Schools will soon double up as broadcasting stations in Bihar where the government has proposed a community radio project for which 11 highschools of Patna and Nalanda have been selected.
The aim is to disseminate information on government and other socially useful schemes, encourage local participation by the community, revival of local and folk art forms, employment of local youth in the community thus discouraging migration, and aid the process of disaster management.
“We have already applied for licence and the decision is pending with the Centre. Once the licence is issued, we will set up FM broadcasting stations at select schools that will relay programmes related to local issues, fairs, etc. The core programming will be done in Patna while peripheral programming in districts,” said secretary of the Information and Public Relations Department Rajesh Bhushan.
The capital cost for setting up one Community Radio Station (CRS), including equipment and installation charges, is Rs 4.80 lakh. The cost of studio, which would be optional, would be Rs 2.30 lakh. The operational cost per CRS, as worked out by the government, is Rs 46,965 per month while the expected monthly revenue per CRS is Rs 50,400.
Bihar’s HRD department would bear 60 per cent of the cost and the remaining will be taken as loan from a bank, Bhushan said.
On the expected outcome from the project, he said: “We expect CRS’s can contribute to social, economic, cultural and political development. Besides, personal and community announcements can be broadcast, allowing the radio station to serve as a community telephone or bulletin board, apart from providing entertainment through radio theatre, poetry and music.”