Private direct-to-home (DTH) TV service providers– Tata Sky and Airtel – will air the human resource development ministry’s free-to-air education channels as the lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of covid-19, has disrupted regular classes for students.
“Tata Sky and Airtel DTH (have) acceded to the request of HRD and information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministers, to air three Swayam Prabha channels free on their DTH platforms,” the ministry of human resource development (HRD) said.
Swayam Prabha is a bouquet of channels offered by the HRD ministry. They offer open course learning to students in schools and colleges.
Following the move, a student anywhere in India can request the DTH ‘Service Provider’ for these channels without any extra cost as these are free to air channels, the ministry said.
“Learners can continue their education and learning sitting at home in this difficult situation due to unfortunate outbreak of covid-19,” HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said.
These channels providing educational curriculum-based course contents covering arts, science, commerce, performing arts, social sciences and humanities subjects, engineering, technology, law, medicine, agriculture.
On Airtel TV, channel 437, 438 and 439 are now earmarked for this, while on Tata Sky, channel 756 will offer the Swayamprabha channels. Dish TV and Doordarshan will continue to offer the channels for free, the government said.
These channels, according to the ministry, will offer six hours of recorded content on four different subjects daily with the option for students to ask questions via dedicated phone lines.
The ministry also said its online platforms, including the Swayam platform, have seen five times more visitors in last the fortnight following the preventive lockdown in place since 25 March.