AIR to relaunch radio station for Bangladesh and plans common content
A Bengali radio service, launched in 1971 during the Bangladesh Liberation Movement and discontinued in 2010, will be broadcast again on June 28. Officials said that once India restarts the service in its new avatar, Akashvani Maitree, it will be a single broadcast service. in which two nations would jointly create content.
All India Radio’s special bangla service was launched in the wake of the Bangladesh liberation movement and played a key role during the war, broadcasting Indian news broadcasts in Bangladesh. It continued until April 2010, but was subsequently discontinued due to the decommissioning of the Super Power Transmitter in Chinsurah.
The channel will now be relaunched on June 28 in Calcutta in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Explaining the reasons for the relaunch of the service, an official explained: “Given the important place occupied by Bangladesh in India’s foreign policy, it was deemed imperative that this dedicated service be strengthened, modernized and relaunched. . Previously, the radio service operated 6 hours 30 minutes per day, but the new Akashvani Maitree will operate 16 hours per day.
The official added that a state-of-the-art 1000 KW DrM transmitter has been installed in Chinsurah, Bengal to allow the service to be broadcast across the length and breadth of Bangladesh.
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The content will be curated to ensure it benefits the public in Bangladesh, the official said, adding that the service would cover issues ranging from healthcare to agriculture. “India, especially West Bengal, and Bangladesh belong to similar agro-climatic zones. Thus, knowledge of best practices in the field can be shared in programs related to agriculture. Likewise, a large number of people from Bangladesh come to India for treatment.
A series of programs showcasing various leading medical institutes, the super-specialized treatments available here, the procedures to take advantage of these services, interim costs, visa facilitation, and more. is also proposed to be broadcast on the service, ”added the manager.
Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said the service is aimed specifically at the people of Bangladesh and will be conducted primarily in Bengali.
“This service is specially designed to meet the needs of the people of Bangladesh and would be primarily in Bengali, showcasing the common cultural heritage that connects India and its neighbor. While previous programs of this service were produced only by AIR, the new service will invite Bangladeshi artists and personalities to participate. It is perhaps unique in global radio broadcasting, ”he said.
Officials said AIR was trying to strike a deal with FM stations in Bangladesh to relay Akashvani Maitree programs to provide better service in the hinterland of Bangladesh.
But in addition to being available to people in Bangladesh and India, the service would also be accessible to the Bengali diaspora across the world through AIR’s website, airworldservice.org and mobile apps, officials said.