Regulators

Radio For The Community

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2015/12/03/pankaj.jpg?itok=dGN1PDji

Radio is theater of the mind. Once you get people laughing, they're listening and you can tell them almost anything.

That's the motto of Radio MUST, Socho, seekho, bolo, badlo, chamka do duniya ko, jeeet lo is jahaan ko….

(This motto has been composed into a tune by a few students and recently Shankar Mahadevan very cordially sung it for us)

Community radio - as the name suggests - is radio for the community, by the community and of the community.

Of course, the meaning of the word community is interesting and differs from person to person. Today, in the age of radio revolution, the airwaves may appear to be jam packed, but there is still a lot of space for a community radio.

Essentially in India, the concept of community radio is still very unclear as it was never cultivated. But after the Supreme Court verdict that the airwaves are public property, many licences for community radios are being given all across the country. But still, for us Indians who still can't properly differentiate between traditional radio and the new private radios, community radio is altogether a new concept. Many people will further ask, 'do we really need another kind of radio? Or is there space for such kind of a radio?'

The community radio movement has gained a lot of pace over the years in the US, UK South America and Australia. In places like Bolivia, there are community radios even for minors and are doing pretty well. It makes sense to have a dedicated community radio for say NRIs residing in a English county or a community radio that caters to the specific needs of the farmer community. Basically a community radio is a non profit, non commercial application used to share information among the given community.

The traditional public radio broadcasting service is a strictly guarded and regulated medium of the government to provide information which they think is right. And we have the new players i.e. the private radio broadcasters for whom it's a medium to invest in the long run and make money out of entertainment.

Having stated the different types of radio, we need to understand a very basic thing and that is 'radio par dikhta nahi hai'. One who truly understands this fundamental point will rule the airways. Maybe that's the reason why most of the radio stations in the metros sound the same.

But talking about community radio, in today's world, it has a great role to play in terms of providing correct, precise and useful information to the people on a host of topics. Be it farming practices, garbage management, health consciousness, etc. Sounds pretty serious and gross… But if all this information can be transferred through the radio waves in an entertaining manner, the purpose is served. And that's exactly what you mean by infotainment.

Many universities across the country are now being given licences to operate community radios in their campuses. A community radio service can be heard across a 15 km area as it can have a maximum of 50W transmitter. Anna FM of the Annamalai University, Chennai, was the first campus community radio to be set up in India and it is still doing very well. Many universities have followed but have not been able to match up to the level of broadcast set by Anna FM.

Last year, Mumbai University also got a license to operate an FM community radio from its campus. Not many people have imagined or tried to use the FM radio waves to provide academic information to the people. But Radio MUST @107.8FM (Mumbai University student's transmission) will dare to explore the hidden treasure of infotainment through this community radio. In a city like Mumbai, which already has eight FM stations, what can a simple FM community radio offer or can it make a difference?

With nearly 75 departments in the university, along with 400 colleges in and around Mumbai affiliated to the university, Radio MUST has huge potential. Also, being a part of the sesquicentennial celebrations (150 yrs) of the university, people have great expectations from Radio MUST. With the radio station coming up at the Kalina campus, this FM community radio needs to be handled with care and in an innovative manner.

Here we would like to set a benchmark in terms of the programming. With Mumbaikars already having had a feel of what FM radio is all about, it will be a great challenge at Radio MUST to provide a similar kind of programming and packaging without the popular music.

The content will be sheer infotainment. Information ranging from academic to social issues to civic responsibilities to slum redevelopment to career options to college festivals to exams and more. The possibilities are unlimited. Not just students but even ex students and volunteers can join in the bandwagon to share important and interesting information through this community radio.

We at Radio MUST hope to utilize the radio waves efficiently with a lot of entertainment. This community radio will be a professionally managed non commercial radio and may just turn out to be the nursery for future radio professionals. This radio station will be run by all the students and these students will get a stipend paid by the university for all the work they do. So it becomes a double incentive for all.

