With Prime Minister Narendra Modi keen on expanding community radio outreach, Government today promised to simplify procedures and introduce online application system for licenses.
The idea of community radio in most parts of the country had been a "wonderful idea", Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said addressing the ‘5th National Community Radio Sammelan’.
"It is an idea that should expand because as a platform of communication, community radio forms a part of tripartite stakeholder partnership— the broadcaster, the person disseminating the information and the listener who is keen for information, knowledge and dissemination of facts," he said.
"And there can’t be a better idea than community radio for full and effective implementation of that," the Union Minister said, batting strongly for the new medium.
Jaitley observed that the "myth" that airways is the monopoly of state has been broken now.
"Over two decades ago, the state had the misconceived notion that airways is the monopoly of the state. That myth itself was broken. I have nostalgic memory of how this was broken, having been twice in the ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
"Before that I was privy in my position as a lawyer to shake that view the state had a monopoly. The right belongs to people. That law came later and today it belongs to people.
All of you are expressing that idea and I am glad that the expansion of that idea is taking place fast."
Noting that the Prime Minister has laid lot of emphasis on community radio and that his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme has reached the remotest corner of the country, I and B Secretary Vimal Julka said this is one of the best tools to empower rural communities that seldom find voice in mainstream media.
"With regard to simplification of procedures which we are undertaking from time to time…we proposed to go online as far as this medium is concerned," he said.
Julka also referred to a recent ruling of the Supreme Court which had advocated that airwaves be declared a public property and used for promoting public good and ventilating plurality of views, opinions and ideas.