Bhushan Nagpal    19 May 09 20:25 IST

NEW DeLHI: Barefoot College Tilonia in Ajmer, Rajasthan, has been given permission to establish, maintain and operate a Community Radio Station (CRS) and is expected to be operational within three months 

Tilonia is a village of about 2000 inhabitants situated 400 miles south-west of Delhi, best known for the success of its grassroots empowerment movement spearheaded by the Social Works and Research Centre (popularly known as The Barefoot College).

The Letter of Intent had been issued to the Institute after recommendations of the Inter Ministerial Committee. Tilonia's CRS would be the 45th CRS in the country. The programmes broadcast from this station will focus on issues concerning health, education, employment generation, rainwater harvesting, environmental matters and agriculture programmes for the rural community.

Thus the total number of CRS operated by educational institutions and non-governmental bodies has risen to almost 115 which includes State Agricultural Institutions and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) 

The Central Government in December 2006 had liberalized the Policy on Community Radio by bringing in the civil society and voluntary organizations, agricultural universities, ICAR institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras etc under its ambit. The policy was liberalized to allow greater participation by the civil society on issues of development and social change. Earlier, only educational institutions were permitted to launch community radio channels.

The Government in late 2007 also announced that existing community radio operators can take advantage of the revised guidelines for new operators and get their broadcast permission extended to five years from three years.

In the new guidelines, limited advertising and announcements relating to local events, local businesses and services and employment opportunities shall be allowed. The maximum duration of such limited advertising will be restricted to five minutes per hour of broadcast.

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