AIR takes 37 educational radio stations off air

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IGNOU’s Gyanvani will not be accessible to the thousands of learners across all age groups, many of whom have no access to formal education. Effective October 1, the All India Radio (AIR) has taken off air all 37 Gyanvani educational FM radio stations, the formidable teaching tool of Indira Gandhi National Open University. The move follows the varsity’s alleged failure to clear the outstanding dues.

In a communique dated September 12 to IGNOU Vice Chancellor M Aslam, the AIR Additional Director-General warned that all channels will be closed following non-payment of the dues, depriving lakhs of Gyanvani listeners their crucial learning resource.

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Conceived in 2001, the Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC) of IGNOU was the producer of an educational programme for students in English, Hindi and other local languages and was being broadcast by AIR every day between 6 AM and 11am, with a repeat between 5pm and 10pm. The general public too could tune in.

An educational FM radio network, Gyanvani aired programmes covering different aspects and levels of education. It had separate programme modules catering to the needs of people pursuing primary and secondary education, adult education, technical and vocational education, higher education and extension education.

Gyanvani’s plight has been blamed on the lack of coordination between the MHRD, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Prasar Bharati and IGNOU. The national open university gets grants from the Centre to promote higher education.

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