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Bangalore’s first community radio station goes Active…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 25, 2007

BANGALORE: Bangalore’s first community FM radio station, Radio Active 107.8 (RA), hit the airwaves on Monday.

Bangalore’s first community radio station goes Active

RA 107.8 is Karnataka’s second community radio station, the first one being operated by the Agricultural University at Dharwad. Launched by the Jain Group of Institutions (JGI), RA 107.8 will focus on issues concerning health, environment, development, scientific awareness, women’s welfare and social issues, in turn seeking to inform, educate while entertaining listeners.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which had earlier been allocated the frequency 107.8, will start broadcasting from 107.2 starting Monday evening.

The station was inaugurated by Rashtriya Vigyan Evan Prodhyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVEPSP) scientist Ujjwala Tirkey.

Content, say sources, will be generated partly by students, partly in partnership with other institutions and colleges, as well as sourced from NGOs like VOICE. Since community radios run by colleges and educational institutions are allowed to pay lower subscription rates to the Indian Phonographic Association (IPA), some film music, chiefly in local languages, will also be played on the station.

College students from Bangalore’s RJI institute’s post graduate department of communication will work as radio jockeys for the new station. 28 RJs have already been shortlisted for the job. Initially, the station will air eight hours daily, in sessions of four hours each – the second session being a repeat of the first. College students and RJs Ramakant and Priyanka kicked off the inaugural show, the former in Kannada and the latter in Engliss.

The station will broadcast through a BEL 50 watt transmitter which has a range of about 15-120 kms line of sight radius, according to JGI sources.

At present, there are 28 community radio stations (including RA), with the Anna University being the first one to start a few years ago. Tamil Nadu (including Pondicherry) takes the lead with 11 community radios in operation, followed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh with four each, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan with two each and Kerala with one, are some of the other states in which some cities have community radio broadcasts. Orissa has recently been granted a license, according to Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia director, Dr R Sreedher. In Bangalore, eight licenses (including JGI) have been granted, with Bangalore University having been allotted the frequency about two years ago.

Though non government organisations can start community radio stations with the recent changes in the law, none has been granted a license as yet, according to Sreedher. The Parliament has approved five minutes per hour advertisement revenues for community radio stations, under certain conditions.

(25 June 2007 – Source: by Tarachand Wanvari)

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