Community Radio in India should move towards digitisation

Over the last decade the Community Radio sector has greatly progressed but there are still avenues that can be explored. Experts are of the opinion that the next step for the sector is to move from analogue to digital radio.

When the policy on Community Radios in India was first introduced in 2002 by the Government of India many government agencies were unaware of the untapped resource that a Community Radio is. It has taken a decade for the Community Radio movement to gain momentum.

K.S. Rejimon, Director (DAS), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is encouraged by the change in the attitude of the ministries, earlier their knowledge about the Community Radio sector was very limited and quite sketchy he says, “Now they are very excited to see the sector grow. They express a lot of interest in taking the CR sector forward. We have seen remarkable changes in the attitude of the ministries in streamlining the processes. In the days to come the number of pending cases will come down owing to the committee meetings happening every month.”

The future of Community Radio in India lies in digitisation and in moving away from analogue. Dr. R. Sreedher, former Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia and Community Media expert says that in the next ten years of CR analogue radio will be out of India and we will have digital radio instead.” It is better that the next phase of licensing starts with digital radio which is going to be sustainable. Why sustainable because one transmitter can be used by three people and the cost of operation will be 30% only “he said.

A representative from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs took a keen interest in expanding the network of community radio stations and said that the ministry would be interested in working with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to facilitate the process.

The discourse on Community Radios has evolved tremendously and is moving towards the direction of growth and sustainability.

Author : CRFC