| 22 Jul 2024
Govt to facilitate growth of community radio through policies that spur the number: Jaitley

New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley today stressed that the scope for expansion of community radio was vast in view of the communication needs at the regional level as it had the power to connect with people by exchanging experiences and content of programmes.

The Minister added that the government would facilitate the medium through policies which would spur the growth in the total number of operational community radio stations in the future.

He said this provided the bandwidth for effective programming to grow on a sustainable basis, and lauded the efforts of the stations which focussed on sustained campaigns on critical issues related to health and education. This had led to people imbibing the spirit of the messages.

Delivering his address at the inaugural session of the 6thNational Community Radio Sammelan here, Jaitley said radio as a medium of communication had made a comeback in view of the growing popularity of FM transmission and its reach.

Community Radio as a variant of the medium had provided a value addition to the narrative by addressing the information needs regionally, addressing diverse status and issues and capturing the language, culture and social practices.

Minister of State for I & B Rajyavardhan Rathore said that community radio was an important communication medium that empowered local people and had a connect with them. It could play an important role in dissemination of information about government schemes and policies to the common man in their local language, which in many cases has not reached them through conventional mediums of communication such as Television and FM Radio.

He added that community radio could help in disseminating benefits of various government initiatives such as Mudra Yojna, Fasal Bima Yojna, and Soil Health Card to the local people.

Community Radio should inspire people by informing them about the local achievements and endeavours of people who were one amongst them, he said, encouraging participation of all the concerned stakeholders to take the Community Radio Movement in the country further ahead.

Ministry Secretary Sunil Arora said Community Radio empowered people who generally found no voice in traditional media. He said Community Radio provided empowering experiences to farmers, local fishermen, and folk artistes who shared their stories in programmes conducted by the community radio stations.

He said the Ministry had opened a Community Radio facilitation Centre at Shastri Bhawan in the capital to streamline approval process for the CR stations. The Ministry had given permissions to 439 CR stations out of which 191are already in operation. He also said that the setting of agenda for this year National Sammelan was a participative process wherein feedback from CR stations across the country was solicited.

Winners of the 5th National Community Radio Awards were felicitated on the occasion. The award for the most creative/Innovative Programme content was presented to ‘Radio Benziger’ from Kerala for their programme ‘Sukrutham’. The other categories included Awards for Program with Best Theme, Community Engagement, and Promoting local culture.

The Community Radio Compendium and Community Radio Map which illustrated Community Radio Stations across the nation was also released on the occasion.