Pune’s Maharashtra Education Society launches web radio
PUNE In a unique initiative city-based MES Sou Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College, which is run by the Maharashtra Education Society (MES), has launched a web radio to make learning more interesting and fun for school students.
The web radio “MES Subodhvani” was launched on Republic Day (January 26).
“It is an android app and web-based radio, free to air and will be broadcast three days in a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7am to 8am,” said Anandi Patil, chairperson, Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College committee.
“The programmes that have been planned are mostly infotainment and based on science and education, where educational concepts will be explained using interesting stories and simplified for students from Class 5 to 10,” said Patil.
Asha Wadekar, history teacher at MES Sou Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College, along with five other teachers will be responsible for creating content for the web radio.
The idea was initiated before Covid-19 when one of their alumni Vilas Rabde, an electronic engineer and ham radio operator and radio enthusiast, thought of creating a web-based radio for school children.
“Though the idea was initiated before, it gathered momentum during the pandemic where remote learning became the core of education. Hence a few of the alumni approached Maharashtra Educational Society who thought of it to be a good concept,” said Rabde.
Maharashtra Education Society has hired a cloud space of 20 GB on an Australian server with an annual fee of ₹15,000. The past students have contributed and also collected funds through corporate social responsibility (CSR), whereupon the past students will be handling the web radio for a year until the teachers are trained and confident of running the radio.
Vidnyan Bharati has also tied up with MES for contributing science-related content.
“We have been conducting experimental programmes where science concepts are made easy for students, and we approached Maharashtra Educational Society to create content to make science education easy by bringing in scientists, talking about success stories and making experiments fun,” said Prof RV Kulkarni, president, Vidnyan Bharati.
Pune city has two community radio stations
The city has two community radios making waves, Radio FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) and Savitribai Phule Pune University-run (SPPU-run) “Vidyavani.”
“There is a difference between a web-based radio and a community radio. The community radio is sanctioned and part of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, while a web radio can be hosted by anyone on an app,” said Anand Deshmukh, director, Vidyavani.
“We have informative programmes for college students as well as we have tied up with Akansha NGO to produce a special programme called “Pathshala ki Ghanti Bajao” which is aimed at primary school students,” said Deshmukh.
Vidyavani, which began on May 5, 2005, broadcasts over 13 hours of programmes from 7 am to 8 pm on frequency 107.4 FM.
Radio FTII 90.4, was inaugurated on January 29, 2007, FTII was one of the very first applicants for setting up of a community radio station. Radio FTII’s programmes are contributed or made by the community itself.
“We have many programmes planned for grass root level communities, where social activists regularly visit the Radio FTII and contribute to the content bank. Since its part of FTII, we encourage students and citizens to make a variety of programmes based on Film Education and Cinema,” said Bhupendra Kainthola, director FTII.