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By Vinod Mirani
There comes the official news of Zee TV network's merger with Sony TV and the news invokes a sense of melancholy. When India liberalised its policies in 1991, changes started taking place in all fields and one of them was the media. It marked the entry of privately owned television channels in India. What makes one a bit sad is that Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony slated to hold the majority stake of 53 per cent as against Zeel's 47 per cent.
Naresh Goyal's Zee Telefilms Limited was the first to venture into the telecast medium with its Zee TV channel. The year was 1992, October 2, to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. I remember the programme specially designed for the inaugural evening. To be candid, it was quite chaotic, like a children's costume party. One of the items stuck in my memory is a skit played out by two young men dressed as rustic Haryanvis, carrying huge dangs, and blabbering what they thought was funny. Though launched in October 1992, the regular daylong telecast on the channel started in 1993.
That opening show did not promise much and that is what the content in the early days of the channel presented. The channel had a huge collection of hit movies it had acquired from top notch producers, many of which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Programmes were woven around movies like songs, dialogues, scenes that were appreciated in the films earlier and were a sure shot eyeballs grabbers.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country. | Pixabay
The TV channel needed a running serial to hook the viewers which came its way in the form of Tara in 1993 and went on for five years. This was followed by Hum Paanch, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Banegi Apni Baat and such. Zee had the advantage of being the first alternative to Doordarshan, which was a government-owned enterprise and the programmes were approved by people who knew nothing about mass entertainment. Some babu who was in the Tourism Ministry one day would the next day be with the I&B Ministry and sitting on your TV script! Also, DD approved a serial only for 13 episodes and getting an extension if any, was a tough task. As it were, television took its time coming to India and, when it did, its debut was pathetic. Launched in Delhi, in what they called experiment basis, Doordarshan telecast for about two hours a week, not day! What was there to experiment when the medium was not only accepted elsewhere and was already in the process of moving from black and white to colour broadcast?
Doordarshan Logo. | Wikimedia Commons
For years, it served only a few hundred or so Delhi viewers who cared to own a TV set. TV came to India in September 1959, 23 years since its debut in the UK and six years after coulour telecast started in the US. The India entry was described as an experiment and this experiment lasted for an eternity till the introduction of colour television. Doordarshan branched out to a few other cities and, except for acting as a propaganda tool for the government, showing news bulletins besides educational programmes for students and farming programmes for the farmers, none of whom had access to a television set.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country, there used to be a waiting list of some months. If the idea was to promote television as an entertainment medium along with the government agenda, it finally happened only on the eve of the 1982 Asian Games. The then government wanted to showcase India as a progressive country which ran a colour television network through a satellite.
Initially, Doordarshan, which used one city channel to cater to all its people, encompassed Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi and other news and programmes aired only in the evenings with a special morning slot on Sundays. After going colour, slots for serials were outsourced and, it looked like DD had arrived as the first soap, Hum Log, followed by Buniyaad added to its viewership. Then there were serials based on the great Indian mythologies, Ramayana and Mahabharata, which are now replayed on other private channels.
Sadly, that was an era of using U-matic format tapes for telecast and, with little attention to storing or digitizing them, a lot of other great serials are now lost. (On an aside, talk of control: owning a radio set and, later, also TV set needed a license from the postal department in those days! And, till All India Radio went commercial, it was not even worth owning a radio.)
Since then, the floodgates for television channels have opened in India. Doordarshan itself started channels dedicated to sports, news, farming etc and also its regional channels in local languages. Many Indian and foreign channels came in. Today, though a layman may have lost count, there are about 900 TV channels in the country. They come and some vanish just as quickly.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. It was making inroad in the business of entertainment like cinema and television. Sony is an international label while Zee is an Indian brand which has continually been marking its place in the international arena. The Sony merger will only make it easier for Zee to make rapid progress as the channels list may be streamlined.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. | Wikimedia Commons
At present, Zee runs 49 domestic channels in 11 languages and 35 international channels of which eight are in non-Indian languages. To make things clear, the deal is between ZEEL, which is its entertainment channels arm, and not the Zee Media Corporation (earlier known as Zee News). Zee Media owns all the news channels including Zee News and WION and will continue to be owned by Zee Media. While the shares of Zee Media Corporation have remained static, the scrip of ZEEL went from around Rs 170 to near Rs 320 today. And, this is yet the Due Diligence stage and the merger may materialise only after many months!
