Multiple permissions a growing deterrent for Community Radio
The issue of multiple permissions and clearances is a growing deterrent for Community Radio practitioners. In an interview Mr K S Rejimon, Director (DAS), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting talks about the benefits of the system of single window clearances and how it encourages the community radio sector. Excerpts from his interview are below:
We are aiming at Single Window Clearances at the Ministry. The major delays occur at the level of the Telecommunication Department because the prospective applicants have to go to the Wireless Planning and Coordination department a couple of times to get different clearances such as frequency allocation, SACFA clearances and WOL. These clearances take the maximum time through the license procedure.
So, we are aiming towards a single window clearance so that applicants can directly come to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the ministry in turn deals with the respective ministries responsible at each step of the licensing procedure.
I think single window clearances, when it comes into reality will be a hassle free licensing process in the years to come. It would reduce the burden and hassles that the applicant faces while applying for a Community Radio license to a greater extent.
I appreciate the efforts taken by Community Radio Facilitation Centre which was set up with the help and support of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This is a unique system because no other ministry has set up this kind of facilitation centre. The centre provides support not only to the potential applicants who are interested in setting up Community Radio stations but also applicants who have already applied and also operational Community Radio stations.
It has greatly helped applicants as it is a one stop shop to clear the doubts which Community Radio stations are facing. It has played an effective role so far as Community Radio stations are concerned.
K S Rejimon is the Director (DAS) at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting