The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given stakeholders more time to submit comments on allowing not-for-profit companies to set up Community Radio Stations (CRS). In a consultation paper on “issues relating to community radio stations”, the broadcasting regulator also sought advice on extending the licence period for radio stations to operate from the current five years to ten years.
TRAI initially asked stakeholders to submit their comments by August 17 and objections by August 31. It has now extended the deadline to submit comments to August 31, and to submit objections by September 14.
CRS serves a well-defined local community, focusing on the day-to-day concerns of its audience and meeting their specific information and entertainment needs.
The consultation paper also seeks views on increasing the maximum length of hourly advertisements to the CRS’ existing seven-minute broadcast.
It also asked stakeholders for their views on the number of community radio stations operated in each operating district by nonprofits operating in the multiple district.
In 2013, the government launched the Supporting the Indian Community Radio Campaign programme to provide financial assistance to strengthen new and existing CRSs.
The plan envisages supporting CRS with resources, capacity and technology to foster growth, especially in remote and rural areas, to promote the socio-economic and cultural development of the community.
Any CRS that started operations on April 1 last year and completed three months of operation is eligible for a one-off financial assistance of Rs 1 million.