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Coming soon: Revamped Rajya Sabha TV channel

By Sheela Bhatt
July 19, 2011 00:52 IST
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The coming monsoon session of Parliament is expected to be stormy. The drama in both Houses will be telecast live on two separate channels  -- Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV.

The Lok Sabha TV, which has its own staff and complete set up to manage their show, has an annual budget running upto Rs 8.5 crore. It has the exclusive rights to set up television cameras inside Lok sabha and sells footage to private channels and websites for fees ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

So far, Rajya Sabha TV's footage was being provided by Doordarshan. This is going to change.

Now, Lok Sabha TV is set to face some really stiff competition.

The political drama of Rajya Sabha will now be recorded and telecast by a brand new Rajya Sabha channel. The House is also planning to have its own production and ideas to run the new channel round the clock.

It is expected that it will be "far better than Lok Sabha TV and will give competition to private channels in the 9 pm news segment".
The Lok Sabha TV has studio discussions when the House is not in session, but the Rajya Sabha's new channel goes a step further to involve people from villages and districts in happenings in the House. Their idea being to bring people closer to Parliament.

Since the Rajya Sabha will not have in-house studio, private tender has been invited to manage the same. The channel plans to have coverage from non-metro stations too on its channel.

Currently, the Upper House's television channel is panning to set up pan-India news network to get news faster and to take it closer to people. Also, the Rajya Sabha is about to revive a dormant clause of accepting petitions from people to increase interactions of House of Elders with the society.

In the manner in which Indian courts accept people's petitions and act on it in accordance with law, Indian Parliament has the right to accept similar petitions that would be judged by the scrutiny committee.

If the pettition deserves to be accepted then it can be debated by members in the House and acted upon. Although such an opportunity is available to the people, it is not being used.

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-president Hamid Ansari, along with a few members of the House, are taking keen interest in shaping the new channel, which will be operational very soon.

Well-known editors and television anchors have been engaged to run debates and news-based shows.

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
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