| 08 Dec 2021
Thirty-two GOPA licencees still to operationalise their community radio stations: Rathore

NEW DELHI: Thirty two of the 211 organizations which have signed the Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) have yet to operationalise their stations, the Parliament has been informed.

These 211 organisations are out of the 398, which have been issued letters of intent (LOI), for starting community radios, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said in reply to a question.

He said the GOPA is signed after getting the frequency allocation and Standing Advisory Committee for Frequency Allocation (SACFA) clearances from the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing of Ministry of Communication & Information Technology.

Under the policy guidelines for setting up of Community Radio Stations in India, GOPA holders are required to set up and operationalise the station within three months of signing of GOPA, subject to receipt of Wireless Operating Licence (WOL) from the WPC Wing.

Besides obtaining WOL, permission holders are also required to mobilise financial and other resources to set up the station and commence their operations.

LOI can be issued subject to receiving clearances from the Home, Defence, Human Resource Development, and Agriculture Ministries and the WPC wing of the Communication and IT Ministry, as the case may be.

The Ministries concerned are required to communicate their clearances within three months of receipt of the application. The case is then referred to an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for a decision for issue of LOI.

The I&B Ministry has put in place an online Community Radio Management Information System (CRMIS), for online applications. A filled in model application is also available on CRMIS. Various guidelines issued by the Government on Community Radio are also available on the home page of the site. The Ministry is also organising awareness workshops across the country to sensitise the public about the policy and create awareness about issues relating to permission process, operation and maintenance of Community Radio Station.