Full Stop on the Biju Village Radio Program

Bhubaneswar: The radio program relayed people conveying their massage and grievances to the chief minister has put to an end. The Biju Village Radio Yojana has been pushed to uncertainty. Due to the negligence of the state government, an ambitious program named by the great personality line Biju Pattanaik has only remained in the papers. The central government has cancelled the issued LOI by rejecting all the applications from Odisha Agriculture and Technical University and all other Centers for Agricultural Sciences for the establishment of the Community Radio Center. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcast has made this official announcement. So it has been ascertained that the Biju Community Radio Scheme is going to remain only a sheer program on paper. The discussion initiated six years back has come to an end.

In August 2016, it was informed by the CMO office that the chief minister Naveen Pattnaik will address the people of the Odisha every month through the Radio program. The discussion began on this as it sounded similar to the Man ki Baat program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Center for Agriculture Science in every district was made the medium for regulating this program. Through these centres, applications were sent to the Union Ministry of information and Broadcast for the license of the Community Radio. A special plan was made in the name of ‘Biju Village Radio’. This plan was established to make various government programs and welfare schemes reach the people. It was decided that the radio program was to take place in the Centres for Agricultural Sciences at the district level and the radio stations would be operated under the department of agriculture. Chief Minister had instructed to implement this program as early as possible after the meeting in the secretariat. Areas like agriculture, cooperatives, irrigation, health, education, and disaster management were the topics to be covered in this radio program as it was intended for the villages. It was decided that other than self-help groups and farmer’s organisations, the need of the youth, students and tribals will be given priority. It was a welcome step taken by the Odisha government as the first state to initiate such a welfare program for the betterment of the people of Odisha using radio as a medium. The government had also received many accolades for this innovative step then.

But come to think of it, the state government could not have established such radio stations on their own without the approval and license of the Central Ministry of Information and Broadcast. So the application was sent to the ministry for the license. The central government accepted the application and started the process of issuing the license by providing a letter of intent to most of the agricultural science centres. But from the side of the state government communication wasn’t retained and the required paperwork was not done to move the process forward. After waiting for a long time the Ministry of Information and Broadcast sent a show-cause notice to the concerned agricultural science centres and published this in the Odia newspapers. Still, the state government did not respond to the notice. As a result, the central government has finally cancelled the application given for the license. There has not been any response from the state government as yet on this matter.