Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned the Low Power FM Transmitters of capacity of 100 Watt at 91 locations in 84 districts of 20 states and UTs. With this the network of transmitters with AIR has increased from 524 to 615, which will further boost the coverage of the broadcaster to 73.5% of the population of the country.
Naxalism hit areas, aspirational districts and border areas of the country have been given priority for the installation of the radio transmitters. In another major step towards meeting this demand and capacity building of AIR, government has further approved installation of 63 more FM transmitters in the country.
Speaking about the significance of the addition, the Prime Minister said that today marks a significant step in the expansion of FM services by All India Radio in the direction of becoming All India FM. He underlined that the beginning of 91 FM transmitters by All India Radio is like a present for 85 districts and two crore people of the nation. The Prime Minister said that the government is continuously working for the democratization of technology.
“It is important that no Indian should feel scarcity of opportunity if India has to rise up to its full potential”, the Prime Minister said. Making modern technology accessible and affordable is key to this. He pointed out that availability of optical fiber to all the villages at the cheapest data cost that had eased access to information. He said that this has given a new push to digital entrepreneurship in villages. Similarly, UPI has helped small businesses and street vendors to access banking services.
The Prime Minister underscored the emotional connection of his generation with radio. “For me, there is an added happiness that I have a relationship with radio as a host too”, the Prime Minister said referring to the upcoming 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat.
He said “This kind of emotional connect with the countrymen was possible only through the radio. Through this, I remained linked to the strength of the country and the collective power of the duty among the countrymen.”
“Those who were considered to be distant will now get a chance to connect at a greater level”, the Prime Minister said. Listing out the benefits of FM transmitters, the Prime Minister mentioned relaying important information on time, community building efforts, weather updates related to agricultural practices, information on food and vegetable prices for the farmers, discussions about the loss incurred by the use of chemicals in agriculture, pooling of advanced machinery for agriculture, informing women self-help groups about new market practices and assisting the entire community during times of a natural calamity. He also mentioned the infotainment value of the FM.
The Prime Minister touched upon the dimension of linguistic diversity and informed that FM transmission will take place in all the languages and especially in the regions with 27 dialects. “This connectivity does not link just the tools of communications but it connects the people too. This is reflective of the work culture of this government”, said the Prime Minister highlighting the emphasis on social connectivity along with the promotion of physical connectivity.