What is a Community Radio Station & What are the Prerequisites for Owning One?

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Community radio station (CRS) or community radio (CR) is another type of radio broadcasting service. There are several subtypes of radio broadcasting: commercial, noncommercial educational (NCE) public broadcasting, and non-profit types like community radio, student-run campus radio stations and hospital radio stations. In India,Community radio station is operated in frequency modulation (FM) mode. Community radio stations serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local, specific audience but is often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters [1].

FM broadcasting is capable of better sound quality than AM broadcasting. Throughout the world, the FM broadcast band falls within the very high frequency (VHF) part of the radio spectrum. Usually, FM band is in 87.5-108.0MHz range, or some portion thereof, with a few exceptions in some countries. The effective radiated power of a CRS FM transmitter should be 100 watts or even less. Transmitter power above 100 watts and up to 250 watts is allowed but subject to approval by the Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, India.

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The permitted maximum height of antenna above the ground is 30 metres, and the station is expected to cover a range of 5-10km. You can get the list of operational community radio stations from the website of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting: http://www.mib.nic.in/broadcasting/community-radio-stations-0 Depending on the setup and wattage requirement, the CRS may cost anywhere between ₹ 300,000 and ₹ 29,00,000 or even more. For details on the cost, you may refer to http://communityradio.in/pdf/crs-in-india-infrastructure-technology-considerations-paper.pdf and http://becil.com/Admin_Doc/CRS_proposal.pdf You need to apply in the prescribed format along with a processing fee in the form of a demand draft drawn in favour of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, New Delhi, and payable at Delhi. Detailed guidelines and application form are available on the ministry’s website: www.mib.nic.in


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