Special Correspondent

It is likely to go on air by 2007, says Vice-Chancellor D. Viswanathan

Necessary clearances obtained from the Centre It will have a bouquet of five channels Initially, the channels will be available for 18 hours a day It will be run on a non-commercial basis

CHENNAI: Anna University will soon have a dedicated television network with content generated by its students and faculty.

"All necessary clearances have been obtained from the Central Government and the network is likely to go on air by 2007. Unlike our educational channels that are now being beamed to select colleges, the new venture will be a public channel with a mix of programming. It will be beamed throughout the country through our educational satellite EDUSAT,'' Vice-Chancellor D. Viswanathan said during the second anniversary celebrations of Anna FM, the university's community radio, here on Wednesday.

The network will have a bouquet of five channels catering to topics such as higher education, technical education, school education, medical education and community health.

Non-commercial basis

The network would be run on a non-commercial basis. Initially, the channels would be available for 18 hours a day and this would be extended later on, Dr. Viswanathan said. The network would build upon the experience gained from running Anna FM, the country's first campus community radio. The university would also expand the radio's scope beyond the present 10 km radius.

The varsity would also offer MBA and MCA courses through distance education from the next academic year, Dr. Viswanathan said.

During his recent visit to France, around 20 collaborative research ventures were signed with French institutions.

Anna FM, broadcast by the varsity's Educational Multimedia Research Centre, had notched up 2000 hours of broadcast content in two years, mostly through partnership with neighbourhood communities in areas such as Kotturpuram, Kannigapuram and Saidapet, P.Lakshmi, Director, EMMRC, said.

The radio had offered to share its experience with other community radio stations and organisations working for social empowerment of the lesser privileged. It had eschewed film-based content and advertisements.

Participatory nature

Programming content was on topics such as health, environment, nutrition and disaster management. The services were of a participatory nature with the community directly interacting with experts with the help of student volunteers, she said.

The radio would extend transmission hours to eleven hours a day from Wednesday.