M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information & Broadcasting has said that in this era of cacophony when television channels, newspapers, social media platforms were vying for garnering the highest rating points by dishing out sensational and often unsubstantiated news, All India Radio still continued to be the first choice of majority of the population for authentic news not only within the country but also for those Indians abroad who wanted to keep in touch with the happenings in their motherland. The Government was committed to the total freedom of Press & Expression while at the same time disinformation was dangerous.  The Minister stated this at the Akashwani Annual Awards ceremony here today. Col. Rathore, MoS I&B, Chairman, Prasar Bharati, Secretary I&B and CEO, Prasar Bharati were also present on the occasion.

Highlighting the diversity of AIR,  Naidu said that, in terms of number of languages and dialects of broadcast, All India Radio was the world’s largest public service radio broadcaster.  Presently, All India Radio broadcasts in 23 languages and 179 dialects. All conceivable radio formats like music, plays, documentaries, features, interviews, talks, innovative programs, news etc. were used by All India Radio across its entire network comprising of 421 broadcasting centers.  AIR, through its external broadcast in 15 foreign and 12 Indian languages, served as India’s authentic voice to the outside world and projected India’s viewpoint on contemporary issues in the right perspective in the face of propaganda by forces inimical to country’s interest.

Referring to the challenges in Radio Broadcast sector,  Naidu said that the challenge for the content creator was manifold.  It was important to make the content entertaining as well as utilitarian so as to maximize the listenership of the program. The challenges before the technical think tank were also very daunting at a time when broadcast technology was changing every passing minute.  With multiple media platforms and options available and emerging, technology become obsolete much faster now than before.

Emphasizing on the role of Government communication,  Naidu said that the agenda of the Government was to create awareness about the development initiatives undertaken that had ability to transform lives of people and fulfill the aspirations of emerging New & Young India.

‘Akashvani Annual Awards’ has been an annual feature since 1974 and it remains one of the most prestigious and old awards in the arena of Public Service Broadcasting in India.  All India Radio has instituted these awards in the memory of those amongst its staff who laid their lives while waging relentless counter offensive through the medium of broadcasting against the forces inimical to the integrity and unity of India. While promoting healthy professional competition, these awards also promote creative excellence of the organization by bringing out the best from the professionals working in various aspects of radio broadcast. 

There are host of awards for different categories of program namely plays, documentaries, musical production, children’s choral singing, Lassa Kaul Award for National Integration, Yuva Vani, Innovative Program, Programs on Farm & Home. There was also Dr. Rajendra Kumar Talib Award for best CBS centre to motivate them to excel, judging their performance on different parameters. -– Broadcast and CableSat Bureau