The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced that private FM channels can broadcast All India Radio News from January 8, 2019. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore shared the news at a function in New Delhi on Monday.
Rathore told All India Radio News that it was a positive and welcome step as radio is the biggest mass medium for citizens. “AIR FM is covering 50% of the population in the country and private FM channels are being given opportunities in different cities and towns. The radio has been popularised again due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.”
Taking on the opposition, Rathore said that from 2009 to 2014, the then UPA Government took 56 crore square centimetres of space in newspapers for advertisements and spent a huge amount on publicity. He added, “They even displayed the photographs of UPA chairperson, who was not even a constitutional authority.”
While the ministry has permitted private FM channels to broadcast AIR News, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati had last week announced that it would shut down All India Radio's national channel and regional training academies in five cities — Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram — in an effort to cut costs and streamline operations.