The Utility of FM for the Purpose of Teaching


Sri Ashutosh Kar
George College, Dept of Management Studies
Budge Budge Trunk Road, Kolkata-700141


During the past few years, especially from the beginning of the last decade of the previous century when liberalization took place, privatization has made deep inroads in almost all sectors. The broadcasting media is not an exception to this trend. With the changing needs of the audience, the need was felt to attract the listeners of radio.

Until 1993, All India Radio was the only radio broadcaster in India and private players were not permitted to broadcast and participate in radio broadcasting. In 1993, the Government took the initial step in the privatization of this sector and permitted private FM radio operators to buy airtime block on All India Radio's FM channels in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata & Goa, develop program content and sell advertising time for these block to advertisers.

On July 6, 1999, the Government announced the Phase I Policy and permitted the greater participation by the private sector in the FM Radio broadcasting business by allowing companies to bid for 108 radio channels in 40 cities. Under the Phase II Policy, the Government has announced bidding for an additional 338 radio channels in 91 cities.

The privatization or entry of private players in the field of broadcasting has an impact in general. However, no serious studies appear to have been made in this respect. Hence, a need is felt to assess the impact of FM for the purpose of teaching.


Until 1993, All India Radio was the only radio broadcaster in India but on July 6, 1999, the Government announced the Phase I Policy and permitted the participation of private players.

The Government of India has initiated the process of not restricting the FM only for the purpose of entertainment. They have allowed 16 channels out of which six on experimental basis, for teaching. Thus the popularity of radio has enhanced and IGNOU can reach a large mass of the population for teaching. Along with 336 entertainment channels for 90 cities, the Government plans to introduce 87 new FM channels, which will be used exclusively to teach students in remote areas of the country.

Sources said the Center would soon issue notifications for these channels. Of these 36 would be used by IGNOU to reply to queries and organize on-air classrooms. It proposes to broadcast lessons as part of an organized schedule for a large number of students simultaneously. The other channels would be opened to private players.

GYANVANI IGNOU'S Educational FM Channels:

Serial No


Frequency Mega Hertz



107.4 MHz



107.6 MHz



105.0 MHz



105.4 MHz



91.9 MHz



105.6 MHz



105.4 MHz



105.6 MHz



105.6 MHz



106.4 MHz



Experimental Transmission



Experimental Transmission



Experimental Transmission



Experimental Transmission



Experimental Transmission



Experimental Transmission

Campus- Based Community Radio Stations:

1. ANNA FM: 90.4 MHz (Anna University, Guindy, Chennai).
2. MOP FM: 91.2 MHz (MOP Vaishna College for Women, Chennai).
3. NILA FM: 90.4 MHz (Sri Manakula Vinaynagar College of Engineering, Pondicherry)
4. FM Radio7: 90.4 MHz (India International Institute of Management, Jaipur)
5. KONGU FM: 90.4 MHz (Kongu Engineering College, Erode)
6. Sunbeam English School, Varanasi.
7. Vidya Pratishtan Institute of Infotech(VIIT), Baramati.

The educational institutes in India are using FM Radio Channels to encourage the students. In the Garden City College Bangalore a variety of shows are organized by the radio jockeys to help the students study as well as have a good time on campus. At the other end of Bangalore is RV College of Engineering where their electronics and communication lecturer Jaspreet Kaur is motivating students. They are trying to finalize plans for an FM Radio on Campus, which will not only serve the campus but also the community around them. The station will try to cover a span of around 5-10 km and will be run entirely by the students.

Students in Delhi survive on a staple diet of campus radio, despite the commercial FM boom, called "AIR1 Apna Radio"; this FM channel is aimed at a frequency of 96.9 MHz. It covers a span of 10 km around the IIMC Campus, including the adjoining areas like Jawaharlal University, Delhi University's South Campus and Indian Institute of Technology. The radio airs programs on social marketing and a few are given by government agencies like "Jago Grahak Jago" a consumer help line program.

There are several success stories emerging from campus radios already. When students and lecturers of Jamia's Mass Communication and Research Center (MCRC) went to the JJ colony at Okhla to hear the tale of slum dwellers, little did they know what kind of impact their visit would have? After the visit, these slum dwellers threw aside their hesitancy to visit the radio station (Jamia Radio 90.4 MHz) to share their problems. After the program, huge safia abhiyans started cleaning the nearby areas claims GR Syed, reader & in-charge of Jamia radio at MCRC.

Buoyed by the response, the ministry of information & broadcasting has issued the guidelines for encouraging community radio. An educational institution can apply for an FM license as long as it focuses on issues relating to education, health and environment agriculture, rural and community development. License fee will be charged only by the WPC. The ministry of information & broadcasting will not levy any other license fees.


So, it can be concluded that FM has a strong and a far-reaching impact for the purpose of teaching. In a vast country like India if the FM channels are being used properly many students in far off areas will get the facility of studying. The Government of India and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are leaving no stone unturned to provide education to each and every Indian by the help of FM.


1. The Indian Express, September 2005.
2. The Navhind Times, January 2006.
3. The Times of India, February 2006.
4. The Times of India, February 2007
5. The Telegraph, February 2007.

Sri Ashutosh Kar
George College, Dept of Management Studies
Budge Budge Trunk Road, Kolkata-700141

Source: E-mail October 12, 2007


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