Australia, India ink broadcasting partnership pact

New Delhi, Nov.8 (ANI): The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and India's Public Broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, will help to build a much stronger people-to-people and media partnership between our two countries', said Australian Minister for the Arts and Regional Development Simon Crean following a meeting today with Jawhar Sircar, the CEO of Prasar Bharati.

'One of the most important goals for the Australia-India relationship is to understand each other better. The ABC and Prasar Bharati will share program content by utilising the extensive Doordarshan and ABC networks, allowing audiences in India and Australia to develop a more accurate and up-to-date appreciation of contemporary developments in the other country', said Mr Crean.

'This MoU will advance the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper's commitment to build stronger, deeper and broader cultural links between Australia and India, including through collaboration between our arts, cultural and media organisations,' said Mr Crean.

'It will also build on Oz Fest, the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India. With over 100 events in 18 cities across India, Oz Fest exposes Indians to contemporary Australia,' said Mr Crean.

'I'm delighted that Doordarshan has supported Oz Fest by filming and broadcasting the Oz Fest opening concert in New Delhi on 16 October and a major concert in Bhubaneswar on 20 October, giving Indian audiences the chance to see some of the Australian best Indigenous performers, Gurrumul Yunupingu and Mark Atkins', added Mr Crean.

'Australia and India are working together to take our cultural and people-to-people links to another level in other areas. On 17 October, Prime Minister Gillard and Prime Minister Singh directed officialsto purue an Audio-Visual Agreement to facilitate greater investment in film-making in both countries', said Mr Crean.

The ABC-Prasar Bharati MoU promotes co-production (with both parties to explore the possibility of executing television co-productions), programming exchange (to make content available on each other's network), the supply of English language learning programs by the ABC to Doordarshan, and the possible co-production and sharing of digital content.

Oz Fest is the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India. The Australian Government is working with 24 government, business, institutional and production partners to present over 100 events in 18 locations across India between October and February 2013. (ANI)

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