TRAI deadline for submission of views on community radio stations extended by 2 weeks

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given more time to stakeholders to submit their views on the issue of allowing non-profit companies to set up community radio stations (CRS). In a consultation paper on “problems with community radio stations”, the broadcasting regulator also sought views on increasing the radio station’s license period from five years to 10 year.

The TRAI originally asked stakeholders to submit their views by August 17 and their counter-comments by August 31. It has now extended the date for submission of comments to August 31 and counter-comments by September 14.

CRS serves a local, well-defined community focusing on the day-to-day concerns of its audience and meeting their specific information and entertainment needs.

According to data provided to TRAI by 52 CRS operators, 16 of them broadcast no advertisements, while 32 operators broadcast advertisements for five minutes or less per hour.

The consultation papers also sought views on increasing the maximum ad length per hour from the existing seven minutes of broadcast time on CRS.

He also asked for stakeholders’ views on the number of community radio stations run in each district of operation by non-profit organizations operating in multiple districts.

The government had in 2013 introduced a program, “Supporting the Community Radio Movement in India”, to provide financial assistance to strengthen new and existing CRSs.

The program envisions supporting CRS with resources, capabilities, and technologies to promote growth, particularly in remote and rural areas, to enable the socio-economic and cultural development of communities.

Any CRS that became operational on April 1 last year and has completed three months of its operations is eligible for a one-time financial aid of Rs 10 lakh.

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