We also plan to upgrade out systems in the near future as the colleges affiliated to Mumbai University are spread over a large area geographically. Also, we plan to stream it live on the Mumbai University website for greater coverage.

Already students from various colleges are working on a variety of programs. So you may soon be able to tune in to Munnabhai and Circuit discussing management fundas, Devdas and Chandramukhi talking about HIV AIDS awareness, James Bond talking about careers in forensic sciences. The list is pretty impressive… mixed together with information about exams, results, festivals, college happenings, social messages etc. this will be an open forum for all who want to make this city a better place to live.

And who better than the future of the country, the youngsters, the students, to do the job. With all the rules and regulations for a FM community radio being followed, Radio MUST will become a must for all of us.

Do you have an opinion on brands taking a social stance. Help Pankaj Athawale write the next chapter. Post your thoughts to editor@indiantelevision.com

(The author is Mumbai University FM community radio head Pankaj Athawale)

(The views expressed here are those of the author and Indiantelevision.com need not necessarily subscribe to the same)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/30/Piracy-800x800.jpg?itok=xiO-BtOm
Film piracy: Govt has no 'losses' figure, industry estimates Rs 180 bn a yr

NEW DELHI: Even as the government said that no definite data was available on losses owing to piracy “if any”, the film industry had said in mid-2016 that the Indian film industry was losing $ 2.7 billion (Rs 180 billion) every year. Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/30/trai-infra-800x800.jpg?itok=xZzXfz3A
TRAI advises govt to aid TV infra sharing, ease 'permissions'

The Central Government should encourage sharing of infrastructure, wherever technically feasible, in TV broadcasting distribution network services, on voluntary basis including sharing of head-end used for cable TV services and transport streams transmitting signals of TV channels, among...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/28/madaras-high-court%20%281%29.jpg?itok=30dcEsHP
TRAI extends tariff regulations execution date, Madras High court arguments to continue

Following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's request that its tariff regulations which were slated to come into effect on 2 April were being deferred to 2 May 2017, Star India and Vijay TV decided not to press for their pleas in view of the ongoing case in Madras hIgh Court.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/28/cinepramaan.jpg?itok=8JdUHJ7t
Online film certification starts, 33% rise in 'shoot' permission

NEW DELHI: A total of 41 shooting Permissions were given for foreign films/projects in 2016 which was approximately 33% increase over 2015. Stating this, the information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu said his Ministry has been proactively taking initiatives to promote Ease of Doing...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/25/perma1_0.jpg?itok=ONl7sQoX
Notices to several Pak TV channels for 'violations'

MUMBAI: Freedom of speech is being curtailed in the sub-continent. Media watchdog Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued show-cause notices to nine channels -- Waqt TV, Ab Tak TV, Channel 5, 7 News, Aaj TV, Sach TV, Roze TV, News One and Capital TV -- for airing 'fake...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/trai1-800x800_0%20%281%29.jpg?itok=KighZfVo
TRAI rejects complaint against free promos, says consumer comes first

The Telecom Commission’s contention that free promotional offers are responsible for the industry’s falling financial health and lower licence fee payments to the government has been rejected by the regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/Rjavardhan-rathor-800x800%20%282%29.jpg?itok=q1QzCcu7
No middlemen in film certification process anymore

NEW DELHI: The Indian Government has said that it has obviated the role for intermediaries/ agents in the existing as well as new online certification system. Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has told the Parliament that the online system is user-friendly, and...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/Bigg_Boss-Khatron_ke_Khiladi.jpg?itok=CERAE8EH
28 complaints against 12 TV channels about reality shows since 2006

NEW DELHI: Twelve television channels have faced action from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for 28 complaints relating to reality shows since 2006.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/MIB-800x800.jpg?itok=ict0XgWE
Automatic renewal of TV channels subject to fee and ten-year validity

NEW DELHI: The Government, which had said that payment of annual permission fee sixty days before the due date will by itself be sufficient permission for continuation of a channel for a further period of one year, has clarified that all the TV channels and Teleports are likely to benefit from this...

Regulators I&B Ministry

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories