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Vol. II No. 8

August 2004

The first monthly magazine on ICT4D

Greening the ears for the Kutch

people Information for development

Radio Ujjas

South Asian potpourri At a Glance

Promoting democracy

ISSN 0972 - 804X


Community radio in East Timor

April 2004 |



i4d Vol. II No. 8


August 2004


Radio for island communities


‘Tambuli’ in Philippines

31 Indonesia and Thailand Booming radio revolution Jayalakshmi Chittoor

32 Community radio in East Timor Promoting democracy James Scambary



Community Radio Reaching the unreached

34 Book review

Community Radio Handbook

Saswati Paik


Radio Ujjas Greening the ears for the Kutch people

Jayalakshmi Chittoor

35 Web analysis

Community Radio Network

Preeti Soni, Stalin K

10 Low power FM radio

36 ICT and Education

Indian universities jump into broadcasting Mahesh Acharya

13 Convergence technologies Ham radio in Bangladesh A.H.M.Bazlur Rahman

15 Community participation

Community radio initiative in Jharkhand Sudhir Pal

17 Radio Madanpokhara in Nepal The old, the new and the hybrid radio

Role of community radio


Interview Kapil Sibal

40 ‘Agriculture/water’ quiz answers 41 What’s on 42 In fact Community Radio Virtual Library

21 News

Kishor Pradhan

19 Internews initiatives


Independent radio in Afghanistan Sanjar Qiam


Anna FM90.4 MHz India’s first campus community radio Dr. R.Sreedher

27 At a glance

South Asian potpourri Saswati Paik


c4d workshop

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i4d | August 2004

 Editorial Information for development

Advisory Board M P Narayanan, Chairman, i4d Amitabha Pande Department of Science and Technology, Government of India Chin Saik Yoon Southbound Publications, Malaysia Ichiro Tambo OECD, France Karl Harmsen Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific, India Kenneth Keniston Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA Mohammed Yunus Grameen Bank, Bangladesh Nagy Hanna Information Solutions Group, World Bank, USA S. Ramani Research Director, H.P.Labs, India Walter Fust Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland Wijayananda Jayaweera UNESCO, France Editorial Board Akhtar Badshah, Digital Partners Fredrick Noronha, Bytesforall Editor Ravi Gupta Editorial Consultant Jayalakshmi Chittoor Research Associate Anuradha Dhar, Gautam Navin, Saswati Paik Design Deepak Kumar Programmer Analyst Manish Kumar Business Executive Neeraj Budhari Group Directors Maneesh Prasad, Sanjay Kumar i4d G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA, UP, 201 301, India. Phone +91 120 250 2180-87 Fax +91 120 250 0060 Email Web Contact us in Singapore 25 International Business Park, #4-103F, German Centre, Singapore - 609916 Phone +65-65627983 Fax +65-656227984 Printed at Yashi Media Works Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India i4d is a monthly publication. It is intended for those interested and involved in the use of Information and CommnicationTechnologies for development of underserved communities. It is hoped that it will serve to foster a growing network by keeping the community up to date on many activities in this wide and exciting field. i4d does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in this publication. All views expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors. i4d is not responsible or accountable for any loss incurred directly or indirectly as a result of the information provided. Š Centre for Spatial Database Management and February 2004 | Solutions, 2004

Weaving the waves Community radio is not only an interesting development communications tool but also a democratising process, which promotes community participation ensuring improved information flow of relevant issues. The challenges faced by many of the community radio projects are not only how to run the projects effectively, but also to fight the archaic bottlenecks of bureaucracy, including the licensing system. When the national broadcasting agencies were opening up the waves for the public, it was with the purpose of generating commercial revenue, and thus was born the era of private broadcasters. Radio Sagarmatha in Nepal led a 5 year legal battle to help the enactment of Broadcasting Act in 1994, which led to opening up the air waves to NGOs or private individuals and organisations for the purpose of education and culture. India can learn from both Sri Lanka and Nepal for creating enabling environments, to increase opportunities for more community radio stations to begin operations. However, creativity and innovation has led to at least four projects in India to use alternative technologies to begin reaching out, as in the case of Namma Dhwani in Budikote, Karnataka. When we started the research for this issue, the stories seemed all too scattered. But with many innovative projects being implemented, the common thread that emerged was the empowerment of communities that had been part of a project. Being part of the local content development, communities learnt rapidly the technical and management issues, sharing relevant information to the communities themselves. Spearheading it were some international organisations, chief of which have been UNESCO. A lot of focus has been on using the powerful radio medium for development communications. Packing so many good and challenging projects into a single issue was our biggest challenge. We wanted to tell the whole story, and of course two or three pages are not enough to justify the innovations, creativity and community inputs for making this medium their own, in spite of an ambience ridden with archaic and controlling laws. In this issue we have covered a number of experiments covering many countries in Asia, where the challenges have been diverse. A community radio project has tremendous resilience to survive. However, the need to continue developing, training and most importantly work toward self-sustainability is clear. Most donors have provided assistance for technical (broadcast equipments) and training, and some receive funding for daily operations. Community fund-raisers and membership fees, apart from advertisements are ways by which community radio projects have survived. We do hope you enjoy reading this issue and share with us information about other projects that you know are best practices.

