India in focus for new season of BBC World News programmes

Date: 26.11.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.15
Category: BBC World News
BBC World News has announced a season of programmes focusing on India to air in February next year (2014). As the country looks towards its next General Election, India Direct will delve behind the headlines, going beyond the tales of a growing middle class and extreme poverty to bring audiences insight on this growing economic and global player.

The Country Direct seasons give BBC audiences around the world the opportunity to see everyday life in one country. Through BBC World News programmes like Fast:Track, One Square Mile (tbc) and Working Lives, the BBC's unrivalled network of journalists explore the issues faced by a country and its people – from the economic opportunities and challenges to living life at every level of society; from its traditions and history to future plans and innovations.

Recent seasons have focused on Singapore, Vietnam, Croatia, Mozambique, Canada, Georgia, Ecuador and Qatar.

The India Direct season is expected to run across two weeks from 8 February 2014 and will include:

Working Lives - Ahmedabad

Rupa Jha, of the BBC’s Delhi Bureau travels to Ahmedabad, the largest city and former capital of the state of Gujarat. Ahmedabad is one of the engines of India’s astonishing economic growth and home to the country’s controversial Mars mission. With thousands flocking to the city every year, its slums are teeming. Yet, unlike many other Indian states, Gujarat is succeeding in bringing down the number who live in slums and Ahmedabad regularly scores highly on quality of life surveys.

In Working Lives, we meet Ahmedabad residents from across the economic spectrum with very different jobs and social positions. From a space scientist to a slum litter picker, from a manufacturing magnate to a toiler in one of the city’s textile plants, we see what life is like at the extremes of the Indian experience. But Rupa also meets those in ‘the middle’ whose earning and consumption patterns are the lifeblood of India’s economic boom.

One Square Mile – Pune FC (TBC)

Tim Samuels - a confirmed football fan and award-winning reporter - travels to Pune, one of India’s fastest growing cities with a burgeoning manufacturing and entrepreneurial sector. He visits Pune FC, in India’s premier league, meets the players, and their Dutch manager and goes to a premier league match. Tim learns who watches football and hears about the sport’s allure in a country traditionally enamoured with cricket. He also meets another football team, one made up of dalits, who can only aspire to the big time.

Talking Movies – India Special

Tom Brook will present a special edition from India. We will be looking at the antidote to Bollywood, the new wave of Indian cinema that has an independent sensibility, as well as the renaissance in regional cinema: Bengali and Punjabi films, and the impact they’re having on the industry. And we go to an old-fashioned movie theatre in rural India to meet the typical Indian filmgoer and explore the relationship between Indian cinema and the millions who watch it.


Presenter Rajan Datar will be roaming across India for a special edition of the travel news show. He will be in Mumbai to report on its growing nightlife; as well as looking at how technology is changing tourism, and visiting the city’s first theme park, Adlabs Imagica. Then it’s on to Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad where you can live like Gandhi for a week. Moving to Goa, Rajan meets volunteers of Clean Up India, before visiting the coast of Karnataka to ask if it can be the new Goa. And in light of recent incidents, Rajan will also explore how safe India really is for female travelers.

The season is also expected to carry a special edition of India Business Report and to complement the on-air output, audiences will be encouraged to dig deeper into the country with dedicated online content on

For further information on how to receive BBC World News, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit


Notes to Editors

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