BBC Bush House
The BBC World Service has announced it will retain an evening news radio broadcast in Hindi "for an interim period" while it explores funding proposals from commercial parties.

News and current affairs output in Hindi was due to be shut down as part of a number of closures resulting from the government's spending review and the BBC's licence fee settlement.

As part of plans announced in January, the service is cutting up to 650 jobs and closing five of its foreign language services and radio programming in seven languages, as it seeks to find savings of 16 per cent – around £67 million – over the next four years.

The service also announced it would cease all short wave distribution of its radio content in March 2011 in Hindi, Indonesian, Kyrgyz, Nepali, Swahili and the Great Lakes service (for Rwanda and Burundi).

In a statement today, the World Service said that since this announcement the BBC has been approached by a number of commercial parties with alternative funding proposals to keep some of the Hindi service going.

"In order to explore these proposals further, BBC World Service has decided to retain an evening news and current affairs radio broadcast (1 hour) in Hindi for our Indian audiences for an interim period.

"This broadcast will be available on all platforms - via shortwave, online and mobile."

The BBC says that if "sustainable commercial funding" for the service cannot be found during the 2011/12 financial year, then it will be closed by March 2012.

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