The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has expressed concern that during the last 4-5 years there has been a drastic fall in mobile phones with FM tuners feature, thereby affecting not only the ability of the poor to get free FM Radio services but also the Government’s ability to disseminate real time information during emergencies, disasters and calamities.
“It should be ensured that wherever the mobile phone is equipped with an inbuilt FM Radio receiver function or feature, that function or feature is not disabled or deactivated but is kept enabled / activated in the mobile phone. Further, it is advised that if the FM Radio receiver function or feature is not available in the mobile phones, it may be included,” says the circular.
“In times of emergencies and disaster, radio broadcasting is one of the most powerful and effective way of delivering early warnings and alerting the public to save lives. There is need for speedy, timely, and reliable communication via FM enabled mobile phones (apart from regular standalone Radio sets and car receivers) during disasters as this can save precious lives, livelihood and also prepares us better to deal with the disasters. The availability of vast network of FM transmitters and FM radio in the country played a key role in India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” it adds.