New Delhi: The BBC World Service has begun broadcasting in four new Indian languages that makes its bureau in New Delhi the largest outside the United Kingdom.
The launch is part of the BBC World Service’s biggest expansion since the 1940s, following the £289 million British government-funding boost announced in November 2016 that will be utilized until next review of funding in 2019-20 for the expansion of World Service.
BBC World Service is now available in 40 languages, including English. The new Indian languages – Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Punjabi – are among 11 new services launched under the 2020 project.
The BBC Hindi service has been running since May 1940. The World Service currently broadcasts in Tamil, Bengali, Urdu and Nepali. It previously broadcast in Marathi and Gujarati, but the services were closed in the 1940s and 1950s.
With this launch BBC World Service aims to target Indian population with regional language background that is estimated to be 73 million Marathi speaking people, 50 million people Gujarati speaking people, 100 million Punjabi speaking people and 75 million Telugu speaking people.