| 03 Jul 2022
DU University attempting to understand Community Radio through research

MUMBAI: Very rarely do Community Radio Stations in India get the privilege to become part of a research. Fortunately, Delhi University (DU) has made this possible. The varsity students are collecting information to develop a module that will help understand the Community Radio Stations (CRS) in India and around the world in a better way.

The project was initiated in August after Professor Saleem Mir with six DU students were curious to understand more about the community radio. Mir stated, "We were very keen on understanding the working of community radio, so I sent my students because they were interested in understanding media.  Then the whole idea to carry out a research and develop a module around it conceptualised."

During the course of the study, it became evident that very little research is carried out on CRSs in India, and that they should collect enough field data before starting a module. There were also some students who worked with CRSs as volunteers to understand more about the station. "We thought it would be a good idea to conceive a project that will help in bringing out a module that could be applied to Community Radio across the country," Mir said. This would help many existing and upcoming CRSs to know more about the space.

The social project that students carried out was compulsory and a part of the curriculum, ensuring they do not receive funding from anywhere. Mir who is also their trainer on CRS topics said that all the students are doing different projects and we cannot fund them unless it was for travelling. The project work was not limited to Delhi, and students had to visit Hyderabad and Lucknow for different conferences.

Currently, some of the students will go to the North-east, along with a select 850 students under the University’s initiative called 'Gyan Udyan Yatra’. "We are sending the students who researching on CRS with other students so that they can understand Community radio stations in the North-east. They can also gather information of community radio stations from other students there."

Mir also added that one student will be sent to Bangalore for a program that will enable him or her to become a certified trainer and train other students.

The research carried out for the module does not have any financial backing from any major organisation or government body.  Mir said, "We are not getting funding for the project so we are not going to as many places as possible. But we are trying to cover as many places as possible this year with the resources available."

Along with Mir, RK Singh, former engineer-in-chief of Doordarshan, is helping the students to carry out the project.

Mir added that there is no deadline for completing the project, and that the research would continue as long as needed to collect relevant data.