You are here: Home News Let’s simplify and demystify community radio: Joint Secy, MoIB, Supriya Sahu
Let’s simplify and demystify community radio: Joint Secy, MoIB, Supriya Sahu

Feb 09, 2013

The third National Community Radio Sammelan started off with the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Supriya Sahu asking everyone to self-audit, empanel, and help the community radio movement spread to all parts of India.

The third National Community Radio Sammelan, organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) in New Delhi, saw radio stations in full attendance, brimming with optimism over the 12th year plan and seeking answers to numerous questions. Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary, MoIB, put forward the Ministry’s plans for the coming year and the change they envisage for the practitioners of community radio in the coming year. Also present with her were KS Rejimon, Director, and Inderjeet Grewal, Deputy Director, MoIB.

In her outline, Sahu stated how it is the biggest challenge and also a priority to increase the total number of stations in the country. Among the many issues that stations faced were, complex licensing issues, financial sustainability, and lack of technical policy. Because of these difficulties, many places in India like Mizoram, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Goa, Andaman Islands and Lakshwadeep do not have community radio stations yet. Sahu talked about her Ministry’s efforts in making tedious procedures like licensing easy. The licensing process currently is a parallel one as opposed to the linear one earlier.

Sahu added that the numerous workshops held by the ministry help in taking the movement forward. In 2013, the Ministry intends to hold nine workshops to encourage capacity building among the community stations. It has also set up a Facilitation Centre to streamline processes further for the stations, with a toll free number (1800-11-6422) that helps stations get answers to their queries.

The biggest news that Sahu broke was the allocation of Rs ten crore in the 12th Year Plan for awareness training and capacity building for community radio stations. Other Ministries that are investing in the CR area, are the Ministry of Corporate Affairs which is investing 36 lakhs and supporting 11 radio stations. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is investing Rs six crore for a campaign on malnutrition. The Joint Secretary pointed out the need for more stations to come forward and empanel as out of the 144 community radio stations, only 35 are empaneled. Sahu not only set forward the agenda of the Sammelan but also outlined the way forward for community radio, ten years on.

Her vision, put simply is, “Simplify, demystify, and coordinate better.” In this way she hopes, the big jump from 28 stations in 2002 to 144 in 2012 continues. As she put it in the beginning, with a laugh, “We should grow so much that we fill the plenary hall of the Vigyan Bhawan.”

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