Ravi Gupta



Reaching the unreached Let us go back to the era without any printed or electronic media. At that time also, man was a social creature with a need of social interaction, interchanges of views, and entertainment for the sake of a short term or long term relief from the rough and tough life. What was there to supplement all these cultural and social needs? Of course, there were folk cultures, programmes for and by the people of the community, but the scope of interchange in culture through such programmes was very limited. With the invention of microphone and later on, the media, both print and electronic, the scope of such interaction and interchanges has been expanded to a great extent. Day by day, the utility of media is changing its mode as well as approach. Print media cannot reach a major portion of the people having no knowledge about the written world. The lacking of the print media has been supplemented by audio and audiovisual media, the most common are radio and television.

Audio vs audiovisual Radio owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone, all three technologies are closely related. In 1860s, the progress in this track was initiated when James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist, predicted the existence of radio waves. In 1886, German physicist, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat. It was Guglielmo Marconi, from Italy who proved the feasibility of radio communication; he sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899, he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later, received the letter ‘S’, telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902. Indian scientist Sir J.C. Bose demonstrated the radio transmission


in 1896 in present Kolkata (India) in front of the British Governor General. The invention of television was not like the invention of the radio. In case of television, it took the greatest scientists of the day a long time to make a working prototype, and then it took them longer to make it perfect. From the first seed of possibility in 1872 to the TV boom of the 1960s, the race to invent television was filled with little success and devastating failures. Despite being more attractive due to the audiovisual features, television has not yet been able to exceed the reach of radio, especially in South Asian countries where majority of the community is ‘rural’ by nature and live under the poverty level. Therefore, more than 80 years after the world’s first radio station was founded, radio is still the most pervasive, accessible, affordable and flexible mass medium available, especially in the developing world. Low production and distribution costs have made it possible for radio to focus on the local issues to interpret the world from the local perspectives and to speak in local languages.

Community radio under focus In this issue, we have highlighted some of the major initiatives of community radio that are most popular among the people, especially in those areas where supply of electricity is extremely irregular or not available at all. The main feature of community radio is the active participation of the community in the process of its contents such as news, information, entertainment and culturally relevant materials, with an emphasis on local issues and concerns. With the help of training, local producers can create programmes using local voices. The community can also actively participate in the management of the station and have a say in the scheduling and content of the programmes. It is essentially a non-profit enterprise. As the station is owned by the community, it also maintains some responsibility in the running of the station.

Nowadays radio does not only play the role as a media of entertainment, but also as an information generating media which can make the people more and more aware of the essential information of their day to day life. Community radio has gained such a high level of popularity because the ethos of community radio is independence and responsibility to serve the community, not the advertiser. The other reasons lie in the fact that community radio programming is designed by the community, to improve social conditions and the quality of its cultural life. The community itself can decide what are its priorities and needs in terms of information provision. There are numerous examples all over the globe where programmes on local content, in local language, by local people have popularised the concept of community radio to a large extent. The countries, yet to reach that extent of popularity of community radio have enough scope to receive lessons from the success stories as well as the stories of failure. It must always be kept in mind that excluding technology and policy, many other aspects are also associated with the success of community radio out of which most important are community participation and enthusiasm. Hope the issues and case studies of community radio under focus will help the nations, where community is yet to be directly associated with ‘radio’, to proceed in the right direction in near future to prove “Better late than never”!!  References: • inventors/blradio.htm • • radiohistory.htm • Community%20Radio/temp

i4d | August 2004


Greening the ears for the Kutch people Radio has affinity with oral, nonliterate cultures, it can easily reflect and generate debate on local concerns, needs, priorities and issues.

