The Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting is planning to set up a fund to strengthen the community radio movement in the country. Speaking at the Second National Community Radio Sammelan being held in New Delhi on February 18, 2012, Union Minister Ambika Soni said that the ministry has already sent a proposal for such a fund to be incorporated under the 12th Five Year Plan.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni said on Saturday that the ministry is planning to set up a fund to strengthen the community radio movement in the country. Speaking at the Second National Community Radio Sammelan being held in New Delhi on February 18, 2012, she said that the ministry has already sent a proposal for such a fund to be incorporated under the 12th Five Year Plan.
She added that till the time the fund is actually set up, the ministry may be able to help sustain community radio stations by providing them advertising for the Bharat Nirman campaign through DAVP. The government is also planning to increase the advertising rate for community radio stations from the current Rs two per second. Soni said that the DAVP, the Union Government agency that releases advertising to the media, has increased the rates of advertisements by around 25 per cent in just one-and-a-half-years.
The minister has pledged support to the community radio stations saying that it is a flagship programme of the ministry. She said: "Community radio is the best medium and an interactive medium that reaches out to rural communities where the stations can actually take the government's programmes and policies to the farmers. These stations help in providing new and latest information to the people."
An important feature of the Second National Community Radio Sammelan is the award ceremony in which, for the first time, nearly 15 community radio stations will be honoured for their pioneering efforts in taking information and communication to the people at the grassroots. The three-day event will have the community radio stations placing their challenges and problems before the government, including that of problems in getting advertisements from the government due to certain policy reasons.
(Rahul Kumar/OneWorld South Asia)
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India