End Of An Era: All India Radio To Shut Down National Channel & Training Academies In 5 Cities
In order to cut costs and rationalise services, Prasar Bharati has decided to shut down All India Radio’s national channel and its regional training academies will be closed down by Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati in five cities.
All India Radio shuts down its National Channel and regional academies including in Thiruvananthapuram, with immediate effect …
They don’t have funds!! pic.twitter.com/PDMPxqKuMd
— GEORGE KALLIVAYALIL (@KALLIVAYALIL) January 4, 2019
According to an order issued by the Directorate General, All India Radio (AIR), the ministerial, technical, programme and other staff posted at AIR in Nagpur, Todapur and other places are likely to be posted according to the requirement of the organisation. The order also said that this would not include those who are working in five cities at Regional Academies of Broadcasting and Multimedia (RABMs), reported NDTV.
AIR to be shut down to cut costs
On December 24, 2018, Prasar Bharati had decided and communicated to DG AIR to close down the channel with immediate effect and close Regional Academies of Broadcasting and Multimedia located at Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram to “rationalise AIR services and keeping in view of the cost-cutting measures.”
Dated January 3, the order stated that the programmes of archival value that the national channel maintains have to be sent to Delhi’s central archives for digitization and preservation for successors. Naturally, certain sections within AIR itself are not pleased with the decision, as they believe that instead of shutting it down altogether, other methods to cut costs could have been thought about.
“These days you can live stream, you can make it an application-based service, there are many other ways of cost-cutting. The effort should have been to strengthen national channel and not close it down,” a source said.
An AIR source said that the channel, which runs from 6 AM to 6 PM is one of the most popular national channels which kept people updated on social issues. It reaches almost 92% of the area of the country, according to AIR’s website. The largest network of radio in the world, it is also one of the world’s largest broadcasting organisations, serving a spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity.
AIR or officially known as Akash Vani since 1956 is a sister organisation of Doordarshan and was launched in 1936. The first ever FM service was started in Madras (Chennai) in the year 1977. Rajni S K Dutta, a presenter who made the first announcement on May 18, 1988, told Economic Times, “It was primarily intended for students and those who worked night shifts.” With the closure of AIR, it is truly an end of an era.