The CRS are considered to have immense potential to bring about a very significant positive social change at the community level.
New Delhi: Soon, the strategically important border areas of India may see a growth in community radio stations. The Narendra Modi government hopes to improve the reach of CRS in border areas by proposing to provide the entire cost of setting up infrastructure as grants to them.
Sources said that at present, the Central government provides grants of upto Rs 7.5 lakh for purchase of equipment and infrastructure for setting up of CRS. “The government has proposed to increase this grant to Rs 10 lakh for CRS in bordering districts of the country. This effectively means that the entire cost of setting up a CRS in these areas would be borne by the grants,” sources added.
The move is expected to increase the number of CRS in bordering districts of the country. Currently, there are approximately 200 CRS operational in various parts of the country. The CRS are considered to have immense potential to bring about a very significant positive social change at the community level.
They cater to the information needs of the people in local languages and in community decided formats, and also facilitate development within the community members on relevant local issues.
It is understood that the government wants to increase the number of community radio stations as it feels that these are the cheapest and the most effective means of reaching out to the grassroots even in inaccessible areas.
It is also felt that community radio stations will be the most effective mechanism in reaching out to population of areas affected by natural disasters.
The government has also proposed to create awareness about issues among the masses through grassroots level programmes to be planned by the government.