Kutch, the largest district of Gujarat, in India has distinct geographical features. With 51% of its land covered by desert and with scant and irregular rains, Kutch is under constant threat of drought. In absence of perennial water sources, the saline desert soil is unable to retain sufficient amount of moisture, leaving the region arid and unproductive. The government effort to stall the sinister advancing desert by widespread plantation of Prosopis juliflora, a weed, has led to further destruction of grazing land which caused the nomadic tribes to settle here with their cattle. The earthquake in 2001 turned everything topsy-turvy. Kutch suddenly came in focus and massive relief and rehabilitation programmes carried out after the quake helped the Kutchis to reconstruct their shelters. Lack of education and inadequate nutrition, early and frequent child bearing, the double burden of household responsibility and wage labour and above all violence further marginalise the women. A tremendous rise in the incidence of violence against women has occurred in this area, due to increase in social-domestic conflicts. Already severe patriarchal norms and behaviour take perverse forms in the face of greater economic pressures, and greater resistance from women. In such a socio-economic background, community radio has played a distinct role in the society of Kutch.

Organisational efforts Preeti Soni Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Bhuj-Kutch Stalin K Drishti Media Collective, Ahmedabad Gujarat, India.

August 2004 |

Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan It was in response to the situation faced by the women during the droughts of 1985’88 that the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) was set up in 1989. KMVS was initiated as an independent organisation of rural women that would work

towards developing the women’s capabilities and harness their collective strength. With the intervention of KMVS in this area, women have become more able to access and define their own and communities’ needs. Their ability to analyse their own situations and take ownership of programmes is definitely a positive outcome of a long process of education and conscientisation. It has also enabled women to articulate ‘new problems’ or issues in a systematic and sustained manner. With the empowerment of a network of women’s groups at the village level (sangathans), women are articulating the need to equip themselves with more information and skills in order to intervene successfully in the larger social and political process. From its inception, the organisation has concentrated on building local leadership and creating women’s groups (sangathans). KMVS has concentrated primarily in the remote and less accessible villages. Today there are independent sangathans in each of the four talukas that they are working in. The organisation today has more than 10,000 members organised into mahila mandals (women’s groups) in 165 villages in five talukas. The mahila mandals in the villages are organised and federated into the taluka sangathans. All the taluka sangathans federate into Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan. KMVS has set up issue-based units for education, health, savings and credit, marketing and design support, legal aid, panchayati raj and communication, which support the taluka sangathans with specialised training inputs and resource persons who support planning and management of village level activities. The organisation also engages itself on environmental issues and works full-fledged on natural resource management.


Ujjas Mahiti Kendra Members of the sangathans have over the years come together around a variety of issues. Educational interventions started in 1992 with the literacy camps. KMVS is now focusing on adolescent girls’ education, basic functional literacy with sangathan members and development of context specific educational curricula on different issues for literates and neo-literates. The educational activity was started in two blocks. The idea of its extension took a shape of ‘Ujjas Mahiti Kendra’ (Ujjas Information Centre). The Mundra Mahila Vikas Sangathan established Ujjas Mahiti Kendra and started publishing a newsletter named ‘Ujjas’. Its principal objective was to document and disseminate different types of information among village people, particularly women. It is in simplified Kutchi and Gujarati and easy to read for the neo-literates. Today, around 2500 copies are circulated so that the sangathan members get to know about sangathan activities and people get a view of rural women. Drishti media collective Drishti is a group of media professionals working on issues of gender justice, human rights and development. It was founded as a non-profit Trust in 1993, with a firm faith in the ability of video, theatre, radio, other media and the arts to contribute to seek to document alternative histories, give expression to voices on the margins, create public awareness and build public opinion, mobilise people to action, and lobby with structures of authority. Drishti believes that social communication need not be dry, boring, pedantic or depressing. In fact, we believe that good form and technique must be used to communicate issues of social importance more effectively.

Towards radio But even Ujjas had to face a big hurdle, the literacy level in Kutch is very low and there are areas where it is nil. But since Kutch has a vast area, the distance between villages make the educational activity difficult. So a medium was thought of that could make us able to reach out to masses and radio appeared to be an appropriate medium. Low literacy, far remote villages and that too in border area and poverty do not let the villagers take full advantage of the media like newspaper and television. These two mass media automatically become relatively ineffective as those nomads whose main occupation is animal breeding and herding, inhabit most of the Kutch and many of them stay out of Kutch during summer because of their cattle. But they all try to keep themselves informed by


