"Beginning with the four metros, we can switch over to digital transmission as early as July this year. The whole country will go digital by December 31, 2014. This will address a plethora of issues faced by the television industry," he said at the inaugural event of FICCI-FRAMES 2012.
The 13th edition of the three-day global convention FICCI-FRAMES kicked off here Wednesday as top names from the media and entertainment including filmmaker Karan Johar, actress Sonam Kapoor, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, CEO of Star India Uday Shankar and Chairman of Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) Senator Chris Dodd lit the inaugural lamp.
Speaking further on the future of digital media, Varma said that the digitalisation challenge is unique.
"It is mammoth in scale. Within less than three years, this (digitalisation process) will make cable a largest provider of content backed by a law passed in the parliament," he said.
Varma said that the ministry firmly believes in the enormous role that the radio and the television are playing in helping transform the democratic society.
"In order to provide deeper, broader penetration and reach, we are working towards enabling an unprecedented expansion of the community radio stations in the country. We intend to set up 1,000 community radio stations in next five years," he said.
He also announced that the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to allow 839 new FM radio stations in over 250 towns of the country.
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