| 24 Feb 2024
Parliamentary Committee wants Govt. to take strong steps to help community radio

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Standing Committee has said that the Government should take all necessary steps to encourage the Community Radio Movement in India by simplifying the existing procedures and launching awareness campaigns.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, which also examines issues linked to Information and Broadcasting, is of the view that the I&B Ministry, being the sole authority responsible for spread of Community Radio Movement, should coordinate with the Ministries/Agencies concerned for early clearances of pending applications so that Community Radio services can reach out fast across the country.

The Committee noted in a recent report that the scheme namely "Supporting Community Radio Movement in India" has been introduced in the Twelfth Plan to strengthen community radio movement in India and providing financial support to the Community Radio Stations.

The size of the scheme is Rs 100 crore, under the component Community Radio Support Scheme (CRSS) for providing support to at least 100 new CRS and 30 existing CRS every year. The scheme has two components: the Community Radio Support Scheme (CRSS) and the IEC Activities for Community Radio.

The Committee noted that the Ministry has already issued 398 permissions to set up CRS; out of them, 176 have started broadcasting, while 205 Grant of Permission Agreements (GOPA) have been signed.

According to the Ministry, 289 applications are pending consideration for (GoPA) at various stages.

The Committee observed that Community Radio provides an opportunity to the community to speak about issues concerning their lives, besides playing a crucial role in creating awareness and contributing to the development of the people as a whole. Community Radio Stations have also helped communities during calamities and natural disasters.

The Committee therefore said there was huge potential for establishing a large number of Community Radio Stations in India, given the vast landscape, numerous languages, diverse cultures, etc.