Community radio as a concept has been in vogue to ‘narrowcast’ relevant news and views for a specific range and distance of people in India. In Hyderabad, Bol FM of University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been popular along with a few more which have been run by engineering colleges with a campus focus in mind. As the prime mover, the UoH provided the initial guidelines to the campus radios, which seem to be catching up in mana Hyderabad. 

SPEC BEATS - Rhythm of Youth" is the college radio which was started by the students of ECE, St.Peter’s Engineering College. Ever since its launch on 12th January, 2013 it has been used to inform students the latest updates on holidays, events, education news etc. True to form, the students have found sizeable appreciation for their activities both online and offline

Initially, it was part of a project, which involved a few months of hard work before it took a final shape. Then came the important part – the technical and financial support provided by NOWA Technika group. In three half-an-hour slots, the radio has programmes based on interesting issues including requests for film songs, all done by the student community. The programme reaches the students over speakers in the canteen too. 

Over the past two years, the range has been expanded to have phone-in requests too. Discussions have become broader by having chat sessions with other educational institution heads also. Regular updates about admission tests to prestigious institutions like the IIM are also part of the programme mix. Keeping in sync with the modern era, they have an online app and a Facebook page which has nearly 1400 likes at present.

Prof. Satish Kumar, who operates the campus radio and an academic in the college, feels that the potential is huge and hopes the licence comes through by the end of the year which will allow them to scale up further. As of now the ‘radio for students’ has become popular and is poised to touch greater heights, a reliable source on air for the student community. You can follow the campus radio on ‘ /specbeats’.

Community radio – a snapshot 

Currently, there are 435 community radio stations in India with Bol 

Hyderabad of UoH among them. UNESCO had set up a community radio in Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication in the campus acknowledging its growing impact.

The aims and objectives of UNESCO are:

  • To research and document good community media practices in the country.
  • Provide inputs based on the research feedback.
  • Establish an open access repository of media content online.
  • This community radio does not include news which is actually restricted. The commercials are allowed with a time limit of 5mins.-Priya Rathnam