community radio stations Current Affairs - 2019

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118 new Community Radio Stations to be set-up in India

Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar announced that 118 new Community Radio Stations (CRS) are in process of being set-up across country. The approved lists of applicants have already been granted Letter of Intent (LoI) for setting up CRS. It is expected that these Community Radio Stations will become operational within a period of next 6 months.

Key Highlights

The areas where CRS to be set up includes 16 from Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts, 6 from most LWE affected districts, 17 from Aspirational Districts, 25 from coastal districts, 3 from North-East and 2 from Jammu and Kashmir.

Applications from NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations), Educational Institutions (both private and public), and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) have been granted approvals.

About Community Radio Stations

CRs act as essential communication channels for enhancing last mile of outreach of government. Plans are underway to ensure expansion of community radio network to each district of country.

Community radios are small (low power) FM radio stations with a coverage area of about 10-15 km radius, depending on geography of area. These Community radio stations play a significant role in dissemination of agriculture-related information, government schemes for people’s welfare, weather forecast among others.

EC ropes in Community Radio Stations to Educate Voters

The Election Commission of India (ECI) in a first of its kind initiative has reached out to over 150 community radio stations across the country to educate and inform the voters ahead of the general elections.

To facilitate the collaboration a workshop was organised by India International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Management (IIIDEM), in partnership with Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART), at IIIDEM, Dwarka.

The Workshop was organised for training and capacity building of the community radios for voter education and awareness.

How Community Radios can contribute?

  • They can play a vital role in motivating and mobilising the voters, enlisting them into the electoral roll, mobilising them to go to the polling booth, educating them about their rights and responsibilities, and making them an informed and educated voter.
  • Community radio stations can further strengthen democracy by developing content in local dialects and deepening the process of voter education and awareness up to the grass root levels.
  • Community radios are one of the best mediums to reach out to the last voter of the country.

The Election Commission envisions to make community radio stations an integral part of the voter education programme and the workshops were just the beginning of a long term and sustained engagement between Election Commission and Community Radio Stations.