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August 02, 2001

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40 FM STATIONS FOR EDUCATION SECTOR IN 2 YEARS

    40 FM Radio Stations, for transmission of education based programmes, are to be commissioned in two years. The Government has identified Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as the nodal agency for these "Gyan Vani" Stations. The IGNOU has come to an understanding with Prasar Bharati to make use of the existing infrastructure of All India Radio to co-locate the transmitters for these stations, which will help save substantial costs. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to this effect here today between Prasar Bharati and IGNOU. The signatories to the MOU were Shri K. S. Prasada Rao, Registrar of IGNOU and Shri H. O. Srivastava, Chief Engineer from AIR. Shri H. P. Dixit, VC of IGNOU and Shri Anil Baijal, CEO of Prasar Bharati were also present.

    IGNOU intends to commission, five of these transmitters within 3 months, in Lucknow, Vishakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Allahabad, and in all 12 transmitters in one year. Though IGNOU will be the nodal agency for the Gyan Vani Channel, its 40 centres will be essentially independent and the channel will be decentralised in structure and functioning.

    A majority of the programmes for Gyan Vani will come from existing educational institutions such as UGC, NCERT, NOS, NLM etc. NGOs and other social and voluntary agencies will be partners in production and programme content for non-formal education and community participatory programmes. In the first phase, the channel will broadcast for 8 hours everyday, 6 to 10 am and 6 to 10 pm.