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Doordarshan (abbreviated in English as DD) is an autonomous[1] public service broadcaster founded by the Government of India, owned by the Broadcasting Ministry of India and one of Prasar Bharati's two divisions.[2] One of India's largest broadcasting organisations in studio and transmitter infrastructure, it was established on 15 September 1959.[3] Doordarshan, which also broadcasts on digital terrestrial transmitters, provides television, radio, online and mobile service throughout metropolitan and regional India and overseas through the Indian Network and Radio India.

TypeBroadcast, Satellite Television, Internet, OTT
MottoSatyam Shivam Sundaram
HeadquartersNew Delhi, Delhi
OwnerPrasar Bharati
Key people
Supriya Sahu, Director-General
Launch date
15 September 1959; 59 years ago (1959-09-15)
Former names
All India Radio
Picture format
576i (4:3 SDTV)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Official website
Building with trees and parked cars
Doordarshan Bhawan, Mandi House, Copernicus Marg, Delhi




It began modestly as an experimental broadcaster in Delhi on 14 September 1959, with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. Regular daily transmission started in 1965 as part of All India Radio, with a five-minute news bulletin read by Pratima Puri. Salma Sultan joined Doordarshan in 1967, and became a news anchor.

Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967, and is Indian television's longest running program.[4] Television service was extended to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Amritsar in 1972. Until 1975 only seven Indian cities had television service, and Doordarshan was the country's sole television provider.

Television service was separated from radio on 1 April 1976.[5] The All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of separate directors-general in New Delhi. In 1982, Doordarshan became a national broadcaster.

Nationwide transmissionEdit

National telecasts (DD National) were introduced in 1982. Colour television began in India with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 15 August of that year, followed by the colour telecast of the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.[6][7] Live telecasts of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics were broadcast on its national channel, and DD Sports provided round-the-clock coverage.[8]

On 17 November 2014, Doordarshan director-general Vijayalaxmi Chhabra introduced a pink-and-purple colour scheme and a new slogan: Desh Ka Apna Channel ("The country's own channel").[9] Doordarshan transmitted over a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters in 2017, with 46 studios producing TV programmes.[10] After the introduction of private channels Doordarshan is struggling to keep its position in the television space.[11] Currently Doordarhan is trying to improve its studios and programmes while it's primary aim is to serve the country.[12]


Doordarshan operates 34 channels: two all-India channels (DD National and DD News),[13] 17 regional satellite channels, 11 state networks, an international channel (DD India), a sports channel (DD Sports), DD Bharati, DD Urdu and DD Kisan. On DD National (DD-1), regional and local programs are carried on a time-sharing basis for terrestrial broadcasting only. DD News, launched on 3 November 2003 and replacing DD Metro (formerly known as the DD-2 entertainment channel), provides 24-hour news. These channels are relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in India. The regional-language satellite channels have two components: a regional service for a particular state (relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state), and additional programs in the regional language available through cable operators and DTH operators. DD Sports broadcasts sporting events of national and international importance. It is the only sports channel which telecasts rural sports such as kho-kho and kabbadi.

A new regional channel, DD Arun Prabha (a 24/7 satellite television channel focusing on the North Eastern region) was scheduled to begain on 15 February 2018;[14][15] however, its launch was placed on hold.[16] DD Arunprabha was launched on 9 February 2019.[17]

National ChannelsEdit

Name Programming Language Began
DD National Entertainment Hindi, English 1982
DD News News Hindi, English 2003
DD India News English 1995
DD Sports Sports Hindi, English 1998
DD Bharati Culture, Infotainment Hindi, English 2002
DD Kisan Agriculture, Infotainment Hindi 2015
DD Urdu Entertainment Urdu 2006

The international DD India entertainment channel began broadcasting in English and Hindi in 1995.

Regional ChannelsEdit

Name Programming Language Reginig Began
DD Arunprabha Entertainment Hindi Arunachal Pradesh 2019
DD Bangla Entertainment Bengali West Bengal 1975
DD Bihar Entertainment Hindi Bihar 1990
DD Chandana Entertainment Kannada Karnataka 1994
DD Girnar Entertainment Gujarati Gujarat 2003
DD Kashir Entertainment Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, Urdu, Ladakhi, Tibetan Jammu and Kashmir 2003
DD Madhya Pradesh Entertainment Hindi Madhya Pradesh 1992
DD Malayalam Entertainment Malayalam Kerala 1985
DD North-East Entertainment Assamese, Hindi, English Northeast India 1994
DD Odia Entertainment Odia Odisha 1994
DD Podhigai Entertainment Tamil Tamil Nadu 1993
DD Punjabi Entertainment Punjabi Punjab 1998
DD Rajasthan Entertainment Hindi, Rajasthani Rajasthan 1987
DD Sahyadri Entertainment Marathi Maharashtra 1972
DD Saptagiri Entertainment Telugu Andhra Pradesh 1993
DD Uttar Pradesh Entertainment Hindi Uttar Pradesh 1989
DD Yadagiri Entertainment Telugu Telangana 1977

Regional Stations and Timeshift NetworksEdit

The regional state networks serve people living in the Hindi Belt and states without their own DD channel. Their programs, produced and broadcast from each state capital from 3:00 to 8:00 pm, are relayed by the state's terrestrial transmitters.

