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Arun Jaitely to inaugurate 5th Community Radio Sammelan

Mar 14, 2015

The fifth edition of the National Community Radio Sammelan will focus on good governance among other community issues.

New Delhi: India’s Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, Arun Jaitely, will inaugurate the fifth National Sammelan for Community Radio Stations on the 16th March, 2015, in New Delhi.

The Sammelan is being organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in partnership with OneWorld Foundation India. The theme for this year’s Sammelan is Community Radio for Good Governance.

The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, will also be present on the occasion. The Sammelan will bring together Community Radio Operators, policy makers, Ministries/Departments, the UN and other International bodies like UNICEF and UNESCO and other stakeholders for exchange of ideas and cross learning.

“The session will highlight the vision of the Community Radio movement in India and its role in setting the agenda on the development discourse at the local level,” says Rajiv Tikoo, Director, OneWorld Foundation India.

The three day Sammelan will see participation from 165 Community Radio Stations from across the country. The participants will discuss the role of Community Radio Stations in good governance, sustainability, content sharing and programming for development.

Various sessions will delve into the role that Community Radio can play in dealing with myriad issues including community learning, promoting livelihoods and agriculture, promoting water conservation and sanitation, strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions, financial inclusion, legal literacy and facilitating access to justice for marginalised communities. A compendium containing inspiring stories of Community Radio from all over the country will also be released during the conference.

The National Community Radio Awards would also be presented to promote better programming on CR stations and motivate CR operators to achieve goals of community empowerment.

The I&B Ministry has been organising the National Community Radio Sammelan every year since 2011. Four National Community Radio Sammelans of CR operators have also been organised so far, the last three of which were organised in partnership with OneWorld.

The Ministry has also been organising intensive Awareness Workshops in various parts of the country to increase awareness about Community Radio. Sixty three Workshops have been organised so far. These workshops have proved to be useful in helping to operate Community Radio Stations in an effective way.

“The Community Radio sector has witnessed a remarkable growth in the past few years due to several initiatives of the various stakeholders in the Community Radio movement in the country as well as by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting which has not only a well-tested policy guideline, but also allocated much needed resources for the development of Community Radio in the country,” says Bijoy Patro, Director, Programmes and Editorial at OneWorld.

Bijoy elaborates that the Ministry has so far issued 409 permissions to set up community radio stations in the country. Out of this, 179 stations have become operational while others are in the pipeline.

According to Rajiv Tikoo, the Ministry has also streamlined the approval process for setting up of Community Radio Stations. “The applicants can now apply online and track the status of their pending application through a Comprehensive Community Radio Management Information System,” he informs, adding “Efforts have also been taken by the Ministry to enable Community Radio Stations to sustain themselves”.

OneWorld manages a Facilitation Centre on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that also has a Toll Free number (1800 -11 -6346) for providing information to organisations wishing to set up a Community Radio Station.

The Ministry has also introduced a Plan Scheme to provide financial assistance to existing and new Community Radio Stations for various provisions including infrastructure, equipment, training, and capacity building.

The Ministry has also been advocating with various stakeholder Ministries like Health, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Science and Technology and Tribal Affairs to use the medium of CR to reach out to the masses.

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