Monday, June 25, 2007

Bangalore's first community radio station goes Active

BANGALORE: Bangalore's first community FM radio station,
Radio Active 107.8 (RA), hit the airwaves on Monday.

RA 107.8 is Karnataka's second community radio station,
the first one being operated by the Agricultural University
at Dharwad. Launched by the Jain Group of Institutions
(JGI), RA 107.8 will focus on issues concerning health,
environment, development, scientific awareness, women's
welfare and social issues, in turn seeking to inform,
educate while entertaining listeners.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
which had earlier been allocated the frequency 107.8,
will start broadcasting from 107.2 starting Monday
evening.The station was inaugurated by Rashtriya
Vigyan Evan Prodhyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVEPSP)
scientist Ujjwala Tirkey.Content, say sources,
will be generated partly by students, partly in
partnership with other institutions and colleges,
as well as sourced from NGOs like VOICE. Since
community radios run by colleges and educational
institutions are allowed to pay lower subscription
rates to the Indian Phonographic Association (IPA),
some film music, chiefly in local languages, will
also be played on the station.
College students from Bangalore's RJI institute's
post graduate department of communication will work
as radio jockeys for the new station. 28 RJs have
already been shortlisted for the job. Initially,
the station will air eight hours daily, in sessions
of four hours each - the second session being a
repeat of the first. College students and RJs
Ramakant and Priyanka kicked off the inaugural show,
the former in Kannada and the latter in English.
The station will broadcast through a BEL 50 watt
transmitter which has a range of about 15-20 kms
line of sight radius, according to JGI sources.
At present, there are 28 community radio stations
(including RA), with the Anna University being the
first one to start a few years ago. Tamil Nadu
(including Pondicherry) takes the lead with 11
community radios in operation, followed by Delhi
and Uttar Pradesh with four each, Karnataka,
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan with two each and
Kerala with one, are some of the other states in
which some cities have community radio broadcasts.
Orissa has recently been granted a license, according
to Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia
director, Dr R Sreedher. In Bangalore, eight
licenses (including JGI) have been granted, with
Bangalore University having been allotted the
frequency about two years ago.
Though non government organisations can start
community radio stations with the recent changes
in the law, none has been granted a license as yet,
according to Sreedher. The Parliament has approved
five minutes per hour advertisement revenues for
community radio stations, under certain conditions.

By Tarachand Wanvari (
Published on 25 June 2007

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