It’s looking brighter for the Indian private FM radio players who were fighting hard to get approval to air news and current affairs on their channels.
The Government of India has given a lease of hope to them, with Union Minister for I&B and Parliamentary Affairs Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi observing that the Government is not opposed to news being aired on the medium, with a watchdog in place. The existing FM policy in the country does not allow private radio broadcasters to air news and current affairs.
Inaugurating SIMCON-XXVI, Dasmunsi observed that there has been a great demand from radio players for news and current affairs on the medium. “There has been a great demand for allowing news and current affairs in the private FM channels from the existing FM broadcasters. The Government did not allow news and current affairs since there is no effective and established system to monitor the FM stations,” he explained.
“We do not straightaway oppose the broadcast of news and current affairs in the FM Radio, but we may have to find a selective monitoring mechanism. The matter is presently under consideration and we would like to have the views of the State Governments also on this particular issue,” Dasmunsi continued.
The Government's stand is of importance against the backdrop of a stern warning issued to certain FM stations a fortnight ago for their attempts to air news and current affairs programmes.