Asianet News Group has announced the eighth edition of ‘Proud to Be an Indian’. The show lends children of Non-Resident Indians (NRI) in GCC an opportunity to learn more about their own country.

Referring to the initiative, Frank P. Thomas, Director and Group CFO, Asianet News, said: “The programme was started in 2013 to make Indian students in the Middle East more aware about Indian traditions, culture, history, and diversity. The selected students of the PTBI programme come to India on a 7-day journey and witness the Republic Day parade as well as the Beating the Retreat Ceremony in New Delhi.

“We also try to arrange for meetings with luminaries like the President, Vice-President, and the Defence Minister. Also in the agenda is a visit to some landmark places and institutions. What started with 15 students today in its eighth year has 30 students and 10 teachers. We have also tied up with Air India as our travel partner. We feel this programme helps the selected students to become better human beings, and also make a mark in their life.”

Thiruvananthapuram-based Asianet News (formerly Asianet Global) is a free-to-air Malayalam-language news channel from Asianet News Network (ANN), which is a subsidiary of Jupiter Entertainment Ventures (Jupiter Capital Ventures). M. G. Radhakrishnan is the Editor-in-Chief of Asianet News Malayalam Network. 

Asianet News is the current market leader in Malayalam television news. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a BJP MP  from Karnataka, is the chairman of Jupiter Capital. The company also owns Kannada news channel Suvarna News and is a key investor in English news channel Republic TV.

Malayalam general entertainment channels, Asianet, Asianet Plus, and Asianet Movies, are wholly owned by STAR India. Interestingly, both Asianet News Network channels and STAR India channels use the same brand name and logo.

Among the top ten Malayalam news and GEC channels other than Asianet News are Mazhavail Manorama, an entertainment channel, owned by the Malayala Manorama Group; Surya, an alliance of the Chennai-based Sun Network; Flowers, an entertainment channel, owned by the Gokulam Gopalan Group; Kairali, owned by Malayalam Communications Limited, backed by the Communist Party Marxist (Kerala); Amrita TV, owned by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math; DD Malayalam, run by the state-owned Doordarshan; Kappa TV, a music channel, owned by the Mathrubhumi Group; Jeevan TV owned by Jeevan Trust and Jeevan Charitable Trust, and Jaihind TV, founded by the Congress Party. However, two of the top new channels are run by the traditional media rivals of Kerala Mathrubhumi and Manorama.