadcasters. “Apart from tabulation, the entire process will also help us in establishing a copyright status of these programmes and help us in stopping piracy,” sources added.
The ministry has also, so far, kept its options open on using the expertise of government agencies or taking the project up in the PPP mode, sources stated.

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