RadioandMusic
| 12 Nov 2018
Exclusive: Mobile users to miss daily diet of AIR news headlines thrice a day

NEW DELHI: At least one million Indian subscribers will be deprived of the daily diet of news headlines via SMS on their mobile phones three times a day.

They will also have to miss the many updates on days when prime minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation with his Mann Ki Baat.

This follows a decision by Prasar Bharati to discontinue this free service which had first commenced in September 2013.

A terse note on SMS sent by All India Radio which runs the service said: ‘As decided by Prasar Bharati, we hereby stop SMS services being provided since September 2013. We thank all our subscribers for their support and appreciation.’

Radioandmusic.com learns from sources in the pubcaster that the service cost Prasar Bharati around Rs 10 crore per year from its own funds. All India Radio (AIR) News SMS service was started in five Indian languages Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Dogri and Nepali, along with English. This service was targeted at rural Indians, aimed at providing important news to the subscribers in their preferred language on their mobile phones.

In an era where other mediums were available for the consumption of news, it is learnt that Prasar Bharati decided to discontinue this service.

However, sources said Prasar Bharati was exploring various options including shifting this service to WhatsApp as that could prove cheaper.