As the three-month deadline ends, the wait for Gurbani broadcast of Golden Temple through satellite channels becomes even longer

Tribune News Service

GS Pole

Amritsar, October 25

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s (SGPC) ambitious plan to set up a dedicated satellite channel to broadcast live gurbani from the Golden Temple across the globe may take some more time to materialise.

The project deadline of three months has elapsed but the approval process by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) is yet to be completed.

The SGPC launched its YouTube channel, “SGPC Sri Amritsar,” on July 24 as an interim measure after its 11-year contract with the private channel ended. The company was already running a page on Facebook. Since then, it had been broadcasting live gurbani on YouTube using the existing equipment installed by the private service provider.

The SGPC has been working relentlessly to launch satellite broadcasting. “The ball is in the hands of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Once the ministry gives the go-ahead, preparations from our side will begin,” SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said.

He added that the response from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been positive and encouraging.

“We had initially estimated that the process would not take more than three months, but it has turned out to be a lengthy process. We are in regular contact with ministries and departments. I myself have met Communications and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, who supports the move and has responded very positively,” Dhami said.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has set up a sub-committee headed by general secretary Gurcharan Singh Grewal to follow up the process along with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

On October 12, a delegation from the SGPC met with Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra in New Delhi.

Grewal said that as the demand for launching a dedicated religious and non-commercial Gurbani channel is first of its kind in the country, the necessary technicalities should also be drafted accordingly.

“Since this is a first-time request, I feel the ministry needs to re-examine the technical aspects and put it together in a new format to bring it under the special category. We have requested that all broadcasting rights be reserved with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Also, as our channel is a non-profit venture, we have no intention of monetising it.”

I&B Ministry to tackle technical issues

As this is the first request for a dedicated Gurbani religious and non-commercial channel in the country, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is taking its time to review the technical aspects and frame the new format to put it in a special category. We have requested that all broadcasting rights be reserved to SGPC. — Gurcharan Singh Grewal, General Secretary, SGPC

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