Community Radio Revised Guidelines Increases Advertising Rate, Stipulates 50% of Advisory and Content Committee Members To Be Women

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Chennai, 13th February 2024: In a significant development on World Radio Day, Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, and Youth Affairs & Sports, launched the ‘Revised Policy Guidelines for setting up Community Radio Stations in India.’ The unveiling occurred during the Regional Community Radio Sammelan (South) at Anna University, Chennai, with Thakur delivering the keynote address.

Accompanying him, Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, provided a special address during the inaugural ceremony, emphasizing the transformative role of community radio.

Thakur underscored the vitality of community radio, stating, “Community Radio Stations offer a platform where content is disseminated in local dialects and regional languages. The government remains committed to inclusive development, and community radio plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal.”

Dr. Murugan echoed these sentiments, describing community radio as a pioneering concept giving voice to unheard communities. “There cannot be a better way of reaching out to the community than through the relatively inexpensive medium of community radio stations,” he added.

The two-day Regional Community Radio Sammelan for southern Community Radio Stations (CRS) celebrated the completion of 20 years of Community Radio in India. Over 100 CRSs from Southern States/UT participated, engaging in capacity-building activities and fostering collaboration.

Community Radio, positioned as the third tier in radio broadcasting, operates independently from Public Service and Commercial Radio. Currently, India boasts 481 CRSs, with 133 becoming operational in the last two years.

To ensure financial sustainability and growth, the government introduced amendments in the Policy Guidelines. Key highlights include allowing eligible organizations to set up a maximum of six CRSs in different districts, extending the Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) to ten years, and increasing advertising time and rates for CRSs.

The revised guidelines aim to catalyze growth in the Community Radio sector. Notably, provisions for women’s participation in content creation have been incorporated, with at least half of the Advisory and Content Committee members required to be women. The detailed policy guidelines can be accessed on the Ministry’s website: