Ms. Pooja O. Murada, Director Communication, Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), visited the UNESCO Chair on Community Media on December 18, 2012. She met with members of the Chair team — Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Vasuki Belavadi, Dr. Kanchan K. Malik, and Preeti Raghunath — and discussed the challenges facing the community radio sector in the country. She explained the work of Alfaz-e-Mewat, a community radio initiative of IRRAD in the Mewat district of Haryana. Ms. Murada also visited Bol Hyderabad, the campus community radio station of University of Hyderabad and interacted with the station staff.
Mr. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, well-known journalist and political commentator, visited the Chair on December 18, 2012 and had an informal discussion with the Chair team on community radio in India, among other things. Much of the discussion centred around the ban on news on radio (commercial and community) in India and the need to challenge it legally on grounds of freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
Dr. Sanjaya Mishra, Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi, who took over his position recently, visited the Chair on December 19, 2012. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Mishra worked for some years in the Paris headquarters of UNESCO. He explained his vision for CEMCA and outlined the organization’s action plan for community radio in the next few years. Members of the Chair team and Dr. Mishra exchanged views on the state of the community radio sector in India and discussed possibilities for undertaking collaborative work in the area. He also visited Bol Hyderabad, the campus community radio station of University of Hyderabad, appreciated the studio facilities, and interacted with station staff.