On 7 August, Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting chaired the meeting of Consultative Committee of the I&B Ministry to discuss the issues “All India Radio and DD News”. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for I&B was also present in the meeting.
During the discussion, Jaitley said that the Phase-III auctions of FM Radio would provide a new roadmap for the Radio Broadcasting sector in the country. This process would give fillip to the expansion of radio services in the country across 294 cities and 835 channels. Due to the expansion, radio news would reach out to smaller towns and cities thereby providing quality information to the audiences. Regarding Prasar Bharati, the Minister said that the platforms provided content with a public service mandate, keeping aside profit motives. He cited the recent example of Kisan Channel addressing the communication needs of the stakeholders of the farming community. He also informed the members that edu-entertainment format was being introduced to add variety to the platform. Regarding the new initiative of the Ministry, the Minister mentioned that in view of Talkathon having a visible impact, this could be taken up as a regular format for government communication more frequently in the future.
A presentation was made by DG (News): DD and DG (News): AIR on behalf of Prasar Bharati giving an overview of the two platforms, programming reach and content and related matters.
Members of the committee while appreciating the measures taken by the Ministry for these important initiatives, also gave suggestions to enhance the reach especially in areas that required quality information dissemination and programming. The Members also suggested steps to improve the packaging of the content and popularising programmes through an integrated marketing approach across platforms.
Members who attended the meeting were Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Smt. Jaya Bachchan, Shri Neeraj Shekhar and Shri Vivek Gupta.