The BBC World Service will launch 11 new language services, including four new services in Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi as part of its biggest expansion "since the 1940s", the corporation has announced.
The other new languages will be Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Igbo, Korean, Pidgin, Tigrinya, and Yoruba.
BBC director general Tony Hall said about the expansion: "This is a historic day for the BBC, as we announce the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s. The BBC World Service is a jewel in the crown — for the BBC and for Britain."
He also said: "As we move towards our centenary, my vision is of a confident, outward-looking BBC which brings the best of our independent, impartial journalism and world-class entertainment to half a billion people around the world. Today is a key step towards that aim."
Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service director, said the announcement was about transforming the service by investing for the future. “We must follow our audience, who consume the news in changing ways; an increasing number of people are watching the World Service on TV, and many services are now digital-only,” she said.
The first new services are expected to launch in 2017.