News channels are forever and, so one thought, were the movie channels. The content of both can be said to be largely exclusive to a channel. But, as things stand, the movie channels are totally deprived of fresh content since they all go to OTT platforms. If one checked, the English movie channels are barely surviving repeating the same features day after day, Hindi channels feed on regional dubbed films, also oft repeated. Looks like a wise move for Zee to retain its news channels and trim the burden of other channels. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, entertainment, zee tv, sony tv, doordarshn, channels
Continuing with its commitment to support Small Medium Businesses (SMBs), Amazon India on Sunday announced that it is all set to begin its 'Great Indian Festival' (GIF) 2021 from October 3. The company said that Amazon GIF 2021 is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers, including over 75,000 local shops from 450 cities, offering their unique selection of products to customers across the country.
"Our top priority remains customer trust and the interest of our sellers, especially the lakhs of small sellers and the tens of thousands of local shop owners across India," the company said in a statement. "The Amazon Great Indian Festival will now start from October 3, 2021 and as always, Prime members will have early access," it added.
The shopping festival will also showcase products from Amazon sellers under various other programs such as Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, Amazon Karigar, as well as top Indian and global brands across categories. The festival would include over 1,000 new product launches from top brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Apple, Boat, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fossil, Levi's, BIBA, Allen Solly, Adidas, etc. Amazon Business customers in India will be able to avail exclusive offers, bulk discounts, lower festive price offers, cashback, rewards and more, for their regular business buying or corporate gifting for clients or employees. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Amazon, Shopping, festival, October
"Better degrees don't automatically translate into better skills and better jobs and better lives."
All of us at one stage of our life get confused between preferences, i.e., whether one should gain skills or pursue more degrees, degree and skill may be seen as two sides of the same coin. To be successful in life, one must have a degree in addition to the necessary skills. A degree without skills is as meaningless as skills without a degree. One can say that a degree gives you a direction to gain skills in the relevant field to become a master in a particular stream. In addition to that, a degree gets you where you want to be, but skills keep you there and help you go forward in your career.
In the majority of instances, you will be unable to accomplish great things without a degree. Even if you are not very talented in your field, a degree may assist you in obtaining employment. The higher the quality of the degree, the greater is the likelihood of getting stable employment. But, it doesn't matter what degree you have if you are working on something meaningful or beneficial for the world. You don't need a degree if you know how to build an app that is beneficial for the world; you can sell it to people and generate revenue from it. However, you must excel at what you do rather than merely being competent because creating something from nothing and convincing others to utilize it takes a tremendous amount of talent. Your degree certificate will not be of use in this situation.
One can say that a degree gives you a direction to gain skills in the relevant field to become a master in a particular stream. | Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash
There is a development trend taking place across the globe, and the pace at which it is taking place can only be accomplished via the combination of degree and skills. Millions of students from various degrees graduate each year, yet the vast majority of them continue to remain unemployed. A degree is about much more than simply finding employment. The advantages extend to all aspects of one's life. Thus, education imparts theoretical information while also improving your rate of learning and capacity for in-depth understanding.
Every degree holder does not necessarily possess specialized knowledge. It is the skills in addition to the degree which contribute to the achievement of the goal. Soft skills such as language and communication skills, personality development, management, and behavioral skills are more critical when looking for jobs in today's world. No matter how many relevant degrees you have on your CV, it is skills that the employers, clients, or management see.
We can sum up by stating that a person's skill is always more essential than a degree. Those with superior skills and qualifications, as well as solid self-confidence, will almost always advance to a higher position. While a degree is necessary to get employment in a business or organization, it is insufficient to do the job effectively. The ideal is a well-balanced mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience.
No matter how many relevant degrees you have on your CV, it is skills that the employers, clients, or management see. | Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Keywords: Degree, skills, india, unemployed, knowledge, youth, learning
Renowned feminist activist, author, and a face of the women's rights movement in India, Kamla Bhasin, passed away today morning at the age of 74.
The news of the same was shared by activist Kavita Srivastava on Twitter. The tweet said, "Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief."
Bhasin, since the 1970s, has been an advocate of women's movement not just in India but other South Asian countries as well. In fact, in 2002, she founded a feminist network named as 'Sangat', which only motive was to work with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often by using non-literary tools like plays, songs, and art.
Having a Master's degree in literature, Bhasin has written many books on gender theory and feminism, and interestingly, many of them have been translated into more than 30 languages. Another quick fact revolving around Bhasin is that the chant of 'Azadi', which is often heard at protests and rallies, was first popularised by her as feminist slogan against patriarchy.
Bhasin was awarded with the "Laadli Life Time Achievement Award" in the year 2017 for her commendable work.
Keywords: Kamla Bhasin, Feminism, India, Patriarchy, Literature, Feminist, Women, Rights