Name Programming Languages Region Began
DD Andaman and Nicobar Entertainment Hindi (main), Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1998
DD Arunachal Pradesh Entertainment English Arunachal Pradesh 1994
DD Chhattisgarh Entertainment Hindi Chhattisgarh 1994
DD Delhi Entertainment Hindi Delhi 1959 (experimental)
1965 (regular)
DD Haryana Entertainment Hindi Haryana 2002
DD Himachal Pradesh Entertainment Hindi Himachal Pradesh 1994
DD Jharkhand Entertainment Hindi Jharkhand 1974
DD Manipur Entertainment Meitei Manipur 1998
DD Meghalaya Entertainment English Meghalaya 2002
DD Mizoram Entertainment Mizo Mizoram 1994
DD Nagaland Entertainment Naga Nagaland 1992
DD Tripura Entertainment Bengali, Tripuri Tripura 1994
DD Uttarakhand Entertainment Hindi Uttarakhand 1994[18][19][20]

Closed or renamed channelsEdit

  • DD 2 (1984–1993): Renamed DD Metro.
  • DD Metro (1993–2003): Converted to DD News.
  • Metro Gold (October 2000 – September 2001): Aired on DD Metro.
  • DD International (March 1995 – September 2000): Renamed DD World.
  • DD World (September 2000 – January 2002): Renamed DD India.
  • DD CNNi (30 June 1995 – 31 May 1997)
  • DD 3 (1995–1996): Merged with DD Movie Club and renamed DD3-Movie Club.
  • DD Movie Club(1995-1996): Merged with DD 3 and renamed DD3-Movie Club.
  • DD3-Movie Club (1996–1998): Converted to DD Sports.

International broadcastingEdit

The DD India satellite channel has been broadcast in 146 countries. In the UK, it was available through the Eurobird satellite on the Sky system's channel 833; its logo was Rayat TV. Transmission via Sky Digital ended in June 2008, and via DirecTV in the United States the following month.


Prasar Bharati is Doordarshan's parent body, and its board members are appointed by the Government of India through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.[21] Doordarshan has been used, especially during the Emergency, to disseminate government propaganda.[22] During Operation Blue Star in 1984, only government sources were used to report the story. Doordarshan was complicit in the production of a video claiming acts of violence which, when investigated by independent journalists, were found to be false.[23]

In 2004 it censored a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash Narayan, an opposition leader during the Emergency.[24] When Doordarshan broadcast a 70-minute Vijayadashami speech by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagwat, the Narendra Modi administration and the BJP were criticized for "misusing" the public broadcaster. According to DD director-general Archana Datta, the "speech was like any other news event; therefore, we covered it."[25][26][27]

Since private television channels were authorized in 1991, Doordarshan has experienced a steep decline in viewership; in 2002, DD National viewership was 2.38 percent.[28] Although it earns significant advertising revenue—due to its compulsory feed—from the highest bidder for national events (including cricket matches),[28] there has been a proposal to fund it by imposing a license fee to own a television in India.[29]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Govt plans own channel, real autonomy for Doordarshan - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. ^ "The future of Doordarshan is on the block".
  3. ^ "Doordarshan turns 57; watch video of its first telecast plus 7 lesser-known facts about DD".
  4. ^ Sharmila Mitra Deb, Indian Democracy: Problems and Prospects, Anthem Press, 2009, ISBN 978-81-907570-4-1, the well-known program Krishi Darshan, which started its telecast on January 26, 1967... 'informing' and 'educating' the farmers about improving agricultural productivity
  5. ^ Kamat, Payal. "Short essay on Development of Television in India". Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  6. ^ Flashback 1982: The Asian Games that transformed Delhi
  7. ^ 1982-Colour television is introduced: Out of the dark ages
  8. ^ "Doordarshan to live telecast London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies". The Times of India. 25 July 2012.
  9. ^ "DD National to be relaunched as 'Desh Ka Apna Channel'". 15 November 2014.
  10. ^ Doordarshan Channel List (2017). DD Free Dish Channels, 17 February 2017
  11. ^ "Doordarshan: A struggle for relevance". The Financial Express. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  12. ^ Excelsior, Daily (2019-02-07). "India's radio signals got more reach in Pakistan than their in India: Rathore". Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "PM Modi To Launch New Doordarshan Channel For The North East In Arunachal Pradesh". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  15. ^ "PM to launch DD Arun Prabha on Feb 15 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  16. ^ "Launch of DD's Arun Prabha put on hold". The Asian Age. 2018-10-07. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  17. ^ "PM Modi launches DD Arun Prabha channel in Itanagar today". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  18. ^ "".
  19. ^ "Television - Doordarshan".
  20. ^ "".
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Channel war drives DD to shelve bias". New Delhi: The Telegraph. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  23. ^ [1] Archived 17 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Kuldip Nayar Posted: 9 November 2004 at 0012 hrs IST (9 November 2004). "Censoring his own past". Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief's speech live, stirs controversy". The Times of India. 3 October 2014.
  26. ^ Kalbag, Chaitanya (3 October 2014). "A dangerous line was crossed when Doordarshan telecast Bhagwat's speech live". Quartz.
  27. ^ "RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech covered just like a news event: Doordarshan". The Indian Express. 3 October 2014.
  28. ^ a b "DD leads viewership sweepstakes &#151 Tops among all homes nationwide, but lowest in C&S". The Hindu Business Line. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  29. ^ Himanshi Dhawan (10 July 2007). "Govt mulls 'licence fee' on every colour TV". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2012.


External linksEdit