118 New Community Radio Stations to Come Up
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced that 118 new Community Radio Stations (CRS) are in the process of being set-up.
Of 118 new community radio stations, 16 would be established at Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts, 6 at most LWE affected districts, 25 at coastal districts, 17 at Aspirational Districts, 3 at North-East and 2 at Jammu and Kashmir.
What are Community Radio Stations?
- Community Radios are small (low power) FM radio stations with a coverage area of around 10-15 Km radius, depending on the geography of the area.
- These CRS play an important role in the dissemination of agriculture-related information, government schemes for people’s welfare, weather forecast etc.
- CRS is expected to produce at least 50% of their programmes locally, as far as possible in local languages or dialects.
- More than two hundred sixty CRS across India which have been broadcasting in various languages including local dialects are giving marginalised communities a platform to make their voice heard and an opportunity to express their views.
- Government is planning to expand the community radio network to each district of the country for enhancing the last mile of the outreach of government.
Community Radio Stations in India
Community Radios were not legal in India until 2002. In 2002 then government approved a policy to rant of licenses for setting up of Community Radio Stations to well established educational institutions including IITs/IIMs. The eligibility to own and operate the community radio was restricted to the educational institutions.
In 2006 a new policy was released which allowed the agricultural universities, educational institutions and civil society institutions such as NGOs to apply for a community radio broadcasting license.