New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The government has asked the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) to make sure that FM Radio is accessible on all mobile phones to help people during natural calamities and emergencies.
In an advisory, the IT Ministry said that 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 mobile phones, it may be included,” MeitY told ICEA and MAIT, asking them to circulate the advisory among all the mobile phone manufacturers/brands on priority basis.
The move will help people get access to information through radio service in remote areas during natural disasters.
The IT Ministry said that during the last 4-5 years, there has been a drastic fall in mobile phones with FM tuner feature, thereby affecting not only the ability of the poor to get free FM Radio service, but also the government’s ability to disseminate real-time information during emergencies, disasters and calamities.
“The FM broadcast is a robust and reliable communication system. FM stations serve as important communication links between the local authorities and people in times of natural disasters (in catastrophic situations),” the ministry added.
As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in times of emergencies and disaster, radio broadcasting is one of the most powerful and effective ways of delivering early warnings and alerting the public to save lives.
Further, 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 prepare us better to deal with disasters.
“The availability of a vast network of FM transmitters and FM radio in the country played a key role in India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the ministry in its advisory.