All India Radio to shut down its national channel and regional training academies in 5 cities to cut costs

New Delhi: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has decided to close down the All India Radio's national channel and its regional training academies in five cities, as part of "cost-cutting measures" and to "rationalise" services.

The programme, technical, ministerial and other staff posted at the National Channel offices in Todapur, Nagpur and other cities, apart from those working at Regional Academies of Broadcasting and Multimedia (RABMs) in five cities, may be posted as per the requirement of the organisation, said the order issued by the directorate general of the All India Radio (AIR).

The order said that to "rationalise AIR services and keeping in view the cost-cutting measures", Prasar Bharati has decided and communicated to the directorate general of AIR on 24 December, 2018, that the national channel of AIR and the RABMs located at Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram will be closed with immediate effect.

 All India Radio to shut down its national channel and regional training academies in 5 cities to cut costs

Representational image.

The order, dated 3 January, stated that programmes of archival value, maintained by the national channel, should be sent to the central archives in Delhi for digitisation and preservation for posterity.

National Channel, which broadcasts from 6 pm to 6 am, was started in 1987 and played an important role in informing people of national issues, a source at All India Radio said.

"The National Channel has a huge repository of programmes and personnel will now be redeployed," the source said.

It is understood that certain sections within the AIR are not happy with the decision as they believe that National Channel was an important part of the broadcasts and there were other ways to cut costs than shutting it down altogether.

"These days you can live stream, you can make it an application-based service, there are many other ways of cost-cutting. The effort should have been to strengthen national channel and not close it down," a source said.

Updated Date: Jan 04, 2019 15:37:18 IST