Staff Reporter

Plan to have up to one lakh Ham radio operators by 2010

More awareness programmes on amateur radio

HYDERABAD: What if you could talk to Rajiv Gandhi and former Jordan King Hussein bil Talal daily?

S. Suri, the founder-chairman and CEO of National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) used to do just that when he was an employee in Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd. “Ham Radio opens the window for a wide variety of people across the world and its space is opened only for non-commercial communication,” he said.

The NIAR started off its Silver Jubilee celebrations with one-day seminar on ‘Amateur Radio for Next Generation’ on Saturday. “Rajiv Gandhi wanted to connect six lakh Indian villages with Ham radio network. Unfortunately he died before realising his dream, otherwise it would have revolutionised the communications in India,” said Mr. Suri in his inaugural speech. It is the only mode of network that operates without any interruption and its installation across the countryside would benefit the nation immensely, he said.

Charan Singh, former chief engineer of design at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., explained the highlights of the roadmap prepared by the institute to popularise Ham radio in India. “Increasing the number of Hams (the name given for those who connect to Ham radio) up to one lakh by 2010, scaling up the activities of awareness programmes, training are the key tasks,” he said. Although the officials are appreciating the services of Ham radio at the time of natural disasters, they are not keen on its promotion, said Jaya Sankar, the former Mayor of Vijayawada.

G.L. Rao, a former irrigation engineer and Bharati, who is working with RBI, explained their experiences.