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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Indian public broadcaster. For the terrestrial television channel,
see DD National.


Type Broadcast television network

Country India

Availability National

Founded by Government of India

Owner Prasar Bharati

Key people Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Former names All India Radio

Official Website

Doordarshan (Hindi: दूरदशरन; literally Tele-Vision) is the public television broadcaster of India
and a division of Prasar Bharati, a public service broadcaster nominated by the Government
of India. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the
infrastructure of studios and transmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial
Transmitters. On September 15 2009, Doordarshan celebrated its 50th anniversary.

• 1 Beginning

• 2 Nationwide Telecast

• 3 Early National Programming

• 4 Channels

• 5 Active Doordarshan

• 6 International Broadcasting

• 7 Criticisms

o 7.1 Citiations of Bias

o 7.2 Commercial Viability

• 8 See also

• 9 References

• 10 External links


Doordarshan had a modest beginning with the 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. The television service was extended
to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Amritsar in 1972. Till 1975, seven Indian cities had television
service and Doordarshan remained the only television channel in India. Television services
were separated from radio in 1976. Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan were
placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi.
Finally[when?] Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence.

[edit]Nationwide Telecast

Doordarshan headquarters, Parliament Street,New Delhi

National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced in the
Indian market 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 being held in
Delhi. Now more than 90 percent of the Indian population can receive Doordarshan (DD
National) programmes through a network of nearly 1400 terrestrial transmitters and about 46
Doordarshan studios produce TV programs today.

[edit]Early National Programming

The 80s was the era of Doordarshan with shows like Hum Log (1984), Buniyaad (1986-87)
and comedy shows like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi(1984).

 The first ever daily soap Hum Log,Buniyaad and Nukkad and mythological dramas
like Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1989-90),Shaktimaan, India's First Superhero,
glued millions to Doordarshan and later on Bharat Ek Khoj, The Sword of Tipu
Sultan and The Great Maratha.
 Hindi film songs based programs like Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Ek Se Badkar
Ek and Superhit Muqabla.
 Crime thrillers like Karamchand (starring Pankaj Kapoor), Barrister
Roy (starring Kanwaljeet), Byomkesh Bakshi (starring Rajit
Kapoor),Reporter (launching Shekhar Suman), Tehkikaat and Janki
Jasoos, Suraag (starring Sudesh Berry).
 Shows targeted at children include Fairy tale Theatre, Dada Dadi ki
Kahaniyan, Vikram Betaal, Sigma, Stone Boy, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama, Potli Baba
Ki, Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad, Knight Rider, Street Hawk and a horror serial Kile
ka Rahasya (1989).
 Other popular shows include Oshin a Japanese drama series, Trishna, Mr.
Yogi, Neem Ka Ped, Circus, Fauji (launching Shahrukh Khan),Rani Laxhmibai,Dastan-E-
Hatim Tai,Alif Laila,Gul Gulshan Gulfam, Udaan, Rajani, Talaash, Phir Wohi
Talash, Katha Saagar, Nupur, Mirza Ghalib, Wagle ki Duniya,
Phulvanti, Sangharsh, Lifeline, Kashish (launching Malvika Tiwari), Srimaan Srimati, Tu tu
mein mein, Junoon, Ajnabi (starring Danny Denzongpa), Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Dekh Bhai
Dekh, Sansaar, Swabhimaan, Chanakya, Shanti (launchingMandira Bedi), Sea
Hawks (starring R. Madhavan), Surabhi, Tana Bana, Mujrim Hazir (launching Navni
Parihar), Jaspal Bhatti's Flop Show, Alif Laila, Meri Awaaz Suno, Captain Vyom,
and Chandrakanta.

Doordarshan also telecast English cartoons at 12.00 noon during summer vacations in a
programme named "Fun Time" which showed cartoons like Spider-Man, Giant Robot (Johnny
Soko and his flying robot), Gayab Aaya, Guchhae, He-Man, The Jungle
Book, Talespin & Duck Tales also the comic plays of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel &
Hardy and Didi's Comedy Show.

Presently, Doordarshan operates 19 channels – two All India channels-DD National and DD
News, 11 Regional languages Satellite Channels (RLSC), four State Networks (SN), an
International channel, a Sports Channel and two channels (DD-RS & DD-LS) for live
broadcast of parliamentary proceedings.

On DD National (DD-1), Regional programmes and Local Programmes are carried on time-
sharing basis. DD-News channel, launched on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD-
Metro 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 programmes 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.

