Q.4.3 Case studies of Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), KhedaCommunication Project, Jhabua Development Communication Project (JDCP) asalternative development communication approaches.Ans. SATELLLITE INSTRUCTIONAL TELEVISION EXPERIMENT SITE - TheSatellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) conducted during 1975-76 using theUSAs Application Technology Satellite (ATS-6) is called as one of the largestexperiment of its kind. SITE demonstrated the potential of satellite technology as aneffective mass communication media for a developing country like India. SITE providedvaluable experience in the development, testing and management of a satellite-basedinstructional television system, particularly in rural areas. It started at 6.20p.m. on 1st ofAugust 1975 when 2400 TV sets came alive in as many small villages receivingprogrammes directly from a high power geosynchronous satellite located 36000 Kmsfrom Kenya.Objectives of SITE: • Gain experience in the development, testing and management of satellite- based instructional television system particularly in rural areas and to determine optimal system parameters. • Demonstrate the potential value of satellite technology in the rapid development of effective communications in developing countries • Demonstrate the potential value of satellite broadcast TV in the practical instruction of village inhabitants • Stimulate national development in India, with important managerial, economic technological and social implications.Systems managementThe TV sets, increased with 10 feet parabolic antennae and front-end converters, hadbeen placed in isolated villages in parts of six states in India - Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa,Madyha pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Pij village in Gujarat acquired the firstrural TV transmitter in India, which provided programmes in local language along withcommon programmes from Delhi via satellite. TV sets in and around Delhi and Amritsaralso received programmes beamed from Ahmedabad via satellite in addition to thosetelecast locally.While most community sets were deployed in electrified villages, about 150 battery-operated sets were deployed in unelectrified villages as part of the experiment. Inaddition to the Direct Reception system/SEt (DRS), some conventional transmitters alsorebroadcast the satellite programmes. An elaborate system was setup to deploy, maintainand operate the community sets. The maintenance was found to be extremely successfuland ensured very high availability figures.It was during SITE that special attention was directed towards children in the age groupof 5-12. A systematic ideas was worked out, and programmes were produced, mainlywith the objective of helping children to learn community living skills; installing habits
of hygiene and healthy living; promoting visual sensitity; and making children aware ofthe entire process of the modernization of life and society around.Science education programmeThe scientists of Space Applications Center Ahmedabad, and the Indian Space ResearchOrganization ISRO thought that one thing really worth giving to the rural child, would bean awareness of his/her surroundings and an understanding of what it is all about. Scienceeducation programmes were conceived with the following aims: • To make children realize that science is everywhere; that their immediate environment can be questioned, understood, explained and manipulated by them, using the scientific method. • To emphasize the learning of the scientific method, more than mere transfer of information.These programmes were produced at a studio in Mumbaid. 160 science programmes ofabout 10-12 minutes each were produced in Hindi and dubbed in Oriya.Almost 1200 minutes of Gujarati programmes for Pij transmitter were alos produced.These scinece programmes were pretested at Madyha Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, andMumbai.An important feature of the science educational programme was the inclusion of abehavioural scientist/developmental scientist in the production team to do formativeresearch.Major findings emerging from the evaluations were:It is possible tod deploy operate and maintain community TV sets and DRS even inremote areas of a country, and that too with an availability of 80-90%Community viewing is possible, and that average audience sizes of 80-100 can beexpected.Instructional programmes were preferred in comparison to pure entertainmentprogrammesCommunity acces to TV tends to narow the communications- effects gap.Overall SITE established that the extension of communications infrastructure to remote isnot only feasible, but that it can contribute concretely to promoting national development.Lessons
The experiment was considered as a learning experience to design, produce and telecastrelevant educational and developmental programs to widely spread areas with differentproblems and languages using, on a time sharing mode, a single broadcast channel.Many of the viewers of SITE programmes were first generation mass media participants,in the sense that they were never exposed to radio, newspapers or cinema. Most of thefirst generation mass media participants were illiterated and came from the poorersections of the rural society. SITe was more effective than all other media in attractingthe female audience.The experiment was particularly successful in focused programmes such as thoseinvolving teacher training and training of field workers. It might be mentioned that50,000 rural teachers were exposed during SITE to a multi media package for training inteaching of science and Mathematics.A number of lessons were learnt on efficacy of various types of programmes the use ofinexpensive portable equipments for decentralized participatory programme production,and in regard to problems of programming in situations where rural and urban audienceare mixed.SITE was an exhilarating experience for everyone involved. It brought a large number ofscientists, engineers, sociologists and programmers close to the rural reality. It provided apractical example of how a large number of agencies with different basic disciplines canwork a close partnership. The happening of SITE gave permanent rural orientation toIndian Broadcasting.Kheda Communication ProjectThe Kheda Communications Project (KCP), a field laboratory in development and localcommunication was conducted between 1975 and 1990 in Kheda district in Gujarat. It isa milestone in the history of television in India. DECU (Development and EducationCommunication Unit) managed this project and produced the development andeducational programmes involving the local audience. This project was the tested forproduction of research based participatory development programmes receiveduniversal recognition and acceptance.India space Research Organiztion (ISRO) shared these experiences with operationalagency through a series of tainting programmes. Thses efforts were follwed byapplication of one-way video tow way audio teleconferencing fro education anddevelopment training.JHABUA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATIONS PROJECT (JDCP)
The Jhabua Development Communications Project (JDCP) is an effort towards thedefinition of a satellite based communication system dedicated to meet the requirementsof the rural areas. It is a project in partnership. While DECU is the lead implementingagency, and all technical support to it is provided by Space Applications Center (SAC),Ahmedabad. An try of this nature, requires not only active participation of the people ofJhabua, but also an institutional arrangement involving a large number of StateGovernment departments, Central Government Ministries, NGOs and the entire districtand State Government administration. They all work together for the ultimatebeneficiaries of the project i.e. the people of Jhabua and through them the rest of thecountry.Two types of producers are making programmes for Jhabua DevelopmentCommunication Project.- In-house Producers- Outside (Empanelled) ProducersAlmost all programmes are made in Jhabua district. Some are also made in DECUStudio, Ahmedabad. Programmes are based on in-depth field research, real case studiesand programme briefs - prepared by professional, social researchers. The programmestrategy is designed, continuously monitored and guided by separate script committee,preview committee, periodical field surveys, programme feed back, transmission feedback and numerous brain-storming discussions.In the last two years program production have touched upon a vast range of subjects.These are Jhabua specific. Such as agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries,watershed, forestry, environment, education, health, hygiene, employment, governmentschemes, Panchayat Raj, social issues like alcoholism, crime, dowry, witch doctors,superstitions, over expenditure on marriage and death, informative and educationalprogrammes during elections, campaigns for polio and pulse vaccinations, aidsprevention, etc.Attention is also paid to the documentation of local talents, well- known personalitiesworking in the various fields, local festivals, folk songs, dances, traditional dramaformats, archeological heritage of Jhabua and developmental work done by NGOs.We transmit daily news from Bhopal Doordarshan on JDPC channel as a part of our two-hour transmission, which are five days a week, except Saturdays and Sundays.Formats and Presentation Styles:Most of the topics are presented in a drama format. It is a well-accepted fact that peoplein general, like to watch a realistic representation of their characters and surroundingswith which they can easily identify.