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India: Bihar to set up FM radio stations in schools (news)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 24, 2008

Patna: The Bihar government plans to set up Frequency Modulation (FM) radio stations in schools across the state to make education more effective and user-friendly.

Initially, the government would set up FM radio stations in 11 high schools in Patna and Nalanda. “The government would select more schools for the purpose later,” the state’s Minister of Information & Public Relations Arjun Rai said.

Rai said the decision to set up school FM radio stations was taken in view of the fact that the world was using information technology in schools for easy access to knowledge.

“Programmes on FM radio would be made to educate and inform students about community development, health and disaster management,” Rai said.

These FM radios would help revive local and folk music and art, and provide opportunities to local people to generate employment, particularly in the rural areas.

“The FM radio station would air four to five hours’ programme daily, including entertainment,” an official in the information and public relations department said.

The state government has already applied for licence and the decision is pending with the central government. After the licence is issued, the state will set up FM radio stations in selected schools and relay programmes, the official said.

The core programming will be done in Patna and the peripheral programming in the districts. The channels would host phone-in programmes featuring guest lectures, career counselling, and quizzes based on general and subject knowledge.

According to a government estimate, the cost of setting up one Community Radio Station (CRS), including equipment and installation charges, is nearly Rs.480,000.

The cost of studio, which would be optional, would be Rs.230,000. The operational cost per radio station, as worked out by the government, is Rs. 46,965 per month while the expected monthly revenue per CRS is Rs. 50,400.

Sixty per cent of the cost will be borne by the human resources development department of the state and the remaining will be taken as loan from banks.

Half-a-dozen schools in Patna were selected and five in Nalanda, the home district of chief minister Nitish Kumar. “We were told by our class teacher that the government would set up a FM radio station in school. It is a big step,” Aprajita Singh, a student of Bankipore Girls High School, said.

Another student of the same school, Sanjana Kumari, said they were excited after being told that they would learn new things through FM radio station. “The experience will be different,” she said.

Ramesh Ranjan, a student of Miller High School, said the FM radio station would help the students to connect to the changing world. “It will be handy for us,” he said.

(Source: Monday, March 24, 2008 | | NEWS )

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