| 15 Dec 2019
I&B Secy opens 3-day Community Radio consultation

* National level consultation being attended by UK, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, among others

* Jointly organized by I&B Ministry, UNESCO;  partnered by Community Radio Forum India, Ford Foundation 

MUMBAI: A National Consultation is being organized by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting jointly with UNESCO on Community Radio from 13th to 15th December 2010 at IIMC, New Delhi. The other collaborating partners are Community Radio Forum India and Ford Foundation. This consultation, the third in the series of national consultations, was inaugurated by Raghu Menon, Secretary, I & B and is being attended by experts, policy makers and  community radio broadcasters  from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Australia, UK, Singapore and Canada, among other nations.

The consultation will bring together community broadcasters and other key stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations, media activists, academia and the policy makers to take stock of the achievements of this burgeoning sector of radio broadcasting in India, and explore ways to take this movement to the next level.

The consultation seeks to analyze, assess and amend the current Community Radio Policy in achieving the goals of disseminating information, strengthening grass-roots democracy and fulfilling social development objectives and discuss issues of financial and social sustainability of Community Radio Stations. The discussions will help design joint action strategies and define the role of organizations such as UNESCO, CRF, CEMCA, various government departments and other partners in strengthening the CR movement.

The expected outcomes from the consultation are:

(1)Enhancement of stakeholders' coordination in their effort to make community radio sustainable and more effective partner in development

(2)Increasing scope of collaboration between organizations working on developmental issues

(3)Furthering the use of new media and innovative/appropriate technology in the community radio sector

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is mandated to permit eligible organizations to run Community Radio Stations as per the Policy Guidelines of 2006  Community Radio is an extraordinary and invisible medium to give voice to the voiceless  It provides an opportunity to the community to speak about issues concerning their lives. It can also facilitate development by disseminating information regarding rural development, agriculture, health, nutrition, education and Panchayati Raj issues, thus enabling government to reach out to beneficiaries more effectively.

Ministry of I&B has been working to give a fillip to the Community Radio Movement in the country. So far 263 Letters of Intent have been issued, 121 Grants of Permission have been signed and 103 Community Radio Stations have been operationlaised in various parts of the country  Out of 103 stations, 71 are run by educational institutions, 24 by community-based organizations and 8 by Krishi Vigyan Kendra / state agriculture institutions. There has been a steady increase in the number of operational Community Radio Stations in the country. It has increased from 57 stations in the month of May 2010 to 103 Radio Stations in November 2010.