Saturday, December 4, 2021

Prasar Bharati collaborates with IIT-Kanpur to spur Atmanirbhar Bharat in Media & Broadcasting

To spur Atmanirbhar Bharat in Media and Broadcasting and changing the landscape of Indian broadcasting, an MoU, Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur). Under this, a Center of Excellence for Media and Broadcasting Technologies will be established at IIT Kanpur.

Following the partnership agreement, the Center of Excellence will focus on three areas: Direct to Mobile Broadcasting and Convergence with Emerging 5G Standards, Artificial Intelligence(AI), and advanced algorithms for audio-visual media.

IIT Kanpur will pursue the following research initiatives in these three areas with the help of Prasar Bharati funding:

• Next Generation Broadcast Technology Trial (Direct to Mobile Broadcasting, Convergence with 5G)

• Automatic Speech Recognition for Speech Subtitling (Making Broadcast Content accessible in various Indian Languages)

• Archival Content Retrieval through audio and text query

With content consumption increasingly shifting to smartphones in India and video consumption becoming the primary driver of mobile data growth, it becomes important to enable direct broadcasting capabilities on mobile phones. It is expected that smartphones and mobile phones would be able to stream multiple high-quality video/audio services while optimally using the valuable spectrum and easing the burden on cellular networks.

Prasar Bharati and IIT Kanpur will work together and explore the development of direct-to-mobile broadcasting capabilities, with the goal of aligning these emerging technologies with global 5G standards.

Boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign

India, being the world’s largest open market for digital video content and smartphones, would greatly benefit from the development of converged 5G standards for direct-to-mobile broadcasting, paving the way for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

In the future, India will be able to achieve worldwide leadership in the convergence between radio and television broadcasting where both audio and video broadcast content can be directly provided on smartphones and mobile phones through a common broadcast infrastructure

CEO Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati thanked the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for its continued support to the organization and said, “With audiences increasingly shifting away from traditional broadcasting to OTT platforms and audio-video content consumption over mobile data, it is critical for the Public Broadcaster to be able to reach audiences directly on their mobile phones, smartphones, and other smart devices. We see this research collaboration with IIT Kanpur as critical to the development of an indigenous technology ecosystem for Direct Mobile Broadcasting. We also look forward to India-specific standards for 5G Broadcasting to emerge from this technology trial. I am thankful to the Prasar Bharati Board for its approval of this Center of Excellence. I am also thankful to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for its continued support to Prasar Bharati as we modernize our broadcasting infrastructure and take efforts towards realizing the Prime Minister’s vision for an AtmaNirbhar Bharat.”

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur says, “We are excited to work with Prasar Bharati in emerging technologies for broadcasting. The Direct to Mobile converged platform trial will surely enable the transition to the next generation technology deployment. The development of technologies such as automatic speech and recognition for subtitling and archival content retrieval via audio and text query have significant potential of making broadcast content available in various Indian languages. We are grateful to Prasar Bharati for funding these projects towards collaborative translational research for developing indigenous eco-system.”

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