15th September 1959: Public Service Broadcaster Doordarshan is launched


On 15th September 1959, Doordarshan (DD) India’s Public Service broadcaster was launched in New Delhi.


Doordarshan is a part of the Prasar Bharti (India’s largest public broadcaster) and is the largest broadcasting company in India and has a strong studio and transformer infrastructure. Doordarshan extends TV, Radio, mobile and online services across metropolitan and regional areas, as well as internationally, through the Indian network and radio across India. Doordarshan had a humble beginning on 15th September 1959 in Delhi, with a test telecast, using a temporary studio and a small transmitter.


In 1965, regular daily transmissions were started by Doordarshan as a part of the All India Radio. By 1972, TV services were extended to Mumbai and Amritsar up to 1975 only 7 cities across India had TV service and Doordarshan was the only service provider of TV in India.


On 1st April 1976, TV services were separated from radio and the office of the All India Radio and Doordarshan were managed by separate Director Generals in Delhi. In 1982 Doordarshan came into existence as a national broadcaster and reached all parts of the country. The first program to be telecast on Doordarshan was Krishi Darshan, which began on 26th January 1967 and is remembered as the longest running TV program.


Some popular TV shows on Doordarshan were; Hum Log, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Buniyaad, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Shaktimaan, Bharat Ek Khoj, Chitrahaar, Karamchand, Byomkesh Bakshi, Vikram aur Betaal, Malgudi Days, Oshin (a Japanese TV series), Jungle Book, The Peacock Calls and University Girls (documentaries).


Currently, Doordarshan operates 21 channels, out of which two are all India channels - DD National and DD News, 11 regional language satellite channels, and sports channels (DD Sports), four state networks and Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha TV, which broadcast parliamentary proceedings live. DD National (also known as DD1) broadcasts regional and local programs. The DD New channel provides 24 hours news broadcast.


The regional language satellite channels are divided into two parts; regional services for that particular state and regional language programs available through cable operators. DD Sports is the only channel which broadcasts national and international sporting events and is also the only sports channel which covers sports such as Kho-Kho and Kabaddi, which are popular in rural areas and are not covered by other private TV channels.


An interactive service of Tata Sky shows Doordarshan programs which are not otherwise available on Tata Sky or other channels. Some active Doordarshan channels are DD Kashmiri, DD Gujarati, DD Punjabi and DD Chandana. Doordarshan also has a service called DD Direct Plus which is DTH service and is free of charge. Doordarshan India also broadcasts internationally through a satellite and is available across 146 channels around the world. From a modest beginning in 1959, Doordarshan now has a global reach and continues to inform and entertain viewers of different generations across geography.


Also on This Day:


1860: M. Visvesvaraya was born.

1903: Wazir Syed Ali, right-hand batsman and right-arm fast medium bowler, was born at Jalandhar.

1909: C.N Annadurai, one of the founders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was born.

1948: Independent India’s first flagship INS Delhi (alias R.N Achilles) arrived at Mumbai port.

1953: S. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was elected as the first lady President of the eighth session of the United Nations Organisations General Assembly.



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