India-Bangladesh state broadcasters agree to share radio content

Both sides also agreed to scale up joint production and exchange of programmes between official broadcasters and radio.

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India on Tuesday signed several MoUs with Bangladesh, among them one for content-sharing between All India Radio (AIR) and Bangladesh’s Betar. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Bangladesh’s Information Minister Muhammad H Mahmud in New Delhi.

An MoU between National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), India, and Film Development Corporation, Bangladesh (BDFC) was also signed for technical exchange.The union minister also informed that India would establish a film city in Bangladesh.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s biopic

As part of centenary celebrations of first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, popularly called Banga Bandhu, an MoU was inked to co-produce a film based on the life and works of the leader. The film would be directed by esteemed Indian director and producer Shyam Benegal. The biopic is expected to be released by March 2020. The funds required for the film have already been allocated by the Indian Government.

Sharing airtime

The two sides have agreed to share airtime on FM transmitters of both broadcasters, AIR Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Betar to broadcast each other’s contents. Daily four hours of radio content shall be shared on reciprocal basis by the two broadcasters.

This would help Bengali listeners on both sides of the border to listen to each other’s programmes. Broadcast content will cover a wide range of programmes on music, theatre, literature, art, films, sports, tourism, education, business etc.

Co-producing radio programmes

The two sides would also undertake co-production of several radio programmes. This includes ‘Ganga Theke Padma’, a series based on music, culture , heritage of both countries, a music reality show, a quiz series for school and college students, live broadcasts, two radio plays per year on works of reputed playwrights from both countries, a monthly literary magazine program with inputs from both sides.

Other joint initiatives under co-production include a radio series based on select stories from reputed writers from both sides to get a flavour of literature. A programme of music learning (Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Dwijendra Geeti etc) where reputed music artists from both countries could teach music is also on board along with a programme series on inspirational development stories.

Benefits of Exchange

The move shall usher strong bilateral ties between the two countries in the field of information & broadcasting. Betar and AIR’s joint initiatives in news gathering shall ensure no misinformation is circulated. Since both broadcasters are repositories of large and rich treasure of audio programmes such an exchange shall help for research and broadcasting purposes.

New Delhi | PBNS Bureau