It’s good news on Public Broadcasting Day!
Radio lovers all over India breathed a sigh of relief when Prasar Bharati on Wednesday clarified that no All India Radio (AIR) station is being closed anywhere in any state across India. AIR is also piloting Digital radio transmission, the release said.
Taking a serious note of what it alleged was ‘false reporting and fake news’ claiming closure of All India Radio (AIR) stations across India, Prasar Bharati made it clear that “these reports are baseless and factually incorrect”.
Prasar Bharati stated, “no AIR station is being downgraded or converted anywhere in any state or union territory”.
Also, “all AIR stations will continue to originate local programming” in line with linguistic, socio-cultural and demographic diversity furthering the mission of AIR to nurture local talent, said a statement issued on Wednesday by the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting.
Prasar Bharati said it is moving ahead with its plans to strengthen the Akashvani, All India Radio, AIR Network with several key projects ready for implementation during 2021-2022, expanding its network with more than 100 new FM radio transmitters across India.
The AIR Network, comprising few hundreds of stations and several hundreds of radio transmitters, is one of the world’s largest public service broadcasting networks.
It operates in multiple modes – Terrestrial analog radio (FM, MW, SW), Satellite DTH Radio (DD Free Dish DTH), Internet Radio (NewsOnAir App on iOS/Android).
With 48 Satellite Radio channels available on DD FreeDish DTH Service, local and regional voices on radio stations from across India now have a nation-wide platform to make themselves heard, the ministry stated.
Around 200 live radio streams on the NewsOnAir App, Prasar Bharati has given ‘Vocal for Local’ a new global meaning with over 2.5 million users accessing these 200+ live radio streams from different countries across the world with over 300 million views during 2020.
“Prasar Bharati is also moving ahead with its plans to introduce Digital Terrestrial Radio in India. Select AIR channels are already available through Digital DRM technology to the listeners in many cities/regions on an experimental basis,” the I&B ministry stated. Listeners in these cities/regions can experience the power of Digital Radio through a choice of multiple radio channels available on a single radio frequency in digital mode, it said.
Specialised digital radio services of Akashvani available on DRM transmitters include AIR News 24×7 dedicated to news and current affairs, AIR Raagam 24×7 dedicated to classical music apart from local/regional radio services and Live Sports, it said.
“Prasar Bharati is also in advanced stage of testing Digital Technology options for FM Radio and a standard for the same will be finalised soon to herald the rollout of Digital FM Radio in India,” the ministry added.