Rupert Murdoch''s News Corp is planning a fresh investment of several hundred million dollars in India''s television and information technology markets, including the launch of a raft of new channels to add to Star TV''s present line-up.

Murdoch, who is currently on a five-day tour of India, announced plans to add six more regional-language channels to the News Corp-owned Star TV platform. News Corp is also searching for potential partners in several other TV and IT-related ventures, details of which should emerge in April.

"We have a lot of plans and I think starting in April you''ll see us announcing a lot of important initiatives," Murdoch said.

Murdoch added that he plans direct investments in the IT sector, but no complete acquisitions - only forays - into multimedia opportunities. News Corp plans to be a complete provider of education, entertainment, data and e-commerce in India through its various business platforms. In next few weeks, Star TV will be "beefed up" to aggressively chase market share, Murdoch said.

Murdoch has met Infosys CEO NR Narayana Murthy, and held talks with other leading Indian IT players including Wipro head Azim Premji. He is scheduled to meet chief minister SM Krishna today (March 13) and the Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Murdoch rival Kerry Packer last week acquired a 10% stake in leading Indian technology firm Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) and announced joint ventures related to e-commerce.