Cool videos, history lessons on I&B ministry’s YouTube channel
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Unable to put up with the noise on news television? Want to listen to a newsmaker rather than a news anchor? An option is taking shape on YouTube — in the form of a channel of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
There are short 'bytes', mostly by government functionaries on the day's important developments, live telecast of important press conferences, periodic radio news bulletins, and two-minute news capsules by Doordarshan.
And since this is a sarkari channel, there is publicity for the government too — Bharat Nirman videos and ministers' interviews.
But there is something else too — and that is what is likely to make this channel attractive. Viewers might stumble upon a rare ghazal or thumri that they might have heard on All India Radio, but found nowhere else. Or satisfy their curiosity about how Sardar Patel really sounded while making a speech. Or, perhaps, break into a broad grin seeing a pigeon sitting on the cap of a smiling Jawaharlal Nehru.
For a generation inclined to looking ahead rather than back, all this might be really cool stuff. For everyone with a sense of history, this might be a veritable treasure trove, free and always available.
"There is a huge amount of content — audio, video, photo — lying with departments of the government. Some of it is available on demand, some for a price. A lot is lying unused. Some of it is in danger of getting damaged. Using technology, we have tried to put as much of it in the public domain as possible," Uday Kumar Varma, secretary, I&B ministry, said.
Varma agreed that "you can say some of the content is promotional." "But promoting programmes and schemes is one of the jobs that a government has to do. It informs, educates and empowers the common man. But what we are attempting to do is to provide something of interest to all kinds of people — researchers and journalists, music fans and film buffs, historians and activists, artists and professionals."
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