In a bid to promote community radio stations in the country, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will analyse the business models of successful community radio stations operating at present.

Sources said this will be done as part of the Ministry’s efforts to facilitate development of sustainable and robust business models of community radio stations and propagate best practices, as part of the hand-holding process for aspiring applicants.

It will also look at ways to further simplify, fast-track and streamline the process of approval for licenses needed to run community radio stations, sources added.

Community radio stations are set up by educational institutions, universities as well as non-government organisations (NGOs) and are largely focused on development issues concerning the communities in regional languages and dialect.

At present, 202 community radio stations are operational across the country.

Earlier this week, I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing community radio stations.

He pointed out that the Ministry had recently enhanced the subsidy amount for setting up community radio stations from 50 per cent to 90 per cent in the north-eastern States and 75 per cent in other States, subject to maximum limit of ₹7.5 lakh.

In January, the Ministry gave permission to community radio stations to broadcast news and current affairs sourced from All India Radio, besides introducing other amendments to ease the way for setting up such stations.

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication will also offer consultancy and training services on running community radio stations, as it is setting up an empowerment and resource centre at its campus.

So far, the Ministry has organised 79 workshops to create awareness among aspiring applicants about issues relating to setting up, operation and maintenance of community radio stations.

The Committee has also recommended further enhancing awareness and streamlining the clearance process for setting up community radio stations.