| 18 May 2024
Vividh Bharati available on FM in all metros, all AIR channels available on internet

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said today that technological advancements had made it possible for radio to reach the widest possible listeners through various modes including mobiles, car stereos and the Internet.

Speaking after launching Delhi’s Vividh Bharati on FM mode in addition to medium wave, he said this had been done in view of the fact that FM was available to listeners on small sets as well as mobiles.

Jaitley said the introduction of the Vividh Bharati services from Delhi had addressed the content and entertainment needs of the audiences residing within the NCR region.

This initiative would also mainstream the platform with audiences, proactively offering them different program segments and keeping pace with contemporary themes on the entertainment segment.

MoS I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, I&B Secretary Bimal Julka, Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, AIR DGi Fayyaz Sheheryar and Doordarshan DG C Lalrosanga were also present on the occasion.

Reiterating the historical role played by Vividh Bharati channel in the broadcast of entertainment programs, Jaitley said the different programmes had left a deep imprint on the minds of the listeners since it began in 1957.

While programming had witnessed qualitative improvement, the extension of this platform from New Delhi on the FM stream would further enhance the quality of transmission and sound reception.

Vividh Bharati as a platform had created landmarks which remain predominant in the minds of listeners. Jaitley recalled some of the prominent programmes that had been successfully broadcast for several decades. The Minister mentioned ‘Bhule Bisre Geet’, ‘Hawa Mahal’, ‘Jaimala for Army personnel’, ‘Sangeet Sarita’ and ‘Youth Express’. All these programs addressed the varied audiences’ needs successfully across the country.

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said that AIR had already launched radio on the net and so listeners could now tune in to their favourite stations on the internet. FM Gold, Vividh Bharati and the Urdu service of AIR was now also available on the net.

Doordarshan Director General C Lalrosanga said Doordarshan had readied an application that would soon be launched for downloading on mobiles.

AIR DG F Sheheryaar said all AIR channels and even regional language channels of the pubcaster would be gradually put on the FM Mode, in addition to being available on medium wave.

While the test signal had been on for the past six months, the formal launch will make Delhi Vividh Bharati accessible up to a radius of 60 km.

The signal will now be available with stereophonic sound quality and has the inbuilt feature of becoming available on mobile phones and car stereos. A dedicated 10 KW transmitter has been installed for the VB Service Delhi and it will cover a minimum radius of 60 km.

Vividh Bharati on FM will be available in Delhi on 100.1 MHz. This is in addition to its availability on MW 1368 kHz. Two other existing FM services of AIR are FM Gold (106.4MHz) and FM Rainbow (102.6 MHz). AIR also has its Local Radio Station Network in FM.

While Vividh Bharati was on FM only in Kolkata earlier, it was put on this mode in Chennai on 21 February and in Mumbai in 17 March.

In Mumbai, this channel is available on FM mode on 102.8 MHz in addition to medium wave. A dedicated 5 KW transmitter has been installed for the VB Service in Mumbai. In Kolkata, Vividh Bharati can be heard on 101.8 MHz on FM and in Chennai on 100.5 MHz (in addition to MW 383.1/783 KHz).

Launched on 3 October 1957, the channel has been very popular over the past six decades but had seen a downfall in listenership with the coming in of the Frequency Modulation (FM) which is also available in car radios and mobile phones.

While Vividh Bharati services were available across most parts of the country on FM mode, it was until recently transmitted only on Medium Wave in the four metros (with the highest population densities).

The 5 KW FM Transmitter in Mumbai will be upgraded to 20 KW FM in the near future and will cover a radius over 80 kilometres once installed and made operational.

Ministry sources said there are plans to reach out All India Radio to 65 per cent of the country through FM in the next two and half years. AIR FM at present covers nearly 45 per cent of the country.