[Edit]Active Doordarshan
It is an Interactive Service of Tata Sky to show 4 TV Channels of Doordarshan which are not
available on Tata sky as normal channels. Active Doordarshan channels are DD Kashir,DD
Podhigai,DD Punjabi and DD Gujarati .

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

[Edit]International Broadcasting
DD-India is being broadcasted internationally through Satellite. It is available in 146 countries
worldwide, however the information on picking up 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 for Sky Digital U.K. stopped in June
2008 and DirecTV U.S. stopped in July 2008.


[Edit]Citiations of Bias

 Doorsharshan does not have an independent editorial control unlike the BBC. Prasar
Bharati, its parent body has all board members appointed by the Government of
India acting through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This control is evident in a
budget that allows expenditure on "propaganda and public relations".[1]
 It has been actively used especially during the Emergency for government
 In 2004, it censored the airing of a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash
Narayan, one of the opposition leaders during the Emergency.[3]
 In response to Pakistani propaganda in the Kashmir valley, Doordarshan launched
the Kashir Channel in Kashmir for pro-Indian propaganda. DD Kashir beams programmes
like Sarhad Key Do Rukh (Two faces of border), Pakistan Reporter, PTV Sacch Kya Hai
(PTV! what is truth.[4]
 It has in association with All India Radio established high power transmitters along
the India-Pakistan Border to counter Pakistani propaganda with its own.[5]
 During Operation Blue star, only government sources were used for reporting the
story. Here Doordarshan was complicit in the production of a video that claimed acts of
violence which when investigated by independent journalists were found to be false.[6]

[edit]Commercial Viability

 Once private television channels were allowed in the 1991, Doordarshan has seen a
steep decline in viewer ship in homes with Cable and Satellite Television which in 2002
was just at 2.38% for DD National.[7]
 While it earns significant advertising revenue due to the compulsory feed given to it
by the highest bidder to national events including cricket tournaments,[7] there has been a
proposal to give it funds by imposing a license fee to own a television in India like the
BBC.[8] However this is unlikely to be imposed keeping in view the financial constraints of
the average Indian viewer

Doordarshan, a Public Service Broadcaster, is the largest terrestrial network in the

