NEW DELHI: Even as the government has permitted non-governmental organisations to set up community radio stations (CRS), it is working to clear the list of applicants in the field of education who have applied for licenses for establishing, maintaining and operating such stations.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has signed an agreement with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for setting up a CRS at Media Technology Centre in its campus which is expected to be operational within three months.
The CRS will serve the surrounding populace comprising of students, housewives, skilled and unskilled labourers, petty traders and private and government employees as well as retired persons. It will disseminate knowledge on health care, agriculture, science and technology in addition to the literacy programmes for children and adults. The station will provide a platform for creative and innovative programme making and run awareness campaigns on social issues. It will also have group discussions on contemporary topics.
Ministry sources told Radioandmusic.com that out of a total of around 140 CRS proposals at various stages of implementation, a total of around 40 NGOs have so far got the Ministry's permission to set up and operate Community Radio Stations in different parts of the country but the finalisation of details is at various stages of implementation.
The Central Government in December 2006 had liberalised 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 liberalised 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 the present three.
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. The detailed Guidelines and proforma for application are available on the Ministry's website www.mib.nic.in .