The AIR station here, one of the country’s oldest, is all set to get its own state-of-the-art archives section to digitise and preserve its 75 years of audio records, Prasar Bharti CEO Jawahar Sircar said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the AIR station here, he said the equipment in the studio would include cutting edge technology, not only to help preserve, but also speed up the process of digitisation.
“There are several ways by which the preserved tapes can be destroyed. So we need to speed up the digitisation process as much as possible. The technology that is being brought to Chennai is only second in the country, after AIR Delhi,” he added.
Sircar talked about how AIR Chennai has grown not just as a radio station but as a cultural institution in itself. “No other radio station has been able to provide the kind of cultural richness that AIR has offered.”
The station has over 25,000 recordings running into 13,000 hours. So far, it has digitised only 700 hours of them. For many of the speakers on the occasion the platinum jubilee, it turned out to be a nostalgic moment. They talked about the growth of the AIR from a little rented cottage to the multi-storeyed complex today with multiple channels in several languages.
Speakers also reminisced about the role of AIR Chennai, which continued to render service day in and day out without a break of even a single day, even in dire situations like the tsunami. They also spoke of the times when the radio programmes on the AIR were the only source of entertainment and information.