| 30 Nov 2021
Only 184 out of 229 community radio stations which signed GOPA are operational

NEW DELHI: Only 184 community radio stations are operational out of the 229 which have signed the Grant of Permission Agreement.

While the number of operational stations was 180 on 1 May, Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B Ministry) sources told that four more stations have become operational over the past six weeks.

Furthermore, as against 211 stations that had signed GOPA agreements by mid-February, the number has gone up to 229 according to a list placed on the website of the Ministry. These 229 are out of more than 400, which have been issued letters of intent (LOI), sources said. Around 70 of these have been referred to other Ministries, the sources added.

As many as 285 applications have been returned or rejected, while 263 have been referred back to the applicants.

This low figure is despite the fact that the scheme for community radios was introduced about a decade earlier, and the Government has already announced a major scheme to help CRS

A Parliamentary Committee noted recently that 209 applications for setting up of community radio stations 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 three months.

According  to the list placed on the Ministry’s website as of 1 May this year, the largest number of community radio stations – around 90 – are being operated by private and governmental educational institutions, around 65 by non-governmental organisations, around 20 by universities, including six by state agricultural universities, and six by Kendriya Vidyalya Kendras.

Tamil Nadu has the largest number of CRSs, numbering around 27, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 21, Maharashtra with 17, Madhya Pradesh with 14, and Karnataka with 13. All other states and union territories have ten or less CRSs, with Delhi having six.