Government clears addition of channels in DD Direct

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) The government has cleared the incorporation of up to 100 channels in DD Direct Plus by March 31 next year and 200 channels by December 2011, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni Friday said.

DD Direct Plus, a direct-to-home service that provides television and audio programming, was free to air and the government intended to keep it that way, she told media persons at an interaction.

Soni also said her ministry is likely to seek an amendment to the Prasar Bharti Act to remove a provision which called for setting up a committee of parliamentarians to oversee the functioning of the Prasar Bharti Board.

The minister said that there was a feeling that there was no need of another committee since a standing committee already existed.

She said that that group of ministers on Prasar Bharti was looking at the recruitment rules and was likely to give its report by July 31.

On the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, she said a task force under the secretary of the information and broadcasting ministry had consulted various stakeholders and would soon finalise its results.

The minister also said that International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will have a restructured two-tier jury.