DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has proposed
to earmark Rs one billion for development of community radio
stations in the Twelfth Five Year Plan, of which Rs 900 million
will be for grants or aid to help the CRS movement in the
this information at the Third Community Radio Sammellan here,
I&B Minister Manish Tewari said only Rs 100 million had
been set aside for capacity building.
also said the proposal was that at least 500 more community
radio stations should become operational during the Twelfth
he said the Ministry had taken the initiative to promote the
streamlining and simplification of Community Radio empanelment
through Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP)
thereby ensuring that the empanelled stations got a fair share
of Government advertisements. DAVP had so far allocated around
Rs 60 million in commercial advertisements to CRS.
Minister was speaking at the valedictory function of the Sammellan,
at which he also gave away awards in five different categories
to different CRS all over the country.
talking to the media, the Minister admitted that while the
Government was willing to permit CRS to broadcast news bulletins
of All India Radio as was being done in the Third Phase of
FM expansion, this would need Cabinet approval.
the outset, he said that permitting CRS to make their own
news bulletins would create other difficulties. He gave the
example of non-news television channels which he said managed
to find different ways of giving news and the difference between
the general entertainment channels and news channels was getting
said that the CRS movement was very important in India today.
While the Government had its organs for conveying its messages
and programmes to the people, CRS could provide a two-way
interaction by conveying what the people wanted. He said there
was growing impatience and intolerance and people wanted to
find a voice.
said CRS could also highlight local issues that the government
could then pay attention to. This effort has to be led by
the community and not by the government, he added.
his part, he said the Ministry had adopted a holistic approach
to CRS. It wanted to work out a system to give assistance
to new CRS to come up. He also wanted the CRS to draw up a
code of ethics for themselves. The Ministry was also working
on its own relationship with CRS.
Minister also elaborated on the efforts being made by the
Ministry in coordinating relevant issues with the Communications
& Information Technology Ministry with regard to better
frequency allocation plan for the CRSs.
said it was likely that the Department of Telecom would announce
the spectrum waiver decision shortly.
need to facilitate a vibrant business model was in the offing
to ensure the sustainability of the movement.
Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) Supriya Sahu said the Ministry
was very keen on promoting CRS and gave example of having
cleared 53 CRS proposals in just 24 hours soon after Tewari
had become Minister. She stressed the need for deep involvement
of the community if the movement had to grow. She wanted the
stakeholders to draw up a Charter for themselves to serve
as a Code of Ethics.