“Inauguration of 91 FM transmitters will revolutionize the radio industry in India”
“Through Radio and Mann Ki Baat, I could be linked to the strength of the country and the collective power of the duty among the countrymen”
“In a way, I am part of your All India Radio Team”
“Those who were considered to be distant will now get a chance to connect at a greater level”
“Government is continuously working for the democratization of technology”
“Digital India has not only given new listeners to the radio but a new thought process as well”
“Be it DTH or FM radio, this power gives us a window to peep into future India. We have to prepare ourselves for this future”
“Our government is strengthening cultural connectivity as well as intellectual connectivity”
“Connectivity in any form should aim to connect the country and its 140 crore citizens”
APRIL 28, 2023
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated 91 new 100W FM Transmitters today via video conferencing. The inauguration will give a further boost to radio connectivity in the country.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted the presence of numerous Padma Awardees in the programme and welcomed them. 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 2 crore people of the nation. In a way, the Prime Minister said, it provides a glimpse of the diversity and colours of India. He informed that the districts covered under the new 91 FM transmitters are aspirational districts and blocks, and congratulated All India Radio for the momentous achievement. He also congratulated the citizens of the Northeast who will greatly benefit from this.
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.” He elaborated on this point by giving examples of the role of the programme in initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and Har Ghar Tiranga which became a people’s movement through Mann Ki Baat. “Therefore, in a way, I am part of your All India Radio Team”, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister underlined that the inauguration of 91 FM transmitters forwards the policies of the government that gives preference to the underprivileged who have been deprived of this facility so far. “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 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 explained this by mentioning optical fiber to all the villages and the cheapest data cost that has 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 emphasized that the tech revolution taking place in the country in the past few years has fabricated radio and especially FM in a new form. Noting the rise of the internet, the Prime Minister pointed out that radio has come to the fore in innovative ways through podcasts and online FM. “Digital India has not only given new listeners to the radio but a new thought process as well”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined that the same revolution can be witnessed in every broadcasting medium. He informed that the services of DD free dish, the largest DTH platform in the country, are being provided to 4 crore 30 lakh homes where real-time information about the world is reaching the doorsteps of crores of rural households and areas nearing the border. He also underlined that education and entertainment are also reaching those sections of society that have been deprived for decades. “This has resulted in removing the disparity between different sections of society and providing quality information to everyone”, the Prime Minister said. He informed that various types of education courses are available on DTH channels where the knowledge of more than one university is directly reaching the homes. The Prime Minister pointed out that it has been of great help for crores of students in the country, especially during the Corona period. “Be it DTH or FM radio, this power gives us a window to peep into future India. We have to prepare ourselves for this future”, Shri Modi remarked.
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. “Our government is strengthening cultural connectivity and intellectual connectivity also”, the Prime Minister said. He explained this by giving an example of making Padma and other awards truly people’s awards by honoring real heroes. “Unlike earlier, now instead of being based on recommendations, Padma Awards are being conferred for service to the nation and society”, he added.
Noting that tourism has got a boost after the rejuvenation of pilgrimages and religious places in different parts of the country, the Prime Minister said that the increasing number of people visiting tourist places is proof of increasing cultural connectivity in the country. He gave examples of museums related to tribal freedom fighters, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Panchteerth, PM Museum and the National War Memorial and said that such initiatives have given a new dimension to intellectual and emotional connectivity in the country.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister underlined the vision and mission of all communication channels like All India Radio and said that connectivity be it in any form, its purpose is to connect the country and its 140 crore citizens. He expressed confidence that all stakeholders will continue to move forward with this vision resulting in the strengthening of the country through continuous dialogue.
As part of the government’s commitment to enhancing FM connectivity in the country, 91 new 100W FM transmitters have been installed in 85 districts across 18 States and 2 Union Territories. A special focus of this expansion has been on enhancing coverage in Aspirational Districts and in border areas. The States and UTs which are covered include Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Ladakh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. With this expansion of AIR’s FM service, an additional 2 crore people will now be covered who did not have access to the medium. It will result in the expansion of coverage in about 35,000 sq km area.
The Prime Minister has been a firm believer in the important role which radio plays in reaching out to the masses. To harness the unique strength of the medium to reach out to the widest possible audience, the Prime Minister started the Mann ki Baat programme, which is now nearing its landmark 100th episode.