The focus of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting during the 12th plan will be to increase radio coverage in the border, hill and tribal areas, said Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary, Prasar Bharati, here on Monday.
She was launching the FM transmission of All India Radio (AIR) at a function jointly organised by the Ooty station of the AIR and the photography institute, Light and Life Academy, at Lovedale near here.
She said that there was a proposal to set up a 10-kw FM station here.
It would facilitate stronger transmission and the coverage would go up to about 65 to 70 km.
There were now 216 AIR stations and 235 FM transmitters in the country. Since FM transmission would enable even mobile phone users to tune in, the mobile penetration would help FM to grow. Underscoring the need to equip all women with cell phones, Ms.Sahu said, “it is a very important tool of empowerment”.
Pointing out that broadcasting space in India was so large that it was next only to the United States of America and China, she said that there were as many as 850 private satellite channels, 240 private FM stations and 147 Community Radio Stations.
Station head, AIR, Ooty, Madhavi Ravindranath said that ever since it came into being in May 1994, the station had been broadcasting programmes with emphasis on tribal development. However, poor reception had been a problem.