Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated 91 new 100W FM Transmitters today via video conferencing. Community Radio Stations in Meghalaya’s Nongstoin and Williamnagar are among the 91 places wherein these transmitters have been inaugurated.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the day marks a significant step in the expansion of FM services by All India Radio in the direction of becoming All India FM. He underlined that the beginning of 91 FM transmitters by All India Radio is like a present for 85 districts and 2 crore people of the nation. In a way, the Prime Minister said, it provides a glimpse of the diversity and colours of India. He informed that the districts covered under the new 91 FM transmitters are aspirational districts and blocks, and congratulated All India Radio for the momentous achievement. He also congratulated the citizens of the Northeast who will greatly benefit from this.
The Prime Minister underscored the emotional connection of his generation with radio. “For me, there is an added happiness that I have a relationship with radio as a host too”, the Prime Minister said referring to the upcoming 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat. He said “This kind of emotional connect with the countrymen was possible only through the radio. Through this, I remained linked to the strength of the country and the collective power of the duty among the countrymen.” He elaborated on this point by giving examples of the role of the programme in initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and Har Ghar Tiranga which became a people’s movement through Mann Ki Baat. “Therefore, in a way, I am part of your All India Radio Team”, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister underlined that the inauguration of 91 FM transmitters forwards the policies of the government that gives preference to the underprivileged who have been deprived of this facility so far. “Those who were considered to be distant will now get a chance to connect at a greater level”, the Prime Minister said. Listing out the benefits of FM transmitters, the Prime Minister mentioned relaying important information on time, community building efforts, weather updates related to agricultural practices, information on food and vegetable prices for the farmers, discussions about the loss incurred by the use of chemicals in agriculture, pooling of advanced machinery for agriculture, informing women self-help groups about new market practices and assisting the entire community during times of a natural calamity. He also mentioned the infotainment value of the FM.
The Prime Minister said that the government is continuously working for the democratization of technology. “It is important that no Indian should feel scarcity of opportunity if India has to rise up to its full potential”, the Prime Minister said. Making modern technology accessible and affordable is key to this. He explained this by mentioning optical fiber to all the villages and the cheapest data cost that has eased access to information. He said that this has given a new push to digital entrepreneurship in villages.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the tech revolution taking place in the country in the past few years has fabricated radio and especially FM in a new form. Noting the rise of the internet, the Prime Minister pointed out that radio has come to the fore in innovative ways through podcasts and online FM.
The Prime Minister touched upon the dimension of linguistic diversity and informed that FM transmission will take place in all the languages and especially in the regions with 27 dialects. “This connectivity does not link just the tools of communications but it connects the people too. This is reflective of the work culture of this government”, said the Prime Minister highlighting the emphasis on social connectivity along with the promotion of physical connectivity. “Our government is strengthening cultural connectivity and intellectual connectivity also”, the Prime Minister said.
Noting that tourism has got a boost after the rejuvenation of pilgrimages and religious places in different parts of the country, the Prime Minister said that the increasing number of people visiting tourist places is proof of increasing cultural connectivity in the country. He gave examples of museums related to tribal freedom fighters, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Panchteerth, PM Museum and the National War Memorial and said that such initiatives have given a new dimension to intellectual and emotional connectivity in the country.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister underlined the vision and mission of all communication channels like All India Radio and said that connectivity be it in any form, its purpose is to connect the country and its 140 crore citizens. He expressed confidence that all stakeholders will continue to move forward with this vision resulting in the strengthening of the country through continuous dialogue.