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Govt plans community radio stations in all states

Stepping up measures to connect the rural hinterland with the national mainstream, Government has decided to take its community radio station initiative to all the states.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2010 14:57 IST

Stepping up measures to connect the rural hinterland with the national mainstream, Government has decided to take its community radio station initiative to all the states.



A senior official in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said that during the current fiscal, the community radio network will focus on covering states like Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, which have remained untapped so far.



"An amount of Rs 3.25 crore has been sanctioned for the entire Plan (2007-2012) period for information education and communication for CRS. In 2007, the network had focussed on a few regions. In 2009-10 we started covering some states, and by the end of this fiscal, we aim to cover all states including ones like Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, which have not been touched so far," the official said.



Initially, the government partnered with educational institutions for setting up CRS, but after the ministry started involving NGOs, the number of radio stations have gone up.



"Since 2007, 53 community radio stations have been commissioned and are functioning, while the ministry has signed 94 agreements with various educational institutions and NGOs for opening new one," officials said.



Ministry officials have also held consultations with people staying in remote areas in states like Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttarakhand and sensitised them about the usefulness of opening such stations.



"During such consultations, we have direct interaction with villagers, who ask us about the viability of setting up CRS. We make them aware about how such stations would help them not only understand what is happening around them, but would also encourage them to publicise their own activities," the officials said.