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Selection Process and Processing of CR Applications in India

Selection process and processing of applications of Community Radio policy guidelines in India provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

a) Applications shall be invited by the Ministry of I&B once every year through a national advertisement for establishment of Community Radio Stations. However, eligible organisations and educational institutions can apply during the intervening period between the two advertisements also. The applicants shall be required to apply in the prescribed application form along with a processing fee of Rs.2500/- and the applications shall be processed in the following manner:

i) Universities, Deemed Universities and Government run educational institutions will have a single window clearance by putting up cases before an inter-ministerial committee chaired by Secretary (I&B) for approval. No separate clearance from MHA & MHRD shall be necessary. Once the WPC Wing of the Ministry of Communication & IT earmarks a frequency at the place requested by the institution, a Letter of Intent (LOI) shall be issued.

ii) In case of all other applicants, including private educational institutions, LOI shall be issued subject to receiving clearance from Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence & HRD (in case of private educational institutions) and frequency allocation by WPC wing of Ministry of Communication & IT.

(b) A time schedule for obtaining clearances as below shall be prescribed:

i) Within one month of receipt of the application in the prescribed form, the Ministry of I&B shall process the application and either communicate to the applicant deficiencies, if any, or will send the copies of the application to the other Ministries for clearance as prescribed in para 3(a)(i) and 3(a)(ii) above, as the case may be.

ii) The Ministries concerned shall communicate their clearance within three months of receipt of the application. However, in the event of the failure of the concerned ministry to grant the clearance within the stipulated period of three months, the case shall be referred to the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (I&B) for a decision for issue of LOI.

iii) In the event of more than one applicant for a single frequency at a given place, the successful applicant will be selected for issue of LOI from amongst the applicants by the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (I&B) on the basis of their standing in the community, the commitment shown, the objectives enunciated and resources likely to be mobilized by the applicant organisation as well as its credentials and number of years of community service rendered by the organisation.

iv) Within one month of the issue of the Letter of Intent (LOI) the eligible applicant will be required to apply, in the prescribed format and with the requisite fee, to the WPC Wing of the Ministry of Communication & IT, Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi for frequency allocation & SACFA clearance.

v) A time frame of six months from the date of application is prescribed for issue of SACFA clearance. In the event of non-receipt of such clearance from the Ministry of Communication & IT within the stipulated period of six months, the case will be referred to the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (I&B) for a decision.

vi) On receipt of SACFA clearance (a copy of which shall be submitted by the applicant), the LOI holder shall furnish a bank guarantee in the prescribed format for a sum of Rs.25, 000/-. Thereupon, the LOI holder will be invited to sign a Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) by Ministry of I&B, which will enable him to seek Wireless Operating License (WOL) from the WPC Wing of the Ministry of Communication & IT. The Community Radio Station can be made operational only after the receipt of WOL from the Ministry of Communication & IT.

vii) Within three months of receipt of all clearances i.e signing of GOPA, the Permission Holder shall set up the Community Radio Station and shall intimate the date of commissioning of the Community Radio Station to the Ministry of I&B.

viii) Failure to comply with time schedule prescribed above shall make the LOI/GOPA holder liable for cancellation of its LOI/GOPA and forfeiture of the Bank Guarantee.