| 26 Mar 2023
115 community radio stations get interim extension till year end

NEW DELHI: A total of 115 community radio stations have received interim renewal of their Grant of Permission Agreement (GoPA) till 31 December 2016.

An announcement by the Information and Broadcasting ministry today said that the renewal till 31 December 2016 is applicable till the renewal of GoPA on regular basis, whichever is earlier.

'All other terms and conditions, as contained in GoPA signed by your organisation to establish, maintain and operate a Community Radio Station would remain same', the ministry notification says.

The 115 stations include CRs in Delhi, Chandigarh, Chhatisgarh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Puducherry, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Tamil Nadu gets the largest number with 16 stations, while Uttar Pradesh has 13 and both Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have 12 each. All other states have less than 10.

Earlier in January 2016, the ministry had made a similar announcement for those channels whose licences had expired or were expiring in May this year.

Ministry sources told that the aim was to enable CRs to continue their operations on the existing terms and conditions.

The renewal of GoPA for the interim period will be subject to receipt of security clearance from the home ministry; furnishing of a Bank Guarantee of Rs 25,000 having validity up to the interim period up to 3l December 2016; submission of an undertaking in the set format and available on the Ministry website

Even though a total of 235 entities have signed the grant of permission agreement, the number of operational community radio stations remains 191 after more than a decade of launch of the scheme.

According to a report by in March this year, a total of 272 applications were still under the consideration of the government from educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agricuture Universities. Some of these date back to 2011.

Though the scheme was announced more than a decade earlier, the reach of CRs was extended in 2006 to include NGO and community-based organisations with at least three years legal existence.