Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, today chaired the meeting of Consultative Committee of I&B Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing Community Radio in the country. Minister of State for I&B Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present in the meeting.
In his opening remarks, Shri Naidu apprised the Members of the Committee about the various steps and initiatives being taken by the Ministry to promote community radio movement in the country. He mentioned that Ministry has recently enhanced the subsidy amount for setting up of Community Radio Stations from 50 % to 90% in the North Eastern States & 75% in other States, subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 7.5 lakhs with a view to promote community radio tool as an effective medium of communication.
Explaining the significance of Community Radio as a communication medium, Shri Naidu said that it was a useful tool to cater to the information needs of the people in local language/dialect. CR Stations broadcast programmes on various issues which were of immediate relevance to the community and facilitate development by disseminating information regarding education, rural development, agriculture, health, nutrition environmental, social welfare, Panchayati Raj issues and cultural needs. Community Radios (CR) have potential to bring a very significant positive social change at the community level. It also works as a powerful means for rural empowerment, upliftment of dalits and women.
Shri Naidu wished the esteemed Members of the Parliament on the happy occasion of Ugadi. He added that Ugadi heralds the arrival of spring and warmer weather signifies the start of a new year in many parts of South India. The joyous festival signifies growth and prosperity and as with all New Year festivals, it provides an opportunity to start new ventures. He also explained the significance of Ugadi Pachhadi, a combination of six different tastes (shat ruchi) consisting of sweet, sour, spicy or pungent, salty, astringent and bitter symbolized various emotions of happiness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise and sadness.
Members of the Committee while appreciating the efforts of the Ministry in developing community radio provided valuable suggestions in enhancing the reach and generating awareness about this medium of communication. They also mentioned the need to fast track and streamline the the clearances process for setting up of CRS in the country.
A presentation was made by Additional Secretary on behalf of the Ministry giving an overview of the Community Radio sector in the country. Members of the committee were apprised about the achievements and initiatives of Ministry in facilitating the growth of Community Radio in the country.
Parliamentarians Shri Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Shri Vivek Gupta, Smt. Dev (Moon Moon Sen) Varma, Shri Harivansh, Shri Madhusudan Mistry, Shri Prabhat Jha and Shri Neeraj Shekhar attended the meeting. Secretary I&B, Shri Ajay Mittal and senior officers of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.