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Conference to observe a decade of community radio in India


09 February 2013

OneWorld South Asia

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The 3rd National Community Radio (CR) Sammelan is being organised at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, from 9-11 February 2013. This Sammelan is significant as it also celebrates the first decade of the CR Policy in India, which was announced in 2002.

The Conference will bring together Community Radio Operators, Policy makers, Community Radio enthusiasts, Government Ministries/Departments, the UN and International organisations like UNICEF, UNESCO, Ford Foundation etc. The first CR Sammelan was organised in February 2011 and the second in February 2012. An exhibition is being organised on the sidelines of the Sammelan to showcase work being done by various organisations and new entrants in the community radio sector.

On this occasion, the National Community Radio Awards would also be presented to the winners. Several important issues like resources for community radio, sustainability, content sharing and programming for development etc., would be discussed in the three-day workshop. On this occasion a community radio compendium will also be released, which contains inspiring stories from all over the country. The Sammelan is being organised by the Ministry in association with OneWorld Foundation India.

The community radio space has witnessed remarkable growth in the past few years due to several initiatives taken by the Ministry which has streamlined the approval process for setting up Community Radio Stations. Applicants can now apply online and track the status of their pending application through a Comprehensive Community Radio Management Information System. A facilitation centre has also been set up, with a Toll Free number (1800-11-6422) for providing information. The Ministry has also been organising intensive awareness workshops in various parts of the country to increase awareness about community radio. Thirty-seven workshops have already been organised so far. This year alone, nine workshops are being held at Dibrugarh (Assam), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Mt. Abu (Rajasthan), Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu), Goa (Union Territory), Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh), Darjeeling (West Bengal), Orcha (Madhya Pradesh) and Vishakapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) At present, the Ministry has issued 418 permissions. A total of 144 community radio stations are presently operating in the country.

Efforts have also been taken by the Ministry to enable community radio stations to sustain themselves. The Ministry has empanelled 35 community radios with the Department of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) to provide them with Government advertisements. The Ministry also plans to introduce a scheme for providing financial assistance to community radio stations in the 12th Plan. Once approved, the scheme would help to set up 100 new CR stations every year. Around 500  new community radios are aimed for the 12th Plan period.

 
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