Over 100 representatives and domain experts of Community Radio (CR) sector came together to partake in the National Consultation on Strengthening Community Radio in India organized by UNESCO Chair on Community Media and UNESCO New Delhi on April 11 and 12 2017. During the inaugural session, Shigeru Aoyagi, Director of UNESCO, stressed that the agenda for the consultation was to determine how CR can contribute to future generations, to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as to the national goals like Swacch Bharat and Skill India. He further said that a CR consortium was being facilitated by the UNESCO to strengthen the CR sector in India. Prof. Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair on Community Media, suggested that the government should make more democratic and progressive policies to benefit the CR sector. Anju Nigam, Joint Secretary (MIB), also present at the inaugural, assured the sector of government’s support in the future.

The two-day consultation was structured into six sessions each around a working paper presented by CR experts on a specific theme. The sessions focused on CR policy, sustainability, inclusivity, capacity building, documentation and CR technology. Representatives from various educational institutions, think-tanks, organizations and community radio stations like AMARC, Radio Active, CEMCA, Ideosync Media Combine, Alfaaz-e-Mewat, Drishti Media, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sanghatan, Jamia Millia Islamia, University of Hyderabad, Central University of Haryana etc. were among panelists.

In the closing remarks, Al-Amin Yusuph, UNESCO Adviser (Communication and Information), reiterated the need to create a consortium for the CR sector in South Asia, and said that UNESCO would be committed to facilitating the functioning of such a group consisting of various networks, groups, and organizations involved in community radio.

For more details read the NATCON 2017 Concept Note.

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