Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Sunday said he will resign from his post on 5 March.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is organising a regional Community Radio Sammelan (South) at Anna University, Chennai on 13-14 February, celebrating 20 years of Community Radio in India.
All 117 Community Radio Stations (CRS) of Southern States/Union Territories will be participating in the event.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur will deliver a key note address on the occasion. He is expected to announce some policy changes to provide impetus to the Community Radio Sector.
The journey of Community Radio in India started in 2002 when the Government of India approved a policy for the grant of licenses for setting up of Community Radio Stations to well established educational institutions including IITs/IIMs.
Considering that Community Radio represents voice of the community, the Government decided to broad base the policy by bringing ‘Non-profit’ organisations like civil society and voluntary organisations etc. under its ambit in order to allow greater participation by the civil society on issues relating to development and social change.
As a result, the first Community Radio Station was inaugurated by Bharat Ratna awardee L K Advani on 1st February 2004. The journey began at a slow pace and later got a boost when other community-based organisations were also allowed to set up the Community Radio Stations.
In recent years the government has taken several proactive steps by making the complete process online for submission of applications. This has resulted in the increase in number of Community Radio Station to 481 out of which 155 were added in the last two years.
In the last nine years, the sector has grown substantiality and the number of Community Radio Stations has increased from 140 in 2014 to 481 in 2023.
The Regional Sammelan is being inaugurated on the 13th February which marks the World Radio Day.
Community Radio is an important third tier in Radio Broadcasting, distinct from Public Service Radio broadcasting and Commercial Radio. Community Radio Stations (CRSs) are low power Radio Stations, which are meant to be set up and operated by local communities.
The Community Radio provides a platform to air local voices among the local community on issues concerning Health, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture etc. It is a powerful medium of the marginalised sections of society to voice their concerns. Since the broadcast is in local languages and dialects, people are able to relate to it instantly.
Community Radio has the potential to strengthen people’s participation in development programmes through its holistic approach. In a country like India, where every state has its own language and distinctive cultural identity, CRSs are also a repository of local folk music and cultural heritage.
Many CRSs record and preserve local songs for posterity and give local artistes a platform to showcase their talent to the community. The unique position of CRS as an instrument of positive social change makes it an ideal tool for community empowerment.