Security approval must for radio station in Maoist area

Security approval must for radio station in Maoist area

Representative image.

Private organisations will now have to obtain site security clearance from the local administration to get permission for setting up community radio station in left-wing extremism (LWE) affected areas or the border areas.

The information and broadcasting ministry has brought in this provision for grant of permission for setting up community radio stations in India, amending its policy guidelines.

The revised guidelines also stipulates for giving preference to the government-run Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in granting permission for running community radio stations.

The ministry has provided for giving preference to the KVKs to enable “dissemination of information pertaining to agricultural methods, use of modem technology and practices for enhancement of output, consequently enhancing the income of farmers in line with the mandate of the government.”

“Applications of private institutions/ organizations may come with the recommendation of district administration. Further, the private institutions/organizations desirous of setting up CR (community radio) station in LWE affected areas / border areas will also provide site security clearance for installation at the proposed geo-coordinates from local administration,” the revised guidelines stipulate.

It also provides for putting a cap on the number of community radio stations to be approved to an organisation, except in the case of central universities, state universities and agricultural universities which have more than one campus.

“An applicant / organization shall not be granted more than one permission for community radio station operations at one or more places,” the ministry stipulated

For the government universities including government run deemed-to-be-universities, colleges, schools and the government-run KVKs, there will be a single window clearance system.

An Inter-ministerial committee will consider applications to be coming from such organizations.

“No separate clearance shall be necessary,” the revised policy guidelines state.

In order to apply for a permission to start community radio stations, the community-based organisations including civil society organisations and voluntary organisations as well as the state agriculture universities, autonomous bodies and public charitable trusts must be at least three years old.

The revised rules also provide that these organisations must also satisfy “the basic principals” of the policy guidelines which stipulate that the programmes for broadcast should be relevant to the educational, developmental, social and cultural needs of the community and the radio station, to be operated, should be designed to serve “a specific well-defined local community.”

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