Udayavni Special

Doordarshan to share sign language bulletin with pvt TV news channels free of cost till Dec 31: Govt

PTI, Jul 30, 2021, 8:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Doordarshan will share its sign language bulletin with private TV news channels free of cost till December 31, Parliament was informed on Friday.

During this time, private news broadcasters can develop their capacity to produce their sign language news bulletins, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said in a written reply in Lok Sabha to a question on accessibility guidelines for private TV channels to broadcast news at least once a day in sign language.

Accessibility Standards for Television Programmes for Hearing Impaired was issued on September 11, 2019, to facilitate accessibility to TV programmes and news for persons with hearing impairment, he said.

”The formulated standards, inter-alia, contain provisions to make TV content, including news programmes, accessible by use of closed captioning, sign language interpretation and subtitling in a phased manner with graded targets,” Thakur said.

In respect of the accessible news, the formulated standards prescribe that ”private news broadcasters may start with daily sign language news bulletins, effective September 16, 2019, with facilitation from Doordarshan which may provide its sign language news bulletin free of cost to the private news broadcasters till December 31, 2020, during which time private news broadcasters may develop their capacity to produce their sign language news bulletins,” he said.

However, keeping in view the unprecedented Covid situation, Doordarshan has agreed to extend the sharing of the feed till December 31 to give more time to private broadcasters for making in-house arrangements, the minister said.

He also said that the implementation of the accessibility standards by the private TV channels is being monitored by the ministry and monthly reports are generated.

”The reports are also being updated in the MIS portal developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) for the purpose,” Thakur said.

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