Radio in India is all set
for the next wave. The country is poised to experience better sound quality and
coverage area in radio by next year, as revealed by participants at the CII
National Seminar on DRM: Future of Indian Radio - Business Opportunities for
Stakeholders here today. The move towards digital radio is expected to take off
The seminar comes at the
heels of the Pitroda Expert Committee's report in January, which endorsed All
India Radio's decision to convert analogue medium wave to DRM. Apart from
quality and range, DRM is an open global standard that can cover all the bands.
Ms Ruxandra Obreja,
Chairperson, DRM Consortium, said it was time that Indian-developed and
manufactured receivers available to listeners. India, she said, was uniquely
poised as it had both the market as well as the technical knowhow to
manufacture digital radio receivers.
AIR plans to continue
analogue and digital simulcast till 2016, and thereafter shift to digital
Confirming this, Mr R K
Budhiraja, Engineer-in-Chief, All India Radio, informed that the installation
of DRM transmitters was proceeding on schedule and called upon the industry to
make receivers available by the first quarter of 2015. Former Prasar Bharati
Engineer-in-Chief R R Prasad looked back on the DRM test run in 2007 and how it
had surpassed everybody's expectations. But, he asserted that there should be
an environment for the public to have reasons to buy digital receivers.
Two key impediments
identified by participants was the non-availability of affordable receivers and
the lack of suitable content, including data. Mr Rajiv Kumar Shukla, Deputy
Director General, Directorate General of All India Radio, said the public broadcasting
ethos demanded that all content should be suitable for all citizens. In
addition, the diversity of languages and dialects led to further demands and
Mr Yogendra Pal, Honorary.
Chairman, India Chapter of DRM Consortium, reminded the participants that radio
is a mass media because it is free and it is mobile. Going digital was the way
forward, and this provided manufacturers with a huge market opportunity.
Earlier, in his opening
address Mr Vinod Sharma, Chairman, CII National Committee on ICTE Manufacturing
and Managing Director, Deki Electronics Ltd, said that India was at a fraction
of world electronic consumption. However, the sector is looking at 400 billion
dollars of consumption by the year 2020. This is a not a small amount, and
urged participants to realise the potential not only in terms of manufacturing
but also in terms of providing jobs to many.
The CII seminar was
attended, by a cross-section of stakeholders, listeners, manufacturers,
broadcasters and regulators, and this ensured and fruitful and interactive