keeping a radio transistor set. The survey conducted during 1998’99 indicated radio as the most used medium. Using it would definitely expand the outreach of our education programme to the non-literate also who reside in the far-flung villages of Kutch. Taking all these aspects into consideration, it was decided to use radio as a tool for this development communication package. Kunjal Paanje Kutchji: The government made a provision for 33% reservation for women in Panchayat bodies in 1995. There was a constant demand from the mahila sarpanchs for training, proper guidance and to make the environment more conducive for a woman sarpanch to administer in this hegemonic society. On this demand, a serial was conceived in docu-drama format. This radio programme ‘Kujal Paanje Kutchji’ (Sarus crane of our Kutch) started its broadcast from All India Radio, Bhuj station on 16th December, 1999, with a plan to continue broadcast for a year in 53 episodes. The central focus of the serial was the participation of women in political processes, specifically panchayats at the village level, which was explored through the character of Rani, the first woman sarpanch of Ujjas village. This serial, discontinued due to the earthquake, was re-launched on 24th January 2001. The initial publicity of this programme was done through posters in 408 villages and road shows in some villages. Again people of Kutch responded to it with equal enthusiasm and Kunjal managed to draw more than 1,400 letters from its audience. Kutch Kuchhato: ‘Kutch Kuchhato’ was a 5 to 6 minute documentary module that featured interviews, thereby ensuring a committed space to the voices of people from Kutch. This section also helped in disseminating critical information. Interviews, whether in the field or in the studio, used to be recorded by a team of 9 village-based reporters educated on an average up to 7th standard. KMVS and Drishti conducted a series of trainings for this team to prepare them for the task of being reporters of a radio programme, including orientation to development, social justice and gender issues, journalism, technical radio production, interviewing methods, etc. A radio partnership: This programme was the result of a partnership between several groups and individuals. It was produced by KMVS, directed by Drishti Media Collective, a media NGO, based in Ahmedabad and written by Paresh Naik, an Ahmedabad based writer and filmmaker. The Centre for Alternatives in Education, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad provided support in conducting village-based surveys to assess the impact of the radio programme on the ground. The programme was financially supported by UNDP-GOI, including the cost of commercial airtime. Underscoring Kutchiyat: The regional identity of Kutch in Gujarat is distinct and well defined, and is an emotional identification point for most Kutchis. Hence, this programme was consciously planned as a vehicle for public articulation and expression of Kutchi identity. The Kutchi dialect has no written form. A preliminary village-based survey conducted by KMVS to assess the media habits of rural Kutchis revealed that there was a great demand amongst audiences for listening to Kutchi programme. Hence, our choice of language was Kutchi. Tu Jiyaro Ai : The overwhelming response that ‘Kunjal Paanje Kutchji’ got encouraged us to rebroadcast it. The rebroadcast i4d | August 2004

resumed but had to be discontinued due to the earthquake. KMVS immediately started a bi-weekly broadcast of a new 15-min radio programme called ‘Tu Jiyaro Ai’ (to be alive) in March 2001 in the aftermath of the quake, once again with the support of Drishti Media Collective. The programme was in a magazine format and features a range of interviews, songs and profiles to capture and grapple with the range of issues to air and share their concerns about rehabilitation. Kutch Lokji Vaani: ‘Kutch Lokji Vaani’ was the third programme produced for broadcast in All India Radio’s sponsored programme category. The broadcast started on 28th July, 2002. This programme conceived the way that could present a mirror to the society and remind people of their uplifting past. This programme was to cover their obvious as well as hardly visible concerns by providing a platform to question government malfunctioning, its policies, and to address community. To address these requirements three separate capsules were designed for ‘Kutch Lokji Vaani’, such as ‘Pardafash’ (Expose), ‘Musafari’ (Travelogue) and ‘Lokvani’ (People’s Voice). Apart from these three capsules there were two other segments that needed to be included regularly.

shows took place with playing music of the programme. Promos and jingles were played on radio and it continued for a month. On the day broadcast began, the reporter team, divided in 10 blocks, selected a village and made the villagers listen to the firstst episode. To make sure that this community listening continues, for the year they continued to go to different villages in their respective blocks and gathered villagers to listen to the programme.

The response

Research and documentation

The choice of making the serial in Kutchi language was amply vindicated by 1560 postcards received. 70% of the postcards were written by men, 16.55% by women and 13.5% by mixed groups. This large number of postcards, received from women is more encouraging as the literacy levels amongst women in Kutch is 26.5% (including urban population). The Centre for Alternatives in Education, IIM-A was involved in researching and designing the listenership and feedback surveys for this programme. The first village level survey, conducted after the broadcast of 12 episodes showed a dedicated listenership of 6%, which rose to 66% after 10 months of broadcast. Listenership amongst radio-owners in Kutch went up to 80%. This programme in specific and KMVS as an organisation were awarded the Chameli Devi Award 2000 by the Media Foundation, New Delhi in March 2001 for overall media efforts including Ujjas newsletter.

