[India] Indian duo put together FM radio station

  • To: s-asia-it at apnic dot net
  • Subject: [India] Indian duo put together FM radio station
  • From: "Irfan Khan" <KhanIA@super.net.pk>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 11:06:38 +0500
  • Sender: owner-s-asia-it@lists.apnic.net
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      ------- Forwarded message follows -------
      To:             	creative-radio at egroups dot com
      From:           	Frederick Noronha <fred at goa1.dot dot net dot in>
      Date sent:      	Mon, 24 Jul 2000 03:04:24 +0500
      
      
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      INDIAN DUO PUT TOGETHER A 'DIRT CHEAP' RADIO-STATION-IN-A-BRIEFCASE
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      by Frederick Noronha
      
      HYDERABAD, July 22: They took it up as a challenge, and today 
      these two young men have built a radio-transmitter that fits in a
      briefcase at a cost of barely ten thousand rupees.
      
      Vikas Markanday and Dayal Singh of Rohtak in Haryana, both aged 
      21, have assembled a low-cost FM radio transmitter that they hope will
      spread useful information that could make a vital difference to the
      lives of villagers, including on agricultural practices.
      
      Their eagerness and suprise achievement won the wows at a 
      national conference on 'community radio' held here this week. The work
      met with much enthusiasm even as groups with a developmental message
      hope to get permissions to take to the airwaves opening up to them
      globally, thanks to rapid changes in technology and the freeing of the
      airwaves currently underway in India.
      
      "Such a type of a radio can play a vital role in low-cost 
      communication. Rural developmental issues can be taken up. 
      Illiteracy (bottlenecks) can be overcome. Farmers in the field 
      could easily be given the information inputs they need," said 
      Markanday.
      
      Both the young men belong to Nutra Indica Research Council, a 
      non-profit NGO in Rohtak that seeks to put rural innovators in 
      touch with scientists, and also create a platform for ideas to be
      exchanged, particularly on the rural front. Markanday is still an
      engineering student.
      
      Weighing approximately 12 kgs., the entire "radio station" fits 
      into a briefcase. This transmitter has a range of 10 to 15 kms 
      radius, and thus can be used to beam developmental inputs to 
      rural citizens.
      
      India has been promising to open up 'community radio' stations. 
      Asian countries like the Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka have 
      already shown the beneficial impact of such locally-managed, non-
      profit initiatives taken up by citizens themselves.
      
      "We managed (to put the transmitter together) almost by a trial 
      and error method," admits Dayal Singh. 
      
      Singh says components were purchased from the 'science city' of 
      Ambala and New Delhi's Lajpatrai Market, one of the largest for 
      electronic items in Asia. Since the only radio broadcaster in 
      India has been the government, for many decades, there has long 
      been virtually no market for radio transmitters in this country.
      
      But the story of how the came to put this product together is 
      perhaps more interesting than the unique 'station' itself.
      
      Last November, at the Tasknet conference in New Delhi -- meant to
      showcase how technology can fight poverty and ignorance -- a
      UNESCO-gifted 'radio station in a briefcase' was being demonstrated,
      narrates Markanday. 
      
      Nutra Indica president Kamaljeet was surprised that the foreign 
      product cost around Rs 200,000 and "took up a challenge" to 
      produce an Indian equivalent for around Rs 7,000. 
      
      Costing a little more when put together, the still unnamed 
      product offers to make a vital difference to hundreds of low-cost
      alternative broadcasters who hope to also benefit from India freeing
      of its till-recently state-monopolised airwaves.
      
      This 'radio station in a briefcase' currently can take its input from
      a cassette, a microphone or even a built-in radio station. This offers
      broadcasting possibilities from a wide range of situations.
      
      "Maybe it needs some basic editing facilities too. That would 
      make it more complete," Bangalore-based professional radio 
      broadcaster and filmmaker A.R. Pasha told IANS. Pasha was earlier with
      the the state-run All India Radio.
      
      Adds Yoganarasimha of the Creative Instruments and Controls, a 
      firm based in Rajajinagar in Bangalore: "It is a good product. I am
      impressed. Now we have to see how it can shift into commercial
      production." Yoganarasimha is partner in the electronics firm and was
      in electronics R&D for a decade with the public sector BHEL. (ENDS)
      
      Contact details: Dayal Singh
                       Nutra Indica Research Council
                       675/25, Patel Nagar
                       Rohtak (Haryana) India
                       Tel 0091.1262.55329 Fax 0091.1262.40700
                       Email: nirc_kamaljeet at hotmail dot com
      
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