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PM Modi’s ICSI speech, anti-black money day dominate AIR airtime

The idea — DNA has learnt — was to help dispel an apparent gloom prevailing over India’s economic slowdown and maintain a positive perception of the country’s economy in the states, including the two poll-bound ones.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), anti-black money day observed by the Centre on November 8 and India’s 100th rank at the World Bank’s ease of doing business index are topics dominating All India Radio’s airtime for a month now.

According to highly placed sources, directions to broadcast focused programmes on these topics had come from the top echelon of the Centre to the top management of AIR. It was then conveyed to the public service broadcaster’s programme heads across the country.  

The idea — DNA has learnt — was to help dispel an apparent gloom prevailing over India’s economic slowdown and maintain a positive perception of the country’s economy in the states, including the two poll-bound ones. 

The first satellite message issued by the AIR on October 11 to programme heads of all stations, stated that they are advised to produce programmes in various formats such as discussions and talks, based on issues raised by the PM in his speech on October 4 at the inauguration of the golden jubilee year of the ICSI.

“Regional stations may also broadcast short excerpts or audio clippings of the speech along with translated version in local languages and dialects (sic),” the message stated.

Similarly, another satellite message issued by AIR’s programme policy division directed programme heads of all capital AIR stations to “mount suitable programmes in different formats on anti-black money day”, observed by the Centre on November 8, this year. 

Directing the programme heads of AIR to continue airing the anti-black money day programmes till the end of November, the message stated that the stations in non-Hindi regions should also air such programmes in their respective regional languages. It added that the “related material” received from the PMO had also been uploaded online for ready reference of the officials.

The related material here is referred to a detailed draft note on benefits of demonetisation as a measure to curb black money, highlighting impact of the initiative on terrorism, fake Indian currency notes, formalising economy and digitisation.

DNA has copies of the satellite messages and draft note.

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