File Photo: Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley (Press Trust of India)
Information and Broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley today said that Phase-III auctions of FM Radio will 'boost' the radio news sector in the country and reach out to smaller towns and cities providing quality information to the audiences.
"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," Mr Jaitley said in a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the I&B ministry.
Officials said that under the Phase III radio expansion, private channels would be allowed to carry news bulletins of the All India Radio (AIR).
Mr Jaitley, who chaired the meeting to discuss 'All India Radio and DD News,' said the public broadcasters provided content with a public service mandate keeping aside profit motives.
He also informed the members that edu-entertainment format was being introduced to add variety to the platform.
Mr Jaitley said that new social media initiative 'talkathon', organized by the Ministry, is seen having a visible impact and could be taken up as a regular format for government communication more frequently in the future.
A presentation was made by DG (News), Doordarshan and DG (News) AIR on behalf of Prasar Bharati, giving an overview of the two platforms, an official statement released in New Delhi said.
Members of the committee, while appreciating measures taken by the Ministry for these important initiatives, also gave suggestions to enhance their reach especially in areas that required quality information dissemination and programming, the statement added.
The members also suggested steps to improve the packaging of the content and popularising programmes through an integrated marketing approach across platforms.
Members of Parliament who attended the meeting were Sanjay Jaiswal, Anil Madhav Dave, Jaya Bachchan, Neeraj Shekhar and Vivek Gupta.