[cr-india] TRAI endorses ban on independent news on CR

Vinod Pavarala vpavarala at gmail.com
Fri Aug 29 08:18:18 CDT 2014

Dear all:

The TRAI recommendations on community radio
are now out in the public domain. Here is a quick summary of the key points:

   1. TRAI has expressed its reluctance to recommend broadcast of
   independently produced news by CR stations. This is based on fears of
   'misuse' and 'lack of monitoring'. It, however, endorses broadcast of AIR
   news. This is indeed a setback, although TRAI says the issue can be
   re-visited after MIB puts a monitoring mechanism in place. TRAI's 2004
   recommendations were actually more liberal.
   2. On other issues, it reinforces the current issue of licenses for a
   period of 5 years, and recommends renewal for five-year periods, with the
   requirement, for first time renewal, of verification of adherence to terms
   of the original license, and, for a second-time renewal (at the end of 10
   years) of a systematic evaluation mechanism (including self-evaluation).
    This sounds fair enough.
   3. On advertising, TRAI is of the opinion that the current 5-minute time
   limit is adequate. It has, however, heeded to the pleas by stations that
   they be allowed to offer rates lower than DAVP fixed rates to attract
   local, small-time advertisers.
   4. On emergency broadcasting during disasters, TRAI sounds sympathetic
   to the long-standing request from the sector that the Government needs to
   demonstrate some flexibility in relocation of transmitter of a station
   already functioning in the region or to set up emergency transmitters where
   none exist at present. However, TRAI has stopped short of recommending
   anything concrete, except for asking NDMA to develop detailed guidelines.
   5. On various types of CRSs under the current licensing regime (campus,
   community, KVK/AU, etc), TRAI felt that as the sector is still growing,
   this may be too early to create sub-categorization of licenses (although it
   may become necessary in the future).
   6. On our usual complaint about licensing procedures, TRAI took
   cognizance of the delays at the WPC end resulting in much frustration and
   suggested that MIB set up an online single window by integrating all the
   steps up to the signing of the GOPA. If this can be done, many potential
   applicants will find the process much smoother.

Please share if you think I have missed anything significant in the


Dr. Vinod Pavarala
Professor of Communication &
UNESCO Chair on Community Media
Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication
University of Hyderabad
Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500046
Phone: +91-40-23135501/23011553
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