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Two Additional Dedicated Frequencies to be Allocated for Community Radio, Says I&B Secretary

He said that each district of the country should have at least one community radio, with priority being setting them up in the aspirational districts.


Updated:August 29, 2019, 9:27 PM IST
Two Additional Dedicated Frequencies to be Allocated for Community Radio, Says I&B Secretary
Representative image.

New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications has decided to allocate two additional dedicated frequencies for running community radio, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary said on Thursday.

In his valedictory address at the 7th National Community Radio Sammelan, organised by the ministry, Amit Khare also announced that the advertisement rates for community radio will be revised by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication within two months, on the lines of the recent hike for print and electronic media.

Khare also announced that a community radio cell will be set up in the Ministry for grievance redressal and collating actionable suggestions received from stakeholders, according to an official statement.

The Media and Communication Plan of all ministries of the government must include community radio to leverage their deeper ground level penetration, he said.

Khare also said that a compendium of programmes running on community radio stations across the country released by Union minister Prakash Javadekar on the second day of the Sammelan will be distributed to all district collectors to sensitise them for utilisation of communication radio in their local communication endeavours.

The Department of Telecommunications has agreed to dedicate two additional frequencies -- 89.6 and 90.0 MHz -- for running community radio Stations, he said.

Khare also announced that the 'National Sammelan' would now be held annually, along with 'Regional Sammelans' in different corners of the country.

Asserting that the Ministry's aim to set up at least one community radio station in each district, starting with aspirational districts, Khare expressed hope of spread of a community radio movement in the country.

I&B Additional Secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari said the development of a vibrant culture of community radio will help in greater information dissemination at the grassroots level which will result in further empowerment of people.

He also said community radio can act as hubs of local information dissemination at the ground level and it is the priority of the government to set up at least one such station in each aspirational district.

Khare highlighted the significance of community radio and the role played by these stations in disseminating information especially during the time of disasters.

The hard work put in by the people behind these stations has resulted in visible changes, especially in the rural areas, the I&B secretary said.

He said that each district of the country should have at least one community radio, with priority being setting them up in the aspirational districts. He also urged the members present to act as brand ambassadors for spreading the word about adoption of community radio.

As part of the Niti Aayog's vision, the 'Transformation of Aspirational Districts' programme was launched to effectively transform 115 districts across the nation.

About the theme of the 'sammelan', Khare said there is a need to dovetail content of community radio with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He urged the community radio representatives to also spread among people information of schemes and programmes of government, especially those which directly impact their lives.

Khare also asked the representatives to identify local heroes such as teachers and sportspersons from amongst the community to help make the message delivery more impactful.

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