Regulators

North-East plan: DD channel Arun Prabha launch in early Jan; 90% subsidy for community radio

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NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced that a new dedicated Doordarshan channel Arun Prabha would be launched in the first half of January 2017.

The channel would showcase richness, variety and diversity of local culture and would seamlessly integrate North East with the entire country.

In a scenario where the number of operational community radio stations remains 191 after more than a decade of launch of the scheme, the government today said those setting up community radios can now get a subsidy of 75% in all states except the north eastern states where it will be 90%.

Naidu made this announcement towards the conclusion of the first session of the 28th State Information Ministers Conference (SIMCON) here. He said the community radio station is an extraordinary medium which disseminates information in localised content.

A total of 235 entities have signed the grant of permission agreement for community radio and indiantelevision's sister concern radioandmusic.com reported in March this year that a total of 272 applications were still under the consideration of the government from educational institutions, non-governmental organisations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and state agricuture universities. Some of these date back to 2011.

Though the scheme was announced more than a decade earlier, the reach of CRs was extended in 2006 to include NGO and community-based organisations with at least three years legal existence.

A total of 115 community radio stations recently received interim renewal of their Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) till 31 December 2016. An announcement by the ministry had said that the renewal till 31 December 2016 is till the renewal of GOPA on regular basis, whichever is earlier.

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