New Delhi: As many as 118 new community radio stations are in the process of being set up in various parts of the country, including in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts, north-east and Jammu and Kashmir, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday.
Community radio is a great way to communicate with the public and give opportunities to local artists, he said.
"We are going to expand community radio to many other areas which will start in a few months," the Union minister said.
The approved list of applicants having been granted Letter of Intent for setting up community radio stations includes 16 from LWE-affected districts, six from most LWE-affected districts, 25 from coastal districts, 17 from aspirational districts, three from the north-east and two from Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement said.
Applications from NGOs, educational institutions -- both private and public -- and Krishi Vigyan Kendras have been granted approvals, it said.
It is expected that these community radio stations would become operational within the next six months, the statement said.
Community radio stations act as essential communication channels for enhancing the last mile of outreach of the government, it said.
Plans are afoot to ensure expansion of the community radio network to each district of the country.
Community radios are small (low power) FM radio stations with a coverage area of around 10-15 km radius, depending on the geography of the area.
Community radio stations play a significant role in dissemination of agriculture-related information, government schemes for people's welfare, weather forecast etc.