Television was introduced in India on an experimental basis in Delhi on 15th September, 1959. This was made into a regular service in 1965. Thereafter, a number of T. V. centres namely, Mumbai, Srinagar, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Chennai and Lucknow were set up from October 1972 onwards in quick succession. The T.V. network received a big boost during the Ninth Asian Games in November 1982, when 20 low power transmitters were installed at different state capitals and important towns. Another landmark was achieved on 15th August, 1982 when colour television was introduced in the country. Doordarshan also started its National Programme.
Doordarshan network consists of 64 Doordarshan Kendras/Production Centres, 24 Regional News Units, 126 Doordarshan Maintenance Centres, 202 High Power tranmitters, 828 Low Powr Transmitters, 351 Low Power Transmitters, 18 Transposers, 30, Channesl and DTH Service and has a sanctioned strength of 21708 officers and staff of various categories.
Television is one of the greatest miracles of science. It was invented by J.L. Baird. One can now see live pictures on the screen while sitting in one’s own house. On the radio set, one can only hear the voice of the speaker but on television one can even see his own picture. This invention has brought about a revolution in the fields of entertainment, education and communication.
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The greatest advantage of television is that one can watch its programmes at home. One need not go out for it. Television has great educative value for school and college students. It is a boon for a developing country like India. India is a vast country. It has an area of 32.87 lakh sq. km and a population of about 103 crore. Television programmes telecast under the National Network can reach out to the people living in the farthest and remotest parts of the country. Television gives us the latest national and international news.
We can see films and dramas on television. We can hear talks given by politicians, scientists, scholars, film stars, poets, writers, artists, musicians and other eminent persons. These talks play an important role in the mobilisation of public opinion. Television enlarges the frontiers of our knowledge.
Another advantage of television is that it helps to focus the attention of the people on social and political evils prevailing in society. Some of these evils are untouchability, dowry, drinking, gambling, drug addiction, etc. It can exhort the people to root out these evils.
Television also comes in handy to popularise Government policies and programmes like family welfare, tree plantation, adult education, etc. It is an effective medium for imparting civic sense among citizens.
Corruption is the enemy number one of our country. It is present in all walks of life. Television can play an important role in fighting the menace of corruption. People can be made aware of the evil effects of corruption on our economic and ethical life. They can be advised to help the Government in curbing bribery, black marketing, smuggling, hoarding, etc.
Television serves as a link between the Government and the people. It makes the people aware of the policies, programmes and activities of the Government. It also makes the Government aware of the problems being faced by the people.
Television has great entertainment value. We can see on it our favourite films. Sports lovers are able to watch sports events of national and international importance on their T. V. When cricket matches are relayed “live”, people remain glued to their T.V. sets for the whole day.
Nearly 70 per cent of our people live in villages. Agricultural programmes relayed on television interest the villagers very much. It enables them to boost their agricultural production. It tells them how they can supplement their income by taking to fishery, piggery and poultry in their spare time. In every News Bulletin, a weather forecast is given for the information and guidance of the farmers.
When the Parliament is in session, the highlights of the day’s proceedings in both of its Houses are telecast on the television so that the people remain in touch with the Parliament, where their elected representatives sit and deliberate on problems facing the country.
Television is also being put to good use by telecasting educational programmes for the benefit of school and college students. Special programmes are also telecast during the days of examination.
There is a saying, “there is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so”. Television, nay any other gift for mankind, cannot by itself be either good or bad. It merely places at man’s disposal more power and potential. But it is entirely upto man how he would put to use his power. Television has certain disadvantages also. Experience has shown that if a person spends too much time in watching T.V. daily, he will become lazy and shirk work. Doctors say that if a person, especially a child, sees television from a close range, it adversely affects his eyesight. Students sometimes fall into the bad habit of seeing films regularly on the T.V and V.C.R. and they neglect their studies, despite all these disadvantages, TV. Has become the most popular and effective medium of education and entertainment.