February 2007

Setting up community radio stations in India II

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Imposition of penalty/revocation of Permission Agreement.

i) In case there is any violation of conditions cited in 5(i) to 5(viii), Government may suo motto or on basis of complaints take cognisance and place the matter before the Inter-ministerial Committees on Programme and Advertising Codes for recommending appropriate penalties.

ii) The penalty shall comprise of:

a) Temporary suspension of Permission for operating the CRS for a period up to one month in the case of the first violation

b) Temporary suspension of Permission for operating the CRS for a period up to three months in the case of the second violation depending on the gravity of violation.

c) Revocation of the Permission for any subsequent violation.

iii) In case of revocation of Permission, the Permission Holder will not be eligible to apply directly or indirectly for a fresh permission in future for a period of five years.

iv) In the event of suspension of permission as mentioned in para 6 (ii) (a) & (b), the permission holder will continue to discharge its obligations under the Grant of Permission Agreement during the suspension period also.

Transmitter Power and Range

i) CRS shall be expected to cover a range of 5-10 km. For this, a transmitter having maximum Effective Radiated Power of 100 W would be adequate.  However, in case of a proven need where the applicant organisation is able to establish that it needs to serve a larger area.

ii) The maximum height of antenna permitted above the ground for the CRS shall not exceed 30 meters.

iii) Universities, Deemed Universities and other educational institutions shall be permitted to locate their transmitters and antennae only within their main campuses.

iv) For NGOs and others, the transmitter and antenna shall be located within the geographical area of the community they seek to serve.

We are providing the guidelines for setting up Community Radio stations in India. In last issue, we have covered a few steps, here are the remaining steps.

Funding and sustenance

i) Applicants will be eligible to seek funding from multilateral aid agencies. Applicants seeking foreign funds for setting up the CRS will have to obtain FCRA clearance under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976. 

ii) Transmission of sponsored programmes shall not be permitted except programmes sponsored by Central & State Governments and other organisations to broadcast public interest information.

iii) Revenue generated from advertisement and announcements as per Para 8 (ii) shall be utilized only for the operational expenses and capital expenditure of the CRS.

Other terms and conditions

i) The basic objective of the Community Radio broadcasting would be to serve the cause of the community in the service area of the Permission Holder by involving members of the community in the broadcast of their programmes.

ii) Though the Permission Holder will operate the service under these guidelines and as per the terms and conditions of the Grant of Permission Agreement signed, it shall be subject to the condition that permission holder will adhere to the norms.

iii) The Permission Holder shall provide such information to the Government on such intervals, as may be required. 

iv) The Government reserves the right to take over the entire services and networks of the Permission Holder or revoke the Permission in the interest of national security or in the event of national emergency/ war or low intensity conflict.

v) The Government reserves the right to modify, at any time, the terms and conditions if necessary, in public interest or for security considerations.

vi) Notwithstanding anything contained anywhere else in the Grant of Permission Agreement, the Government shall have the power to direct the permission holder to broadcast any special message.

vii) The permission holder shall be required to submit their audited annual accounts to the Government in respect of the organization/division running the CRS.

viii) A Permission Agreement will be subject to such other conditions as may be determined by the Government.

ix) The Government shall make arrangements for monitoring and enforcement of the ceiling on advertisements in areas where FM radio stations have licenses.   

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