Brief History of Doordarshan
Television made a modest beginning in India on September, 15, 1959, when the first experimental centre at Delhi with a small transmitter of 05 kilowatt was inaugurated by President Rajendra Prasad.
The equipment was given by the Philips India Ltd., who had set-up closed circuit television at an Industrial exhibition organized at Delhi. The coverage range was 40 kilometers around the capital in the beginning. The service was operated from an improvised studio and programmes were telecast twice a week (Thursday and Friday) for duration of one hour per day.
Initially, 21 sets were installed in the rural areas in the neighborhood of Delhi subsequently; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) provided 50 sets which were also installed in rural areas. About 180 teleclubs were set up at the community viewing centers.
In 1964, with the aid of Ford Foundation the centre started telecasting educational programmes for schools in Delhi. The following year some of entertainment was interspersed with social educational programmes had been telecast till than.
In 1970, the total duration of general television programmes increased to three hours. This three hours transmission included a 20 minute weekly programme 'KRISHI DARSHAN' for farmers in about 80 villages where farm teleclubs had been organised. These were started in 1967 in collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Indian Research Institute, Delhi Administration and the Government of Hariyana and Uttar Pradesh. Now apart from programmes for farmers telecast through all transmitters, area specific programmes are being prepared by regional centre.
Duration of the general service was increased to two hours in May, 1969 to three hours in July, 1970 and three and half hours in December, 1970. In July, 1971, range of transmitter was increased from 40 kms. to 60 kms. radius. On 14th November, 1973 the duration of general transmission was further increased to four hours from 6/6.30 to 10/10.30 pm. The range of transmitter was further increased to 68 kms in May, 1975.
On 12th August, 1977 a relay transmitter was commissioned at Mussoorie. The duration of the general service was again increased to four and half hours in November, 1981, and which was further increased to four hours forty five minutes from 11th August 1985.
The Satellite Instructional TV experiment of 1975-76 was the first attempt anywhere in the world of using space technology for social education. ATS-6 satellite was borrowed from NASA for a year. Now Doordarshan has its own up-linking facilities in number of places in a few other cities it uses the earth stations of the Department of Telecommunications.