| 20 Jul 2024
AIR launches webstreaming of Balochi, all External Services channels to be on multimedia by March

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash today staunchly denied that the Balochi service of All India Radio had been launched in the light of current political developments.

He said that the Balochi service of the External Services Division had been in existence since May 1974 was one of the 27 languages covered by the Division. It is broadcast between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm every night and also includes a news bulletin apart from programmes reflecting both Indian and Balochi culture and the commonalities. It also had music, talks of general interest which were mainly translated from the General Overseas Service Broadcasts.

Speaking at the launch of the Mobile app and website of the Baloch service at the AIR here, he said that the ESD broadcasts around 600 hours of radio programmes per week. He said that AIR broadcast in 15 foreign and twelve Indian languages through the Division and reached around 150 countries. Apart from Doordarshan Director General Supriya Sahu, several senior officials of Prasar Bharati were also present.

AIR Director General Fayyaz Sheheryar said that fourteen of these 27 languages were targeted at India’s immediate neighbouring countries, of which seven - including Baluch, Saraiki, Urdu, Pushto, and Punjabi – were targeted at Pakistan in view of the importance and emphasis of the region from a geo-political perspective and for reaching out to India’s nieghbours for better people-to-people contact and cultural exchange.

Sheheryar also said the External Affairs Ministry had agreed to help to popularize these channels and also launch more services.

Twelve of the language services including Baloch were not available through web-streaming. There had been a demand from many listeners for better reception and this was the reason for the web-streaming of some of the channels in addition to the Short Wave broadcasts. It was expected that all 27 language channels would be available through mobile apps and web streaming by March 2017.

Giving a historical perspective, he said that the short wave services had been launched in 1939 in the wake of the Second World War by the then British Government.

He further added that some private stations from across the border including Canada and Pakistan were broadcasting programmes in Balochi but the Indian programmes were very popular as the listeners had an emotional contact with AIR.

Web streaming would help reach the diaspora speaking these languages even outside the countries at which they were directed.

Answering a question, he stated it was not possible for any country including Pakistan to jam the short wave transmissions from India.