| 25 Sep 2023
IIMC along with I & B takes an initiative for CRS

MUMBAI: In the year 1995, the Supreme Court declared airwaves as a public property. Since then, we have witnessed a plethora of radio station. Radio was divided into three sections; it all started with public broadcasters like AIR, FM stations, and community radio stations. The first two categories have been doing well but community radio stations (CRS) have been facing issues to sustain in the market. The basic objective of CRS is to fulfill the requirements of a particular community but unfortunately, their basic needs haven’t been fulfilled at various instances.

CRS the ‘Voice of the Voiceless’ was waiting for an opportunity to voice out its own concerns. In fact, there have been discussions about the need of an empowerment and research centre since 2004. However, the imitative was taken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently. Under the same, a Community Radio Empowerment and Resource Centre has been started at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Here the operational and aspiring CRS can take part to know about CRS in depth.

The program began on 29 March 2017. A pilot program of 10 days has been designed for candidates who are passionate about CRS. As this is the first initiative, the team has taken on the basis of feedback from the on-going program and then plan their next program.

“Community Radio Empowerment and Resource Centre is one of its kinds. No such program has been launched in our country. Through this centre we will help the aspiring and operational CRS along with trying to be a bridge between the CRS and the government,” said the head of programming, Rajendra Chugh.

As CRS have been working for benefit of the masses, this program does not give any financial help as the government supports them by ‘community radio support fund’.

“It is observed that community radio space is growing but slowly. Thus, this is a measure to spread community radio’s power and strengthen it across the country,” said the director general of IIMC, K.G. Suresh.

The program includes training from planning to production to execution:

1. Information about equipments used in the CRS.

2. Where to buy equipments at the best price.

3. Information and procedure about the licensing.

4. Different budgets for the CRS.

5. Prepare contents to run on-air.

“There are 206 CRS in our country. It has been observed that they lack behind due to a shortage of expertise in content, technology and revenue generation. Content is the essence of any radio. We will help the stations to design rich content for their communities. We also plan to build our research centre into a database centre where people can find answers to all their queries,” added Suresh.

IIMC has currently started the program only in their Delhi campus. They will lately, plan to spread the program in other campus like Jammu, Kottayam, Amaravati, Aizawl and Devkund. Slowly and steadily the program will be spread wide across the country.