Sunday, March 02, 2008

For views from the university, tune in to 107.8 MHz

Mihika BasuPosted online: Monday , February 25, 2008 at 12:33:32Mumbai, February 24 Students of the Mumbai University will soon be able to operate their own community radio station, with the Mumbai University Students’ Transmission or ‘Radio MUST’ all set to be inaugurated at the hands of President Pratibha Patil on February 29 at the Kalina campus. Earlier slated for a 2007 launch, the radio station will combine a mix of information and entertainment, broadcasting community-related programmes as well as public lectures and discussions dealing with students’ issues. “Classroom lectures are also in the pipeline in the future, and this can be a step towards tele-education. Besides, it will provide a platform to tap the talent of the student community,” said a university academician. While the radio station will be on air on the frequency 107.8 GHz, the station’s range will be restricted to a radius of 3 km around the campus. But it will be accessible worldwide through the Internet. “The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is also keen on increasing the bandwidth and frequency in future and accordingly we may be able to include our sub-centres later. Also, the ministry has said that some part of the air-time could be given to advertisers which will enable us to generate revenue and significantly enhance our content,” said a university official involved in designing the project. “It will cater to the needs of the community and will be a powerful potential in giving voice to those who do not have access to any form of media,” said project coordinator Neeraj Hatekar. He explained that students can take up, for instance, issues related to health or address biases and superstitions and involve all stakeholders to produce joint programmes. Significantly, a section of the programmes will address queries related to the university system through a phone-in system, to be conducted by students in collaboration with the university administration. Though community radio in the country has been slow to develop, the entry of universities in the field will give it a huge fillip, it is expected. With its launch next week, the station on the first day will start transmission at 7 pm, beginning with a rendition of the university song and a signature tune followed by a few minutes’ introduction to the activities of the radio. Initially, the station will run during three time-slots daily — 9 am to 11 am; 1 pm to 3 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm.

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