The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has examined the applicability of new guidelines to the existing community radio operators, and has decided that provisions of the new policy guidelines that were passed on 2006 shall be applicable to the existing community radio operators as well.
The statement from the Ministry said that all existing community radio operators wishing to migrate to the new policy guidelines will be required to sign a revised Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) with the Ministry, for which they might apply separately in prescribed format with necessary documents. Only applications complete in all aspects will be accepted.
As per the new guidelines, permission will be for a period of five years instead of three, as was in accordance to the old policy. In addition, limited advertising and announcements relating to local events, local businesses and services, and employment opportunities shall be allowed. The maximum duration of such limited advertising will be restricted to five minutes per hour of broadcast.
In December 2006, the Government of India had liberalised the policy on community radio by bringing in non-profit organisations like civil society and voluntary organisations, State Agriculture Universities (SAU), ICAR institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, educational institutions, etc. under its ambit, with a view to allow greater participation by the civil society on issues of development and social changes.