| 17 Apr 2024
FM expansion, improved coverage in border areas for All India Radio as Prasar Bharti's 'Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development' scheme gets approval

MUMBAI: The recent approval of Prasar Bharti’s - Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development scheme has opened doors of expansion for All India Radio’s (AIR) FM network along with Doordashan.

Approved by PM Narendra Modi’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the scheme boasts of Rs.1054.52 crore funds, from which AIR will be getting 435.04 crore for developing and implementation of their on-going schemes, while Doordarshan’s share is of 619.48 crore.

Prasar Bharti CEO Shasi Vempati thanked CCEA for the approval on Twitter.

When it comes to All India Radio, listed below are the key highlights of the scheme that aims for a major development of Prasar Bharti’s radio network.

  • There will be FM expansion in about 206 places under the FM expansion programme.
  • Foreseen digitisation of studios at about 127 places.
  • Setting up of 6 10KW FM transmitters along both Indo-Nepal and Jammu and Kashmir border.

Benefits anticipated

About 13% increase in the already existing All India Radio listening population can be anticipated with the FM expansion programme.

Both, radio and TV coverage will greatly improve in the border areas post the placing of transmitters in these areas. This will in turn increase the radio listeners, residing in both Jammu and Kashmir and Indo-Nepal border area.

Besides, the scheme has also launched DD ArunPrabha Channel for the people of North East. The channel was launched from Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. From moderinisation as well as digitisation of studios at 39 locations to the setting up of Digital Terrestial Transmitter (DTTs) at about 19 locations, the scheme also has plans for upgrading Earth Stations in 12 locations that is approved. For making it easy to reach people in remote, tribal as well as border areas, about , 1,50,000 DTH sets will be distributed among different states of India. This will therefore make it easy for people residing there to watch Doordarshan programmes. The cabinet has also given a green signal to DSNG (Digital Satellite News Gathering) Vans at 15 locations, while Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata will get High Definition Television (HDTV) transmitters.

The currently continuing schemes of both AIR and Doordarshan will be implemented in different stages, besides being scheduled to be implemented in different phases.

With Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development acknowledging All India Radio’s plans of expansion and radio coverage enhancement, we can anticipate remarkable development of AIR’s FM station expansion plan as well as radio coverage in the remote and border areas.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, in what came as a made a milestone decision, AIR News bulletins have been made available to Private FM stations in the country, though in an unchanged format. This implementation is under trial basis until May end 2019.