(Last Updated on : 28/02/2014)
Common policies for community radio in India
direct the various procedures and regulations for establishing a community radio station. Community Radio (CR) is a radio service which offers their services to a specific community categorized on the basis of interest or geography. Relevant or popular content for a particular community which is mostly overlooked by mass-media or commercial broadcaster are covered by this service. Policies for community radio, in addition to directing the course of the establishment of community radio, also suffer from a few loopholes which expose their inability to serve the main purpose efficiently. Despite of this fact the rules and regulation covered under these policies serve as significant for proper set up of community radio stations.
Policy for Application of Community Radio Licence
The application for CR license can be filed only by the non profits which have over 3 years of functioning. Although this policy is needed for the accountability, it restricts the ventures of new organizations which are keen to step into the field of community radio with full dedication. In fact the older NGOs which are eligible to acquire a licence are mostly engaged in health, low-cost housing and micro-finance and consider community radio as an extension of their existing programs. The purpose of community radio is however much broader and requires much dedication for its development.
Policy for Acquiring Community Radio Licence
The procedure of licensing for a community radio takes more than a year's time and undergoes approval from five different ministries. However in case of any hitch, the procedure remains upheld for a long duration. This policy however suffers a major drawback as the government websites lack in providing precise updates for the ongoing procedures. The process is also tedious in nature as there are sudden demands for specific details with abrupt deadlines and many a time the applicant is asked to appear in person without any prior information at Delhi
. It also involves another significant task of carrying out a community survey comprising filling out of specific information by about 1000 respondents. This survey is however much important for gathering information about the requisites of specific communities. However some of the people involved with the CR movement believe that for the prevailing diversity of the country it is better to design different surveys by the applicants based upon specific government guidelines.
Policy for Acquiring Community Radio Equipments
Only three authorized vendors of the country have the authority to sell the FM transmitter equipment required for the community radio. Among these, the vendor 'Nomad' is known for designing and manufacturing indigenous transmitters and has received approval recently after much struggle. Before this vendor, the equipments featured a huge cost.
Policy for Community Radio Station
Another prominent policy of community radio mentions that the CR station must be owned by the non-profit organization. This policy often creates the problem of avoidance of the feedback of the local community. It has also been observed that feedback from a certain community has been deliberately ignored as those people did now show involvement in other developmental programs of the non-profit organization.