Aiming to put in place a vibrant community radio system in the country, government on Thursday approved the expansion of such radio stations by non-profit organisations after ensuring security clearances from the Defence and Home Ministries.
"The community radio will not only include newscasting and current affairs programmes and will be dealt with comprehensively by an inter-ministerial group represented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and HRD," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
He made it clear that individuals, political parties or their affiliates and trade unions would not be allowed to operate community radio stations (CRS).
Organisations with a profit motive will also stay outside the purview of the CRS, he said.
Stating that 15 radio stations have so far come into operation since 2002 when the previous NDA government approved the concept, Dasmunsi said the UPA government aimed to strengthen the service.
He said this decision has been taken after considering the recommendation of a Group of Ministers headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.