College campus in India will not be the same again. Why? Because soon
there will be apna campus FM radio, a low frequency FM radio station.
The Union government calls it the 'radio revolution'. Which implies
that now the broadcasting medium will be reaching out to the ears of the Generation X. This literally means that all the universities, IITs, IIMs, and residential schools across the country would now be able to set up their own FM band radio station of up to half KW capacity with a maximum range of Five kilometres. And all this should cost somewhere around Rs 4 - 8 lakhs.
But what will be the content of the campus radio? The General Broadcasting Code which is otherwise called Programme Code for both AIR and
Doordarshan prohibits the following:
Criticism of friendly countries, Attack on religions or communities,
Anything obscene or defamatory, Incitement to violence or anything
against maintenance of law and order, Anything amounting to contempt of
court, Aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary,
Anything affecting the integrity of the Nation, and criticism by name of
Given this straitjacketed code, will radio stations be able to broadcast
much more meaningful programmes rather than just music or latest count
down shows. And if that happens then we can expect our JNU FM station
or any university campus to conduct a panel discussion on a topic say
'Gujarat: before & after Godhra', or any other topical issue for the
benefit of students pursuing Political science or Journalism. One could
imagine that there will be obvious references to communities, political
parties and politics. There will be allegations and counter allegations.
Which in turn will attract a good audience and if the programme falls
under the sponsored category, then it will be good news for the
Meanwhile, there will be no License fee charged for the FM stations.
Only a spectrum fee will be charged, which would be paid to the wireless planning operator. Government believes that rules will be framed soon and the security clearance will be coming from the Home Ministry.
Going by the numbers, currently there are 133 AIR's FM stations
covering 31.34% of populations. Apart from it there are 10 private FM
channels, which are currently operational. The 10th Five-year plan envisages
the setting up setting up of 95 new FM stations and the upgradation of 18
existing ones of AIR, which will cover almost fifty percent of the
population in the country.