What is the significance of radio in today's world?

Over 2 billion radio receivers and over 20,000 radio stations exist worldwide. There is no truth about the notion that radio will be replaced by TV or other modern communication technologies, as it continues to expand Being the most economical electronic medium to broadcast and receive in, it breaks down barriers of illiteracy and isolation, making it the preferred electronic medium of the underprivileged. In radio broadcasting, community radio is a significant third tier that is different from commercial and public service radio.

What is a Community Radio?


Community Radio Stations (CRSs) are low-power radio stations designed for local communities to own and run. Local perspectives on topics related to health, nutrition, education, agriculture, and other topics are provided in a forum by Community Radio. People may immediately relate to the Community Radio broadcast because it is in their native language. A source of regional folk music and cultural legacy, the radio is especially important in a country like India where each state has its own language and unique cultural flavour. Community radio stations have grown significantly in popularity and number in the last 20 years. The social and economic advantages that arise from providing regular people with access to relevant information are now becoming more widely recognized.

The history of community radio

It was in Latin America, around 50 years ago, that the groundbreaking experiences that have given rise to community radio. The initial experiences-known the Miners' Radios in Bolivia in 1947 and Radio as Sutatenza in Colombia that same year were sparked by poverty and social injustice. Community radio emerged as a significant phenomenon in Europe, serving as an opponent or substitute for mainstream broadcast media, despite the breakthrough work being done in Latin America. Following the fall of the colonial government in South Africa, community radio stations across the continent were established and eventually evolved into a social movement.

The Indian government published the first set of community radio guidelines and the necessary equipment in early 2003, but limited the eligibility to educational institutions alone. The goal of establishing community radio stations that would involve local communities in the content production process has just recently expanded to include non-profit organizations, agricultural research institutes, and educational institutions.

Picture Credit: Google



What is an underwater forest?

Imagine a forest underwater or a tapestry of green inside the ocean. That's just what a kelp forest is. Though kelps are considered the forests of the sea and look like plants, they are not plants. Kelps are large brown algae, and together, the different species of kelps form kelp forests.

The kelp forests figure among one of the most dynamic and diverse ecosystems on earth and offer a habitat for marine organisms such as invertebrates, fishes, and other algae and play many key ecological roles.

Kelps cover 25% of the world's coastlines. They provide food and shelter to marine animals. These can be seen around the world, across polar as well as temperate coastal oceans. They live in cold waters that are rich in nutrients.

While they remain attached to the seafloor, they grow towards the surface of the water and depend on sunlight to generate food. The ideal physical conditions are satisfied, then kelps can grow 45 cm a day. Some of these species are seen to measure up to even 45 m long.

Kelps and climate change

Kelp forests play a highly crucial role in battling climate change as they are good at sequestering carbon, thereby ensuring the health of the coastal environment. They are also capable of absorbing excess nitrogen and phosphorus that nun into the oceans from the land. Studies have shown that a third of the globe's coastal environments depend on kelp to combat local pollution and sustain fisheries. Apart from helping maintain the health of the marine ecosystem, kelps are also commercially harvested as they find applications in food production, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and so on.

The health of the kelps is dependent largely on oceanographic conditions and as such they can disappear and reappear based on this. For instance, sea urchins can destroy the kelp forests. Moreover, strong individual storms can affect the kelp forests by tearing out the kelps from the floor of the sea.

These dense canopies of algae are also facing many threats. Water pollution, rising sea temperatures, overgrazing, overfishing, and water pollution are some of the reasons for the depletion of kelp forests.

Studies prove that Southern Australia and Northern Califonia have lost 95% of their kelp forests. Their depletion is seen along the coastlines of every continent and this affects the fish, livelihoods and economy that are supported by the kelp forests.

Picture Credit : Google