Chitra V. Ramani
In a first for the country, students will be taught to manage a radio station
Practical training to be given in AIR stations
Successful candidates can opt for diploma course
Bangalore: Radio, particularly community radio, is a medium that has potential to disseminate information to the grass-roots level. It makes the people aware of their rights and opportunities besides offering vocational expertise and knowledge. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has, for the first time, launched a certificate course in community radio.
V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU, told The Hindu that the course was launched on September 29. The programme was being offered under IGNOU’s School of Journalism and New Media. “Radio, especially community radio, is a major technological leveller in rural areas. Candidates will be taught how to manage a station, develop content and so on.
Practical training, which is essential for a course of this nature, will be provided by IGNOU jointly with Akashvani,” he said.
Dr. Pillai said that a conference on community radio was organised recently by IGNOU, where most participants blamed the Indian media for ignoring a movement very core to the concept of democracy and development of a nation.
The media should have prioritised the community radio movement and concertedly raised region and issue-specific community radios addressing target communities, with a view to improve their living condition, speakers at the conference said.
The Vice-Chancellor said community radio was nothing but adapting modern broadcast technology for local broadcast. “This way, we have assured community participation, not just as broadcasters but as listeners also,” he said.
He said a course on community radio fits well in IGNOU’s larger aim of improving the quality of life of the masses. “It is probable that community radios go on to revolutionise not only in developing countries, but also the developed nations where underprivileged and marginalised communities still exist.”
A major problem hindering the development of community radios is lack of media literacy, training and professionalism.
“The certificate course recently launched by IGNOU will touch upon all these aspects. Practical training will be given in 30 to 40 Akashvani centres throughout the country,” he said.
Candidates who complete the certificate course may upgrade it to a diploma that will be offered jointly with the Common Wealth of Learning, an organisation that looks at flexible education for development.
Dr. Pillai said that with many colleges in the country having campus radios, undergraduate students might take up this certificate course. “They can take it up simultaneously. The course will help them diversify their domain knowledge,” he added.
For details, visit IGNOU website ( http://www.ignou.ac.in).