| 28 Feb 2024
Expedite work on study of effectiveness of Community Radio: Parliamentary Committee

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B Ministry) to expedite the study of effectiveness of community radio stations and apprise them of the progress made in this regard.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, which examines issues linked to Information and Broadcasting, said there is need to identify areas which warrant specific attention so that funds crucial for the Plan Scheme of Supporting Community Radio Movement in India do not remain idle and unutilised.

The Committee was concerned to note that the Budget Estimate of Rs 13 crore for the scheme was reduced to Rs 2.65 crore at the Revised Estimates stage and full funds could not be utilised due to non-finalisation of mode and content module of activities.

The Committee noted that in total, 209 applications for setting up of CRS were pending with various Ministries. Even though the number of applications pending in the Ministries concerned has come down substantially, there are at least 50 applications that are pending which have crossed the stipulated timeline beyond 3 months.

The Committee is of the view that the matter of pendency of clearances should be taken up with the Ministries/agencies concerned for their early clearance.

The Committee was informed that one agency has been shortlisted and selected to assess the effectiveness of CRS out of 16 proposals submitted by different agencies.

The study is likely to throw light on the training needs and capacity building of personnel.
The Committee feels that the study will help in finalising the content module which is partly coming in the way of the successful implementation of the scheme.

Keeping in view the huge potential for establishing a large number of CRs in India, the Committee in their 4th Report on Demands for Grants (2014-15) had recommended the Ministry to take necessary steps to encourage the movement by simplifying the existing procedure and launching of awareness campaigns.