This surely is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat.
The Union government has issued an advisory for smartphone manufacturers, making it mandatory to include FM Radio as a primary application in all smart phones being sold in India.
As per the information, the advisory was initiated by the Indian Cellular Electronics Association (ICEA) along with the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), who made this suggestion to the Indian Government.
Following the suggestions and the recommendations, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has asked all the manufacturers to ensure that the FM Radio is present as a primary app in the smart phones that are being sold across India.
The government has also marked that the FM Radioapp should neither be disabled nor deactivated, rather it should be working as one primary app in the phone.
It may be mentioned here that with the number of radio listeners declining especially in the urban areas, many smart phone manufacturers have either removed the app or have made it redundant.
However, according to the ministry, the rural and remote population still relies heavily on radio, and over the years majorly on the FM radio for being connected to receiving communication about government schemes, plans and projects.
The government stated that FM radio is a low-cost and effective mode of communication for it to reach all strata of society, especially those in rural and remote areas. Furthermore, since smartphone penetration is very deep, low-income populations and those in remote areas are more likely to own a smartphone than a standalone radio device.
The IT Ministry also gave reference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which has also suggested the importance of radio in phones especially during natural calamities or emergencies.
The ministry further added that radio is one of the oldest and most reliable means of communication and hence must not be ignored as a vital tool for communication.