| 11 Dec 2023
"FM Phase III auctions to provide new roadmap for radio broadcasting:" Arun Jaitley

MUMBAI: FM Phase III e-auctions have been in full-swing as it enters the 40th round of bidding at the end of day 10. Foreseeing the progress of the auctions, Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Arun Jaitley said that Phase-III auctions of FM Radio would provide a new roadmap for the radio broadcasting sector in the country.

Speaking at a consultative committee meeting of I&B Ministry, which was chaired by Jaitley, the members discussed issues pertaining to All India Radio and DD News. During the meeting, Jaitley also briefly spoke about FM auctions.

Commenting further on Phase III, Jaitley said that the auction process will boost the expansion of radio services in the country across 294 cities and 835 channels. Commenting on the much-talked about news on radio, he said, "Due to the expansion, radio news will reach out to smaller towns and cities thereby providing quality information to the audiences."

Jaitley stressed that Prasar Bharati, which consists of All India Radio and Doordarshan, were the platforms that provided content with a public service mandate, keeping aside profit motives. He also informed the members that the edu-entertainment format was being introduced to add variety to the Kisan Channel platform.

Both platforms AIR and DD will also air new initiatives of the ministry that will be in view of Talkathon having a visible impact. This could be taken up as a regular format for government communication more frequently in the future.

The members who were present during the meeting were Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (MoS I&B), Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Anil Madhav Dave, Jaya Bachchan, Neeraj Shekhar and Vivek Gupta.

Along with appreciating the measures taken by the Ministry, the committee members also suggested that the platforms should enhance the reach especially in areas that required quality information dissemination and programming. Other suggestions included improving packaging of the content and popularising programmes through an integrated marketing approach across platforms.

DG (News) of both AIR and DD on behalf of Prasar Bharati, also gave an overview of the two platforms, programming reach and content and related matters via a presentation.