Television in India: Evolution and History of Television in India

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for CBSE/Class-12 : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of CBSE/Class-12.

Evolution of Television

John Baird is the father of television. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of Britain began the first television service in 1936. By 1939, television broadcasts began in the United States. The first successful programme in colour was transmitted by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in USA in 1953. In today’ s world, television has become one of the most powerful means of mass communication . It can impart education, information and entertainment. Television has become an integral part of our lives.

History of Television in India

  • Television began in India on 15th September 1959 as an experiment. It offered two-hour programme for a week. Initially the authority was AIR. The early programmes on these experimental broadcasts were generally educational programmes for school children and farmers. By the 1970s, television centres were opened in other parts of the country also. In 1976, Doordarshan, which was All India Radio’ s television arm until then became a separate department.
  • Several community television sets were distributed as a part of one of the important landmarks in the history of Indian television, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) . It was conducted between August 1975 and July 1976. Under this programme, the Indian government used the American satellite ATS-6 to broadcast educational programmes to Indian villages of six states. The telecasts happened twice a day, in the morning and evening. In 1982, Doordarshan telecasted the 9th Asian Games using INSAT 1A satellite.
  • In 1997, Prasar Bharati, a statutory autonomous body was established. Doordarshan along with AIR was converted into government corporations under Prasar Bharati. From its humble beginning as a part of All India Radio, Doordarshan has grown into a major television broadcaster with around 30 or more channels. This includes Regional Language Satellite Channels, State Networks, International Channel and All India Channels like DD National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Gyan darshan, DD Bharati, Lok Sabha Channel and DD Urdu.

Emergence of Private Television Channels

  • The introduction of communication channels have been a revolution step in bringing so many private channels in our country. The advent of private channels started in India on the 1990’ s after CNN broadcasted The Gulf War. Hong Kong based STAR (Satellite Television Asian Region) entered into an agreement with an Indian company and Zee TV was born. It became the first privately owned Hindi satellite channel of India.
  • Several regional channels also came into being during this period. Apart from the regional channels, a host of international channels like CNN, BBC and Discovery are also available to the Indian television audience. With different categories of channels like 24-hour news channels, religious channels, cartoon channels and movie channels, there is something for everyone to watch.

Impact of Television in Our Daily Lives

TV has been an integral part of our lives. It has influenced our lives in so many ways. We have been now addicted to this mode of entertainment. This has resulted in positive and negative influences. The availability of multiple channels in regional languages has made television more popular than any other medium. And the programme producers of the channel cater to the needs of the people after understanding the taste requirements of their audience.

Impact of Television in Our Daily Lives

New Trends in Television

  • The important change happened is the usage of different ways to deliver TV programmes. Earlier that was satellite relied antennas, now had switched to dishes. Other methods of delivery include distribution through cable networks and direct broadcast satellite. The cable distribution in India can be seen as a chain which begins with the signal sent by the broadcaster to the cable operator. The cable operators then relay these signals to our homes. There are free to air channels and pay channels.
  • Now we can watch television programmes even on our mobile phones. The technology behind this is called Internet Protocol Television. The advent and popularisation of TV and computer have resulted in a revolutionary change and access to everyone to the world of entertainment. This has been a bigger challenge to the television industry. To combat this, the industry had introduced so many programmes involving direct interaction with the audiences like phone in programmes and reality shows etc.