Swaraj commissions DD Metro station in Bellary

MUMBAI:Information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday commissioned national broadcaster Doordarshan's Metro Low-Power Transmitter (LPT) and laid the foundation stone for an FM radio station in Bellary, Karnataka.

Bellary is among 12 places in the country selected for the "narrowcasting" programme to be introduced by Prasar Bharati from 12 October, Swaraj has said. Programmes about local issues and schemes will be telecast to a limited population served by the LPTs.

The I&B ministry is meanwhile, giving final touches to a proposal permitting schools, colleges and other educational institutions to set up their own radio stations to cater to a variety of activities.

Swaraj has said the proposal will be placed before the Cabinet next month and initially IIMs, IITs and residential schools will be targeted. Swaraj's stated aim is that every school in India should eventually have its own radio.

Once the proposal gets Cabinet approval, the Department of Telecommunications will be approached to allot frequencies to interested institutions. These radio "stations" will have a radius will be limited to about 5 km.

Regarding the controversial Conditional Access System (CAS), The Times of India quoted Swaraj as saying: "We are keeping our options open. It has been passed by the Lok Sabha but not in the Rajya Sabha since the Parliament was stalled. Let's see what we can do about it."

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