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No decision to close local programming at AIR, the claims are fake says Prasar Bharti CEO

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New Delhi, Apr 16: At a press conference in Mangaluru, an announcer at the All India Radio, Manohar Kadri said that the new policy of Prasar Bharti would affect the regional programmes and the reduction of the local content is a threat to the employment of announcers.

No decision to close local programming at AIR, the claims are fake says Prasar Bharti CEO

"The new policy was planned to be introduced in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, but other states opposed it and hence, it was dropped," he also said.

Reacting strongly to these claims, the CEO of Prasar Bharti, Shashi Shekhar said that there is no truth to these claims. He made it abundantly clear that there is no such policy or decision or instruction. He further explained that content reforms in Akashvani are a continuous process with a focus on quality and on meaningful utilisation of public funds. It has become habitual for certain vested interests to misrepresent facts. Local programming will continue to nurture local talent and fresh voices, he also said.

He further added that AIR was proud of its legacy of linguistic diversity that ensures programming across the network in more than hundred languages and dialects. He highlighted that AIR was the largest radio network in India operating more than 400 stations. It is only All India Radio that services remotes corners of India where there is no private radio service available. However he mentioned that with the evolution of technology AIR also has to modernise and optimise its operations. With the advent of satellite technology now more than 40 AIR Radio Services can be listened via Satellite anywhere in India through the DD FreeDish DTH Platform. Similarly it is possible now to listen to AIR stations anywhere in the world through the NewsOnAir App which carries more than 200 live streams of Radio.

Unlike in the past where the reach of terrestrial radio was limited to the city or town now it is possible to have an audience anywhere in the world. AIR has a long history of providing a platform to young voices and fresh talent. Now these voices and talent can be heard anywhere in the state, country or world rather than be restricted to any single town or city. Further all of this rich content is also being digitised and made available for on-demand listening through platforms like YouTube.

Photo Caption: Shashi Shekhar

Thus content reforms in Akashvani are a continuous process in line with these emerging technologies and with a focus on quality. It has become habitual for certain vested interests to misrepresent facts as technology brings with it greater transparency and accountability. Now it is possible to monitor the quality of content sitting anywhere in the world and feedback on poor quality content is instantaneous.

To further bring transparency and accountability an I.T. based Talent Booking System has been introduced across the AIR Network along with an I.T. Application to digitise program schedules. All of these are efforts to ensure meaningful utilisation of public funds.

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