Wednesday, July 24, 2013

India's campus radio grows into community platforms

Saba Raes, a middle-aged Muslim housewife, has her hands full seven days a week with household chores and her children but takes an hour out every Monday to record Hamd-o-Naat, a series of hymns in praise of Allah, for Radio Jamia. It's the invocation that begins the daily broadcast of the campus radio station of the Jamia Millia Islamia, one of 's oldest universities, here.
"I have been singing for Radio Jamia for over a year now. My husband encourages me and my children and the people in the neighborhood raptly listen to my singing," a confident Saba Raes told IANS, sitting in front of a studio microphone.
As India is a year away from celebrating a decade of the campus radio's existence, it is evident that in this period, the concept has become a platform for the communities living around the colleges.
The government had issued guidelines in 2003 for educational institutions to set up campus radio's and Anna University in Tamil Nadu was the first off the block in February 2004.
Today there are nearly a 100 campus radios in the country, but the actual number could be higher since there are no details about these in the northeast beyond Guwahati.
Transmission occurs through a four-way process. The audio from the microphone is transferred to the audio mixing console. From here, it goes to an amplifier. From the amplifier one signal goes to the transmitter and the other to a computer to be stored for repeat broadcast. The final process is the transmission of signal through an antennae, which is some 25-30 metres high.