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This article is about the Indian public broadcaster. For the terrestrial television channel, see DD National.
Type Broadcast, radio, television network and online
Country India
Availability Nationwide
Motto सत्‍यम शिवम सुंदरम
Headquarters New Delhi, Delhi, India
Owner Prasar Bharati
Launch date
15 September 1959
Former names
All India Radio
Picture format
480i (16:9 SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Official website

Doordarshan (often abbreviated DD) is autonomous India's Central Government founded public service broadcaster a division of Prasar Bharati. It is one of India's largest broadcasting organisations in terms of studio and transmitter infrastructure. Recently,[when?] it has also started broadcasting on digital terrestrial transmitters. The DD provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional India, as well as overseas through the Indian Network and Radio India. For the 2012 London Olympics, live telecasts of the opening and closing ceremonies of the games were broadcast on its national channel. DD sports channel has provided round-the-clock coverage of sport events.[1] On 15 September 2009, Doordarshan celebrated its 50th anniversary.


Doordarshan had a modest beginning with an experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959, with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. Doordarshan began a five-minute news bulletin in the same year in 1965. Pratima Puri was the first newsreader. Salma Sultan joined Doordarshan in 1967 and later became a news anchor. The television service was extended to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Amritsar in 1972. Up until 1975, only seven Indian cities had a television service and Doordarshan remained the sole provider of television in India. Television services were separated from radio on 1 April 1976.[2] Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi. Finally, in 1982, Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence. Krishi Darshan was the first program telecast on Doordarshan. It commenced on 26 January 1967 and is one of the longest running programs on Indian television.[3]

Nationwide transmission[edit]

Doordarshan Bhawan, Mandi House, Copernicus Marg, Delhi.

National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced to India with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by then prime minister Indira Gandhi on 15 August 1982, followed by the 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi. Now more than 90 percent of the Indian population can receive Doordarshan (DD National) programmes through a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters. There are about 46 Doordarshan studios producing TV programmes.

Early national programming[edit]

The 1980s were noted for Hum Log (1984), Buniyaad (1986–87) and comedy shows like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984).

  • Doordarshan used to have serials before sponsored programmes came into existence. Serials like Dadi Maa Jagi, Bibi Natiyonwali, Aur Bhi Ghum Hai Zamane Mein, and Laddoo Singh Taxi Wala (starring Paintal) were also popular.
  • Sarab Sanji Gurbani was the first sponsored programme on Doordarshan, sponsored by Texla TV.
  • Among the earliest documentary films produced by Doordarshan in Delhi are The Peacock Calls [Mor Machay Shor] (1968), TRS-FRS (1968), The Floods May Come and Go (1969), and University Girls (1971).[4]
  • Doordarshan also brought to the Indian viewers English political Comedy series Yes Minister also American Family comedy serial Diff'rent Strokes also during 1994–95 Doordarshan for four hours will air programs from MTV which had the sensational Rahul Khanna as the VJ.


Doordarshan operates 21 channels:

On DD National aka (DD-1), Regional programs and Local Programs are carried on time-sharing basis. DD News channel, launched on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD Metro formally known as (DD-2) Entertainment channel, provides 24-hour news service.

The Regional Languages Satellite channels have two components – The Regional service for the particular state relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state and additional programs in the Regional Language in prime time and non-prime time available only through cable operators. DD-Sports Channel is exclusively devoted to the broadcasting of sporting events of national and international importance. This is the only Sports Channels which telecasts rural sports like Kho-Kho, Kabbadi etc. something which private broadcasters will not attempt to telecast as it will not attract any revenues.

List of Doordarshan Channels[edit]

Active Doordarshan[edit]

It is an Interactive Service of Tata Sky to show TV channels of Doordarshan which are not available on Tata sky as normal channels. Active Doordarshan channels are DD Kashir, DD Podhigai, DD Malayalam, DD Punjabi, DD Sahyadri, DD Chandana and DD Girnar.

DD has its own DTH service called DD Direct Plus; it is free of charge.

International broadcasting[edit]

DD India is broadcast internationally via satellite. It is available in 146 countries worldwide; however, information on receiving this channel in other countries is not easily available. In the UK, DD-India was available through the Eurobird Satellite on the Sky system on Channel 833 (the logo is shown as Rayat TV). The timing and programming of DD-India international is different from that of India. Transmissions via Sky Digital ceased in June 2008 and those via DirecTV in the United States in July 2008.


Controversy over misuse of power[edit]

In 2010, as many as 24 candidates out of the 30 selected for the posts of journalists in Doordarshan News were politically motivated.[6] For example, one of the successful candidates was closely related to a former Congress minister of state for information and broadcasting and another successful candidate was the daughter of a sitting Congress Union minister. Another one was a close relative of Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.[7][8]

The number of applicants called for interview was increased from 25 to 35 to accommodate the daughter of a Congress politician, who held the 33rd rank, and would have otherwise been eliminated at the cut-off stage. Another successful candidate, Anika Kalra Kalha, was not even called for an audition and reporting skills test, and the remark in the relevant columns read “Did not qualify for this stage”. Similarly weightage given to interview was arbitrarily increased 2 days before interviews.[7]

A Tribunal, headed by chairman V K Bali, cancelled the selection of the 25 journalists working with DD News, finding "misuse of marks in the interview" and "irregularities having vitiated the whole process."

Allegations of bias[edit]

Commercial viability[edit]

  • Once private television channels were allowed in 1991, Doordarshan has seen a steep decline in viewership in homes with cable and satellite television, which in 2002 was just at 2.38% for DD National.[16]
  • While it earns significant advertising revenue due to the compulsory feed given to it by the highest bidder to national events including cricket tournaments,[16] there has been a proposal to give it funds by imposing a license fee to own a television in India like the BBC.[17] However this is unlikely to be imposed keeping in view the financial constraints of the average Indian.

Relaunch of Doordarshan[edit]

On 17 November 2014, Doordarshan will be relaunched with new theme of pink and purple and accompanied by a new punchline "Desh ka Apna Channel (country's own channel). It was announced by Vijayalaxmi Chhabra, director general, Doordarshan.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Doordarshan to live telecast London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies". The Times of India. 25 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Development of Television
  3. ^ 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 
  4. ^ SCREEN, New Delhi, 19 March 1971, & The Sunday Standard, Bombay, 10 June 1973.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Garg, Abhinav (14 September 2010). "CAT quashes DD selection of minister's kin". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  7. ^ a b JEBARAJ, PRISCILLA (NEW DELHI, September 14, 2010). "Doordarshan appointments quashed". the Hindu. Retrieved 19 January 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Quashing of 25 Doordarshan employees` appointment stayed". Zee. March 7, 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief’s speech live, stirs controversy". The Times of India. 3 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Kalbag, Chaitanya (3 October 2014). "A dangerous line was crossed when Doordarshan telecast Bhagwat’s speech live". Quartz. 
  12. ^ "RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech covered just like a news event: Doordarshan". The Indian Express. 3 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Kuldip Nayar Posted: 9 November 2004 at 0012 hrs IST (9 November 2004). "Censoring his own past". Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "Channel war drives DD to shelve bias". New Delhi: The Telegraph. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ Himanshi Dhawan (10 July 2007). "Govt mulls 'licence fee' on every colour TV". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  18. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]