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Govt to set up 1,000 community radio stations, says Prakash Javadekar

Govt to set up 1,000 community radio stations, says Prakash Javadekar
Prakash Javadekar, the minister of state for information and broadcasting on Thursday announced a move to set up a large network of community radio stations in the country.

‘The government is keen to open a 1,000 community radio stations which operate in a radius of 15 to 20 km each,’ said Javadekar after a closed-door meeting with top executives from the media and entertainment industry.

‘You talk about setting up 1,000 private FM radio stations, but the government will also encourage the expansion of community radio network,’ he said.

The round table for senior ministry officials and top executives from the print and broadcast media was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Apart from Javadekar, it was attended by the secretary, information and broadcasting, Bimal Julka and over 30 media executives and promoters.
Responding to queries about broadcasting of news by private FM radio, Javadekar said he could not see the logic behind permitting 24x7 television news channels on one hand and disallowing private radio to carry news on the other.
‘Radio channels that cannot afford their own news bulletins could perhaps use the AIR clips. However, for the rest we are looking at four or five options. We are looking at the issue positively,’ he said.

Regarding queries on further liberalising foreign direct investment (FDI) in news media, the minister said the government will hold discussion on the issue with all stakeholders.
‘The discussions will be held not for the sake of delaying the issue, but to arrive at a decision,’ he said.

Print media in India was under no threat, as newspapers expand with rise in literacy and purchasing power of the people, Javadekar added.
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