Monday, October 2, 2017

All India Radio plans on expanding services to new countries

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While many may argue that television killed the radio, in India, but that's not the case. Radio channels are still quite popular here.

The mouthpiece of the Indian government, All India Radio JB - see], holds significant clout in rural sectors and Modi's monthly program 'Mann Ki Baat' is fervently heard.

Now, AIR is mulling on launching new services for other countries to strengthen diplomatic ties.

Here's more.

What is it all about?

According to an All India Radio (AIR) official, the national public radio broadcaster is now gearing up to launch new services for several other countries, such as Japan, Germany and some Commonwealth of Independent States.

The goal is to bolster the Indian government's diplomatic efforts and broaden the outreach of radio programmes in order to include Indians, who are now settled overseas.

Which countries are we talking about?

In this new initiative, AIR will be extending its services to Canada, South Africa and Maldives too, informed the External Services Division (ESD) director Amlanjyoti Mazumdar.

At present, the External Services Division of AIR caters to around 150 countries and offers programmes in 27 languages, out of which, 14 are focused towards India's neighboring countries and Southeast Asia nations.

What is the proposal?

Mazumdar said, "The ESD has proposed to introduce new services for some countries like Japan, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Maldives and some of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries."

The plan is to target new nations in order to expand the broadcasting wing's global presence. This proposal was up for discussion at a recently held advisory committee meeting on external broadcasting.

Why is it needed?

Mazumdar believes that these new services will help in engaging with the global audience and would also aid in diplomatic outreach.

Referring to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit, Mazumdar said, Japan now expects engagement with the Indian government sectors and, therefore, a Japanese AIR service should be set up. Even Pakistan is engaging African countries with its new radios services, he argued.

What will it do?
Indian culture

Mazumdar quipped, "The foreign radio service also plays important role in public diplomacy, especially in the countries which have a large Indian diasporaĆ¢€¦Indians today live in almost every country and are interested in knowing what the country of their birth holds for them."

ESD will be educating listeners on Indian culture, trade opportunities and promoting the country as a healthcare, education and tourist destination.

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