Home/ Industry / Media/  Trai releases recommendations on issues related to community radio stations

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has released recommendations on issues related to community radio stations such as inclusion of not-for-profit companies in the list of eligible organizations, increasing of permission period from existing five years to 10 years, maximum duration of advertisement per hour of broadcast on CRS and number of CR stations operated in each district of operation by not-for-profit organizations, operating in multiple districts.

Trai has said that non-for-profit companies established under Companies Act 2013 are already covered in the extant eligibility criteria for CRS and existing criteria prescribed in guidelines of the information and broadcasting ministry barring certain type of entities for setting up Community Radio Stations are equally applicable to these companies also.

The authority has reiterated recommendations regarding disqualification of religious bodies from owning broadcasting channels including Community Radio Station as mentioned in its ‘Recommendations on Issues relating to entry of certain entities into Broadcasting and Distribution activities.’

Further, it has said that the initial period of permission should be increased from five years to 10 years, at a time. Present policy guidelines for extension or renewal of CRS license are adequate and should continue to be the same but Community Radio Stations will be required to obtain continued service report from the SDM (sub-divisional magistrate) of the concerned district for grant of license extension. The duration of advertisement on a CRS should be increased from seven minutes per hour to 12 minutes per hour.

Not-for-profit organizations, operating in multiple districts, should be allowed to set up multiple CRS in their area of operation. An organisation should be allowed to set up a maximum of six CRS throughout the country. An organisation seeking to set up multiple stations should submit an undertaking confirming that the programs will be prepared locally and not sent from other CRS. Trai has said that the I&B ministry may actively pursue with Central and state governments to sponsor more programmes on CRS to help them sustain. All the universities of Central or state governments may be provided budgetary support to establish and operate Community Radio Stations. MIB may actively pursue providing license spectrum for such universities. All the processes for granting CRS should be made online through a single window system.

SACFA (Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation) clearance should be granted within one month of application and grant of WOL (wireless operating license) license should also have a prescribed period preferably within one month of application.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Updated: 22 Mar 2023, 02:36 PM IST
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