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Economy, Communications

Deccan Herald, owned radio, Indian Express, Times of India, dailies

The government-controlled postal services remain the backbone of India’s communication industry, handling billions of letters and parcels each year. The post office also transmits money orders in large amounts, serving particularly workers sending home part of their pay, and has a large number of savings certificate programs that serve the same population. The telephone system has expanded at a rapid rate since the mid-1980s. India had 32 main telephone lines per 1,000 persons in 2000, compared with 700 for the United States. In the 1990s a major program to create “public call offices” that can handle domestic and international long-distance calls brought telephone service to a broad range of the public in all parts of the country. About 90,000 public call offices had been established by the mid-1990s in small towns and even at small roadside locations.

About 34,000 newspapers are published in India, 10 percent of them dailies, including a number of English publications. The Times of India, the Indian Express, and others publish from multiple cities; other notable papers include the Hindu, Deccan Herald, and the Statesman. Newspapers are privately owned in India.

In the mid-1990s the Indian government opened up the once solely publicly owned radio and television broadcasting industries to competition. Since the early 1990s there has been an exponential growth in television viewing, spurred in part by the spread of private cable systems and television broadcasts via satellite that bring news, sports, and entertainment from around the globe. At least 50 million television viewers in India also watch television programs from Pakistan.

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