There was a time in the year 2014, when 50 educational channels were being planned but four existing ones : Gyan Darshan I & II, GD-3 and GD-4 went blank on the evening of June 4 after an uninterrupted run for nearly 14 years. These channels catered to the needs of lakhs of distance education learning children in the country. The good news is that the four channels that went off air are likely to get ‘on air’ again soon. HRD Minster, Smriti Irani in a letter urged the I&B Minister Arun Jaitley to give a fresh lease to all four channels.
Union Minister of Human Resource of Development Smriti Irani in the letter has asked I&B Minister to intervene in the matter and once again make the channels available to students. The process to do so has already kick-started.
Out of the four education channels, Gyan Darshan I & II are run by Indira Gandhi National Open University. Remaining two i.e. GD-3 and GD-4 are run by IIT Delhi and the Consortium for Educational Communication-University Grants Commission. The first one to be blocked were the two channels which are run by IGNOU.
Gyan Darshan I is one of the oldest channel and ran for approximately 14 years before its run was cut short in June last year. The reason was INSAT-3C, the satellite which serviced the channels was shifted to GSAT-10 satellite. The channels were required to be shifted to another satellite because INSAT-3C was being used for other strategic services. The proposed shift, however, ran into a bureaucratic tangle with questions raised about licensing and carriage fee for free to air education channels.
While the HRD ministry is asking I&B ministry to make 4 educational channels available to students once again, Gujarat became the first state to launch 16 channels as part of their educational network Vande Gujarat. The 16 newly launched channels will deliver lessons on primary to higher education as well as various other subjects from agriculture to health.
During the inauguration ceremony while addressing the gathering Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said, “The channels launched today will impart training & information for various sectors including education, agriculture, women empowerment, sports among others.”