Cabinet clears community radio

IN Community Media | 16/11/2006
At last India will give community radio licenses to community-based organizations registered for at least three years.

The Government Press Release

The Union Cabinet today decided to grant permission for setting up of Community Radio Stations to non-profit organizations and educational institutions as per the eligibility, procedure and terms and conditions given below :

I The following types of organizations would be eligible to apply for Community Radio licences :

a) Community based organizations, which satisfy the following  basic principles :

I. i) It should be explicitly constituted as a ¿non-profit¿ organization and  shall have a    proven record of at least three years of service to the local community.

ii) The Community Radio Station (CRS) to be operated by it should be designed to serve a specific well-defined local community.

iii)  It should have an ownership and management structure and is reflective of the community that the CRS seeks to serve.

iv) Programmes for broadcast should be relevant to the educational, developmental, social and cultural needs of the community.

v) It must be a Legal Entity i.e. it should be registered ( under the registration of Societies Act or any other such act relevant to the purpose.

These would include civil society and voluntary organizations, State Agriculture Universities (SAUs) institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Registered Societies and Autonomous Bodies and Public Trusts registered under Societies Act or any other such act relevant for the purpose.  Registration at the time of application should at least be three years old.

         b) Educational institutions

II.                 The following would not be eligible to run a CRS :

a)   Individuals;

b) Political Parties and their affiliate organizations;  including students, women¿s, trade unions and such other wings affiliated to these parties.

c) Organisations operating with a motive to earn profit;

d) Organisations expressely banned by the Union and State Governments.

The Cabinet also authorized the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to finalize the terms & conditions and procedures.

This  decision will give the following benefits :-

i) A strong and vibrant Community Radio System will enhance pluralism and sustain diversity of cultures and languages.

ii) Strengthen decentralization and participatory governance and enable dialogues within communities.

iii) Dissemination of information to the rural communities about the issues related to agriculture, education, health, social welfare etc.

The government announcement does not mention whether advertising will be allowed, whether panchayats can get licenses and what transmitter strength will be permitted. It does say the ministry will work out all details. The ministry¿s note to cabinet had included a recommendation for 50 watt transmitters, and five minutes of advertisement per hour.

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