All India Radio turns 80, plans to widen overseas broadcast of Mann Ki Baat

AIR plans to broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme to several countries and in multiple languages, says a top official


Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

New Delhi: State-owned All India Radio (AIR) has earned good revenue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat, and plans to broadcast the programme to several countries and in multiple languages, a top official said.

“We want Mann Ki Baat to reach as many people as possible across the world,” Raj Shekhar Vyas, additional director general at AIR, said over the phone.

Mann Ki Baat has also been visually adapted for telecast on Doordarshan channels. Both AIR and Doordarshan are owned by public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

AIR, which started as the Indian State Broadcasting Service, completed 80 years on Wednesday. It now operates 415 stations in the country.

Vyas said AIR has recently started working on a mega-project to collect and record India’s folk and traditional music. It currently covers about 92% of the area and 99.19% of the Indian population with its services in 23 languages. “We are also undergoing expansion,” he added, without mentioning details.

Also Read: 80 years of AIR

The AIR network includes FM channels (FM Gold and FM Rainbow), local radio stations, Vividh Bharati stations and five community radio stations. AIR also extends to over 108 countries. The external services division of AIR covers these countries using 27 languages (15 foreign and 12 Indian).

Congratulating AIR on completing 80 years, Rajyavardhan Rathore, minister of state for information and broadcasting, tweeted, “AIR reaches more than 99% of India’s population, catering to a wide spectrum of sociocultural diversity, focusing on information and edutainment.”

Rathore also mentioned that AIR has embarked on an expansion plan to extend the coverage of its FM channels to about 65% of India’s population. Currently, AIR FM operations cover 24.94% of the area and 36.81% of the population from 15 different centres.

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