New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated 91 FM transmitters and said this would revolutionise the radio industry, while asserting his government was working constantly for the democratisation of technology.
Underscoring the emotional connect of his generation with the radio, Modi said he has a relationship with the medium as a host too as he referred to the upcoming 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat this Sunday.
“This kind of emotional connect with the people of the country 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 people of the country,” he said.
Modi said government initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and Har Ghar Tiranga became people’s movements through the Mann Ki Baat.
“Therefore, in a way, I am part of your All India Radio Team,” the prime minister said after virtually inaugurating 91 FM transmitters covering two crore people across 85 districts.
Modi underlined that the inauguration of 91 FM transmitters was in line with the government policy to give 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,” Modi said.
The prime minister said the government is continuously working for the democratisation of technology. “No Indian should feel scarcity of opportunity if India has to rise up to its full potential.”
Making modern technology accessible and affordable is key to this, he added.
The prime minister emphasised the tech revolution the country has witnessed over the past few years has presented radio and especially FM in a new avatar.
Noting the rise of the internet, the prime minister said radio has come to the fore in innovative ways through podcasts and online FM. “Digital India has not only given new listeners to the radio but a new thought process as well,” Modi said.
The same revolution can be witnessed in every broadcast medium, he said.
The services of DD free dish, the largest DTH platform in the country, are being provided to 4.30 crore homes and real-time information about the world is reaching the doorsteps of rural households and border areas, the prime minister noted.
He underlined education and entertainment are also reaching those sections of society that have been deprived of it for decades. “This has resulted in removing the disparity between different sections of society and providing quality information to everyone.”
“Be it DTH or FM radio, this power gives us a window to peep into future India. We have to prepare ourselves for this future,” Modi said.
The prime minister also talked about the dimension of linguistic diversity.
“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,” Modi said.
“Our government is strengthening cultural connectivity and intellectual connectivity also,” he added.
Giving the example of Padma Awards, Modi said that now, instead of being based on recommendations, the honours are being conferred for service to the nation and society. The PM noted the presence of numerous Padma Awardees in the programme and welcomed them.
The prime minister said the vision and mission of all communication channels like the All India Radio is to connect the country and its 140 crore citizens.
He also expressed confidence that all stakeholders will continue to move forward with this vision resulting in the strengthening of the country through continuous dialogue.
Modi said the move would take FM radio services to more than two crore people, staying in remote regions and give them affordable access to information.
“These FM transmitters will play a key role in a range of services be it timely dissemination of information, weather forecast for agriculture or connecting the women self-help groups with new markets,” Modi said in his virtual.
The launch event was was attended by chief ministers, public representatives, Padma awardees and officials from across 18 states and two union territories.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur joined the function from Ladakh.
The expansion takes place two days before the landmark 100th episode of Mann ki Baat, the prime minister’s monthly radio programme.
Modi said the expansion of optical fibre networks into the villages has led to a reduction of costs of mobiles and data which have led to ease of access to information.
“Today, digital entrepreneurs are emerging from every nook and corner of the country. Even the street-vendors are using the UPI now, they are availing the banking facilities,” he said.
The 91 new 100 W FM transmitters have been installed in 84 districts with a special focus on enhancing coverage in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Ladakh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
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