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Assam gets its first community radio station

02 February 2009

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The first community radio station in Assam was formally launched at the Krishna Kanta Handique Open University in the state on 27 January.

The launch was part of the sixth regional consultation on community radio awareness meet in the state. Speaking on the inauguration, state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “It will usher in a remarkable revolution in the field of spreading the benefits of effective communication in the rural areas through community radio.”

In view of community radio station’s importance in disseminating information to rural folk, Gogoi said his government will provide assistance towards setting up of such stations initially in ten educational institutions of the State. “The government will extend all possible help and assistance so that community radio stations become an effective tool for dissemination of knowledge to the community as a whole,” he added.

According to official sources, the station has the capacity to cover a distance of 10 km radius in air. The station will be initially managed with the support of the facilitating organisation, and it will gradually be handed over to the university, sources said, adding that the station would produce and air only the programmes designed and prepared by the university.

Speaking on the occasion, Broadcast Development Director of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, PK Bisoi said: “In India, the campaign to legitimize community radio began in the mid-1990s. This came as an inspiration to groups across the country, but to begin with, only educational (campus) radio stations have been allowed under somewhat stringent conditions.”

Krishna Kanta Handique Open University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Srinath Baruah, said the coming up of the first community radio station in the university will help disseminate knowledge not only in the educational sphere but also in the socio-economic sphere.

“Commercial FM radio stations have different objectives. Our motto is to educate the people and broaden their outlook,” he added.

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