AIR to introduce 49 news bulletins

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) The All India Radio (AIR) will introduce 49 news bulletins in regional languages from July 6, as part of its initiatives to enhance news coverage, Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Baljeet Singh Lalli said today.

These bulletins would be in addition to the existing 511 bulletins that AIR broadcasts daily, he told reporters here.

Mr Lalli said news headlines broadcast hourly on nine FM Rainbow channels would be expanded to all the 19 Rainbow stations.

News content would be increased by an hour (from five and half hours to six and half hours) on the four FM Gold channels based in the metros, he said.

Elaborating on AIR's expansion plans, the CEO said the state broadcaster would soon be launching bulletins in Purgee language for the Kargil region and in Coorgi for Kannadigas.

News on FM for Srinagar and Jammu would be enhanced, apart from an additional bulletin in Urdu from Radio Kashmir, he added.

There would be additional news bulletins from Itanagar and one in Chhattisgarhi language from Raipur, Mr Lalli said. As part of increasing news coverage in the North East, he said proposals to have hourly news updates on FM Imphal were being considered.

The CEO also emphasised that efforts were on to go for digitalisation of both Doordarshan and AIR, for which Rs 11,000 crores and Rs five thousand crores respectively, have been earmarked.

Replying to a query on the broadcaster's preparedness to cover the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he said the AIR as host broadcaster would have state of the art technology to give quality broadcast, which foreign broadcasters could buy.

He said plans have also been drawn up for coverage of the Beijing Olympics, with the formation of a 70-member team for the purpose.

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