The number of Gyan Vani FM Radio channels set up by the Human Resources Development Ministry and the Indira Gandhi National Open University with the help of Prasar Bharati will go up to 37 shortly, with 11 more channels coming up in Phase-1.
These 37 stations, with a radius of 60 to 70 km, are dedicated FM stations for education and broadcast programmes of interest to students. Some of these are located in places such as Jabalpur, Raipur, Guwahati, Shillong, etc. which have significant remote areas with tribal population in their reach.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting S Jagathrakshakan told Parliament on Tuesday that as the broadcasts usually reach the villages and areas surrounding the main town in which they are located, they are tailored to cater to the needs of this population in the remote areas.
All India Radio sources said the channels have been established by Prasar Bharati as turnkey solutions to IGNOU. Infrastructure like land, building and tower has also been leased out to Gyan Vani stations.
According to IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, two channels of IGNOU’s Gyan Darshan – GD 1 and GD 2 – have been put on the Direct To Home (DTH) platform of Doordarshan Direct Plus to ensure greater reach of these educational channels all over the country.
He said this was aimed at reducing the cost on downloading equipment. While the cost of the system on DTH comes to around Rs 2,500 to Rs 3000, the present cost of C-band receive system is about Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. The maintenance cost will also come down.
“Students can have ‘receive facility’ at home to participate in the live teleconferencing,” he added.