world. The service was started on 15th September, 1959 to transmit educational and
developmental programmes on an experimental basis with half an-hour programming.
A major land-mark was the introduction of colour television in 1982 with Asia 82
(9th Asian Games) which ushered in a major revolution in broadcasting in the
country. This was followed by a phase of rapid expansion of Doordarshan when, in
1984, DD installed a transmitter in the country more or less every day. With this, the
reach of television increased far and wide.
As on 31st March 2005, Doordarshan has 1314 transmitters (1188 for DD 1 + 121 for
DD 2 + 5 others) with 56 studio centres and 23 satellite channels (which include
The flagship of Doordarshan - DD 1 (National) operates through a network of 1188
transmitters of varying power, covering 77.5% of the land area and 89.6% population
of India.
The primary channel of Doordarshan (Doordarshan-I) has 3 major components of
programme contests - information, education and entertainment. The information
component consists of News and Current Affairs. The education component is drawn
from the contributions from IGNOU, UGC, CIET, SIET and other Sponsored
programmes like TURNING POINT (Science magazine) and Tera Quiz (a
programmes on environment). Public Service Broadcasts also form a part of
educational programmes which deal with programmes on women's issues and
programmes produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust. The live interactive
show "Hum Hazir Hain" presents persons of eminence before the audience as a part of
public service broadcast.
Question Hour in Parliament is telecast live on the National channel. Specific window
is earmarked for programme in regional languages between 2.30 PM and 8.00 PM on
all week days for Public Utility programmes and entertainment programmes in the
regional languages and dialects. The entertainment programmes mainly consists of
mid-day daily soaps between 12.00 to 2.00 pm and again between 9.00 pm to 11.00
pm. This includes feature films on Friday and Saturday and regional Award winning
films on Sunday.
Doordarshan has made a significant contribution to accelerate socio-economic
change, promote national integration and stimulate scientific temper. Being a Public
Service Broadcaster, it strives to carry messages in its programmes on means of
population control and family welfare, agricultural information and knowledge,
preservation of environment and ecological balance, highlighting the need for social
welfare measures for women, children and the less privileged. It also promotes games
and sports, and the artistic and cultural heritage of the country.
Yes, I know this site is for cinema only, but Doordarshan is the birth place of some of
the today’s successful personalities of Indian cinema so Let myself be 10 years old
and get back to late 80s and early 90s- the era of Doordarshan. The one and only daily
entertainment dose of every Indian.
Lets check out some goods and bads of Doordarshan and our memory power.
Most of the serials were of 13 episodes and so people were associated with character
for 2-3 months and it made more concentrated and sensible serials.
Hy - Ramayan and Mahabharat- how can we mention doordarshan without Ramayan
and Mahabharat? Literally there was Curfew like situation on Sunday mornings when
these two epics were telecasted. These serials made life of Arun Govil (Ram),
Mukesh Khanna (Bhisma), Punit issar (duryodhan), Rupa Ganguli (Draupadi) ,
Dipilka(Sita) etc.. Though technically poor, these two serials created mass histeria for
TV selling. People used to do pooja of TV before starting of these serials. Harish
Bhimanis voice as main samay hoon made great impact in Mahabharat. I liked Dara
singh as Hanuman very much.
- Malgudi Days- this serial needs a separate post. Based on R K Narayans book, made
by Shankar Naag , this serial is the best of all time serials I have ever seen. and the
title theme taana na taana na na I can remember it today also with R K Laxmans
- Udaan- based on Kiran Bedis life, Kavita chaudhary was lead actress and serial was
quite popular. Story of a girls journey to become an IPS officer.
- Daane Anaar Ke one middle class family wins lottery and how behaviour of family
and people related with them changes a nice story. I can recall only Neena gupta.
Perhaps Gulzar wrote the title song kissa hai kahaani hai paheli hai
- Mirza Ghalib- Jab Gulzar, Jagjit singh and Naseeruddn shah saath me ho to poochna
hi kya?. I was too immature to understand this serial. So not much memory associated
with this serial.
- Humlog, Buniyaad- I was too small at that time, cant remember much except Dada
Monis speech at the end of every episode.
- Nukkad- Dilip Dhawan, khopdi, and other popular actors born with this serial.
Directed by Aziz mirza this serial was quite populat at that time.
- Cartoons- Ducktales, Telespin after Chanakya at 10:30 these two cartoons were
telecasted. I can recall Uncle screwz only.
- Junglebook -I can recall some characters Mowglee, Bagira, Sherkhan. Sherekhans
voice was given by Nana Patekar and music was given by todays genius director
Vishal Bhardwaj and lyrics was by Gulzaar saab. Remember that amar song jungle
jungle baat chali hai pataa chala hai, chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai.. Akira
Kurosawas name was also there in titles. Dont for what purpose.
- Stoneboy- Master Ankur was as stone boy and was living on hills and a group of
students goes for picnic and then bring stone boy with them
- Sigma- a sci-fi serial based on space and space shuttles.
- Chandrakanta- started very well but lost interest after introduction of too many
characters and complicated story. Shahbaaz khan and Shikha swaroop was lead
actors. I can recall two names of citiesNaugadh and Vijay gadh. But serial gave fame
to Kroor Singh played by Akhilendra Mishra.
- Chanakya- a truly classic serial by Dr. Chandraparakash Dwivdi (director of Pinjar)
also made life of Pamod moutho(Villain of Khalnayak)
