Prasar Bharati shuts down AIR’s national channel and five regional institutes

Monday 07 January, 2019


India’s Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has decided to shut down All India Radio’s only national channel to cut costs and to rationalise services.

It has also ordered five Regional Academies of Broadcasting and Multi-media (RABM) in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram to shut down with immediate effect.

The move would leave AIR with no national channel of its own.

The multilingual channel, which was started in 1987, operated overnight from 6 pm to 6 am, broadcasting hourly news, panel discussions and programmes of national importance, catering to all segments of the Indian society.

The archival material maintained by the National Channel, operating from Todapur in West Delhi, would be sent to the central archives of the AIR in Delhi “for digitization – wherever necessary – and preservation for posterity”.

According to sources, one of the major reasons for the decision is the channel’s weak transmitters and small listener base.

Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Shashi Shekhar Vempati told ThePrint: “We have been reviewing areas that have not been effective and where technology is getting obsolete and will invest in new areas that we expect to be relevant and technology is forward looking, such as digital. This is an ongoing exercise and will continue.”

Country India
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