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Help Govt to only permit AIR news to private FM channels
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NEW DELHI: The Government is expected to permit relay of All India Radio news (unaltered) by private FM radio channels on such terms and conditions as worked out with Prasar Bharati, according to Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources.

The government is, thus, in the process of rejecting the view of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) that news should be allowed to be accessed from AIR, Doordarshan, Press Trust of India, United News of India, and any other authorised news agency or television news channel.

The sources said it was felt that in the absence of a regulatory authority with a localised presence and absence of monitoring arrangements for private channels and in view of the sensitivities involved, it was not possible to allow complete freedom to broadcast news even though the news may be sourced from authorised sources. There was a possibility of sensationalising news by the private channels in their presentation.

Even as the government has already announced its proposal to allow 806 private FM radio channels spread over 283 cities in the country under Phase III, it is awaiting the recommendations of a Group of Ministers which had been asked on 30 September to examine and make recommendations on the possibility of e-auction or closed tender process for licensing methodology.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Government has no plans of expansion of satellite radio channels during the Eleventh Plan, particularly as 21 radio channels of All India Radio are available through Doordarshan’s DD Direct Plus DTH service.

A total of 138 FM transmitters of various capacities are being installed by All India Radio throughout the country to provide coverage to uncovered areas and the work will be completed by 31 March 2012.

A sum of Rs 1.40 billion has been set aside for the expansion of the transmitters during the Eleventh Plan under a new scheme.

Source: Indiantelevision.com

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