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BBC News to start months of special India coverage

Starting this September, the focus will be on whether India can become the next global superpower. A series of events will follow on fake news and global media literacy, linking young Indians with audiences around the world to share ideas and explore solutions

This September, BBC News will start several months of special India coverage on whether India can become the next global superpower and put forward its own solutions to the country’s building fake news crisis.

A special week of coverage will open a season that will culminate in November with a series of events on fake news and global media literacy, linking young Indians with audiences around the world to share ideas and explore solutions for the future.

BBC News will host a global event on November 12 where teenagers from Delhi, London and Nairobi will be brought together in a live broadcast. It will include a showcase of BBC outreach projects in Indian schools, building on the BBC School Report in the UK and helping young people identify the challenges of sharing news on chat apps. Then on November 14 and 15, a Hackathon event in Delhi will link India’s top computer science students with tech companies to explore how technology can help stop people inadvertently sharing fake stories.

BBC News will also carry out daily fact checks during India’s general election next year and BBC Reality Check, a service dedicated to verifying news, will look at the big claims and stories at the heart of the campaign.

It is the latest step in the expansion of BBC News in India as part of the World 2020 project. This investment has included launching news services in four Indian languages – Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu – and an expanded news bureau in Delhi with two new TV studios. The bureau is now the BBC’s largest outside the UK, becoming a video, TV and digital content production hub for the whole of South Asia.

Drawing on the BBC’s extensive news and programme-making teams in India and the UK, the Fast Forward India season in September will provide thought-provoking insight and analysis on India’s economic growth to audiences around the world. From car manufacturing to fashion, BBC journalists will tell the story of the country’s extraordinary development, the technological innovations taking place and how they are helping to modernise the country. The month-long season includes the live filming of two BBC World News programmes in New Delhi, the current affairs programme Global Questions presented by Zeinab Badawi, and the BBC’s flagship technology programme Click presented by Spencer Kelly.

BBC World Service English will also record a special live edition of its new podcast Kalki Presents: My Indian Life, in Mumbai on September 11. Presented by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin and aimed specifically at young adults in India, the podcast is about being young and Indian in the 21st century. And the following week, BBC News Marathi plans to launch BBC Vishwa as part of an innovative BBC partnership with the Jio TV app.

Jamie Angus, Director of BBC World Service Group, said, “The BBC’s historic investment in journalism in India means we are better placed than ever to tell India’s story to the world, and for Indian audiences to hear how the world sees India’s continuing growth and development.”

“The provision of trusted and high-quality news in English and multiple Indian languages is at the heart of BBC World Service’s mission; we want to work in partnership with local organisations and India’s young people to find the best solutions to the challenges of fake news. Our editorial season this autumn will raise up some of India’s great success stories, while helping to find solutions to the problems of global media literacy, which are as relevant here as they are around the world,” added Angus.

Recording in the heart of New Delhi and presented by Zeinab Badawi, the debate will feature representatives from the government, industry and think tanks. ‘Global Questions–India: The Next Superpower?’ will air on BBC World News on September 22 and 23.

Presenter Spencer Kelly will showcase the best of India’s hi-tech industry interviewing the entrepreneurs shaping the future of people’s lives all around the world. This is an immersive and interactive experience – from hearing “3D sound” to piloting NASA’s next generation Mars lander – everybody will have the chance to glimpse the world of tomorrow. BBC Click Live will record in front of a live audience in New Delhi and will air on BBC World News on September 22 and 23.

Reinventing India is a series will look at how innovation is helping to transform established industries and revitalising cities in India. The show will be fronted by Yogita Limaya and will see her and Devina Gupta visiting six locations, discovering the new technologies that are helping to modernise India across a range of sectors. The episodes will air on Asia Business Report on BBC World News from September 24 to 28 as well as on BBC.com/Business. The series will culminate in a documentary on BBC World News on September 29.

India’s Game Changers series will profile Indian corporate leaders who have changed the way business is done in India. India’s Game Changers will air on Asia Business Report on BBC World News on September 22 and 29and October 6.

Global Questions – Where is India’s youth? This debate, recorded in Hindi and presented by Rupa Jha, will examine the state of young Indians. With two-thirds of the country below the age of 30, the programme will focus on issues including political representation and participation, and the big social questions over identity. The programme will record live in New Delhi and will air on BBC World Service.

As BBC World Service English’s new podcast Kalki Presents: My Indian Life continues, presenter and Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin will be in Mumbai on September 11 to record a special live edition of the podcast and talk to college students. The podcast is all about being young and Indian in the 21st century, and explores extraordinary real-life stories from around the country. Following on from a similar event held at a college in Delhi in August, ‘My Indian Life: Live’ now heads to a university in Mumbai where Kalki will be joined on stage by one of the podcast’s senior producers and contributors whose personal stories are featured in the podcast.

Video series: This series showcases the ideas being incubated at tech hubs across the country from Bangalore to Pune, Gurgaon to Hyderabad. A special bbc.com/fastforwardindia hub page will contain text and video versions of all the content throughout September.

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