- Vikram Vetaal again technically poor serial by Ramanad Sagar before Ramayan.
But I liked lot as a child. Arun Govil played role of king Vikram
- Vyomkesh Bakshi The best detective serial I have ever seen. Rajat kapoor( Gandhiji
in Making of mahatama and seen in almost every film of Shyam Benegal like
zubeida, Suraj ka saatvan ghoda, Sardar Begam) was as Vyomkesh bakshi in dhoti
and kurta and K K Raina as his assistant much much better than todays CID.
- Talaash- This serial was based on the search of some person. Cant remember much.
But main actor was Alok Naath and directed by great Hrishikesh Mukerjee.
- Rangoli- countless Sunday mornings started with Rangoli. no song was repeated.
- Tenaliraman- Birbal of south India – played by Vijay Kashyap, had pure
- Phir wohi talaash- directed by Lekh tendon. I can recall only Madan Jain (one of the
character in Ankush) and Nilima Azim (Shahid kapurs mother). The story was a small
town boy comes to metro and falls in love with a rich and sophisticated girl. Virendra
Saxena played father of Madan Jain.
- Muzrim Haajir- Nutan was lead actress and Virendra singh and Navani parihaar was
introduced in this serial. serial had Bengali background and I can remember goon
goona, goon goona, goon goona re goon goona
- Nupur- directed by Hema malini and lead actor was Sudesh Berry and had
background of classical dance and music.
- Circus- when shahrukh khan was top star of TV he did this serial with Renuka
Shahane. I think it was directed by Aziz Mirza. Also had lots of actors of Nukkad.
- Tipu sultan- this serial created lots of hype before its telecast and sanjay khan
invested lots of money and hard work in it. Shahbaaz Khan became quite popular as
Hyder Ali which bagged him a film as a hero Naachne waale Gaane waale directed by
B. Subhash with Kadarkhan, Shakri kapoor and Shiba.
- Vishwamitra- created lots of hype as this was second serial of Mukesh khanna after
Mahabharat. Bhanupriya played role of Urvashi.
- Kille ka rahasya- dont recall much, but I used to close my eyes when a big Punja
was coming closer to camera.
- 1234- a child detective serial. Can remember the song ek do teen char, chro mikar
saath chale to karde chamatkar
- Lok lok ki baatein, Katha saagar- serials based on different stories by different
- Sauda- made by B.R. chopra and story was associated with freedom movement. Can
remember its title song yeh zindagi hai ek sauda
- Chitrahaar- evey Wednesday and Friday at 80 clock with dinner.
- Karamchand- Pankaj kapoor as karamchand (with carrot) and Sushmita mukerjee as
kitty. directed by Pankaj Parashur.
- Jugalbandhi- after the success of karamchand this serial was started. One of the
detective was Radha Sheth and other male detective cant remember.
- Fauji- First serial of SRK which made him quite popular on TV.
- Tamash- directed by Govind Nihalani, the serial had huge starcast like ompuri,
amrishpuri, deepa sahi etc. created some controvery also.
- Manzil apni apni- lead actors were Mohan bhandari and Radha sheth. a young man
goes to a village to make it a better place.
- Fatichar- Pankaj Kapur as fatichar. First time I saw people leaving in huge govt.
water pipes. It was humorous light comedy serial.
- Mrignayani- the story was- a king attracted by beauty of a girl. Amol palekar
directed this serial and Pallavi Joshi was lead actress.
- Humraahi this serial gave fame to Writer Manohar shyaam joshi and Himani
Shivpuri. First serial having external marital affairs.
- Surbhi first interesting and entertaining information based programme. Renuka
Sahane was introduced in surbhi. Sidhdharth Kak and Renuka both were host in this
programme. Renukas hair cut and colgate smile were quite popular. This programme
created question and answer contest first time on TV.
- Guniram- story of a villager who comes to city and makes mistakes every day.
Rakesh bedi played role of Guniram.
- Mr. Yogi- an NRI comes to India in search of his bride. His meeting with different
girls with different backgrounds and then comedy emerges. Mohan Gokhle was Mr.
Yogi and director was Ketan Mehta. I cant forget the last episode where ice-cream
was throwing in the party.
- Mungerilal ke haseen sapne- talented Raghuvir Yaadav as Mungherilal used to see
dreams of a person whichever attracts him. Perhaps director was Prakash Jha.
- Kakkaji kaheen- Om puri was kakkaji. A comedy serial and kakkaji was used to
laugh at the end of every sentence.
- Bharat ek khoj-based on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehrus book Discovery of India, directed by
Shyam Benegal. I cant recall much because serial was too heavy and I am not at that
level that digest this kind of serial. In one episode Aloknath played role of Swami
- Lekhu- Lekhu (mohan gokhle) is villager with tremendous talent and was used by a
professor ( I think aloknath)
- Deviji- starring Annu kapoor and swaroop sampat- telecasted in afternoon.
Then there was lots of serials like Ekkai dahai sekda, Nirmala, Gaurav, Param veer
chakra, Lahun ke phool, Intezaar, Dil Dariyaa, Honee Anhonee.. which were quite
remember some video songs like
- Mile sur mera tumhara- almost every day this song was shown. I saw it only for the
scene where AB, Jeetendra and Mithun was shown together.
- Sun sun mere nanhe sun- a video directed by subhash ghai at time of 1992 riots. It
had Jackie shroff, Rajnikanth, chiranjeevi and bunch of starts popular at that time.
And at last some irritating things on doordarshan…
- The boards- Rookavat ke liye khed hai.
- Same old faces in the news every day. I remember some of the names like Shammy
Narang , Sarla Maheswari, Salma Sultan..
- Nritya ka Akhil Bhartiya Karyakram
- Focus- a discussion programme in English based on current issues – I never seen its
any episode but after some popular serial it was telecasted so I knew it.
So that was my memories related with Doordarshan.- after Star TV and Zee tv came
in 1992, Indian people hungry for entertainment turned to cable tv channels and I was
one of them.