It was absolutely necessary to get acquainted with the matter before it is talked about on radio. For the Musafari module, many places were visited and people consulted especially locals and an attempt was made to extract their views regarding a particular legend or folktale. Many elders and poet-historians were consulted. The songs, proverbs and anecdotes were identified for each episode and suitable music was recorded. For music documentation, music trips were carried out recording songs sung among different communities on different legends and historical figures. Music for a few was composed and got recorded in studio. Even interviews were recorded to support the story and for reference that could be helpful in scripting. For the Pardafash segment, the written document was extremely necessary to support the statement. Details and figures regarding the damage and the reconstruction activities after the earthquake were collected and frequently referred to. We relied on many sources to identify issues e.g. our reporters, the sangathan members, SETU workers, newspaper, letters and phone calls. Once an issue came up, the reporter visited the village and met the people to know their view and cross check it again and again. For the Lokvani segment, first hand information by the reporters mattered. Most of the issues came up during their routine village visits. In most of the stories the reporters played merely the role of compere and the participants’ views got preference.

Publicity campaign It was very easy to let our dedicated audience know about this programme even before a systematic publicity campaign took off. Kunjal Paanje Kutchji was already on air and there was already a communication link with the audience through letters. Their letters used to be responded by writing them back and we started informing them about Kutch Lokji Vaani. Radio promos and jingles were prepared and broadcast from the All India Radio, Rajkot, from where the programme was to be broadcast. During its preview before the sangathan (local community organisation) members, all of them took responsibility to publicise the programme and inform the villagers about it when they got back to villages. A systematic campaign was designed. The sangathan and KMVS staffs were involved and it took off on 24th July, 2002 and continued for next ten days. The sangathan staff joined the reporter team and went to more than 500 villages covering whole of Kutch and its 10 blocks. Announcements on megaphone, postering and wall writing etc. happened. Street meetings were addressed and road August 2004 |

Insights During these four years of the project we have learnt many things. We realised radio’s affinity with oral, non-literate cultures; it can easily reflect and generate debate on local concerns, needs, priorities and issues. This highly localized programming brings pluralism into our broadcast culture; it gives a sense of selfhood and how a radio programme in local language affirms local cultural identities. This type of programmes are participatory in contrast to the alienated spectatorship on the part of the audience in mainstream media.  Full version of this paper can be accessed at



Indian universities jump into broadcasting Farm Radio Broadcast is the core area of service best suited for India and gradually offering other services for personal and intellectual development

The Union Government is accepting application forms from recognised central and state government academic institutes like universities and residential schools to operate a Low-Power (50-Watt) Frequency Modulated (FM) Radio Station (LPFMRS) (The Hindu, December 18, 2002). 82 universities and 233 colleges accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (February 2003) could apply for the license to operate LPFMRS. Of these, State Agriculture Universities (SAU) would benefit the most out of these radio stations in their off and in campus extension programmes for farmers and use radio as an effective communication tool. Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), responsible for training, research and demonstration of improved technologies through Farm Radio Broadcast (FRB) will have greater outreach, providing value addition to conventional method it uses, to reach out to the farmers. Government has issued 16 letters of intent as on July, 2004 and unfortunately not a single SAU or KVK is still listed, the most potential bodies with years of experience in agriculture development. Both SAUs and KVKs can team up to support and run a radio station, as on board they have subject matter specialists and scientists to spearhead the activities benefiting farmers.


Mahesh Acharya CKS, Bangalore, India


The objective of the LPFMRS could be manifold, covering health, education, general awareness entertainment, infotainment services or a combination of all of these. If the main objective of the radio station is school education, then Interactive Radio Instruction approach would be ideal and in this case, the LPFMRS would serve as education radio (shiksha radio in Hindi) to a small geographical area. If agriculture related programmes are to be broadcast, best

applicable to India, it can better be known as farm radio (krishi radio in Hindi). The cost of running a 50-watt radio station is just half if it is compared with other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that are expensive and dependent on multiple infrastructures. Radio is available with rural folks even if they do not use it. A hybrid approach of development, wherein radio station being the core technology, along with other ICTs can harmonise the overall development that may not be possible through radio alone. This article focuses on FRB as the core area of service best suited for India and gradually offering other services for personal and intellectual development.

Farm Radio Broadcast India, being an agrarian country, for the farmer folks, nothing concerns more than crop production, fertilisers, rainfall, and bank loan to buy agri-tools or animal stock in addition to other needs. It makes sense to use radio as basic ICT tool to broadcast programmes that informs, educates, trains, and share concerns, problems, and solutions related to farm, livestock, environment, weather forecast in coastal regions, and non-agriculture related activities. FRB can pass on the information on training, opportunities, and schemes and facilitate local networking with government institutes, universities, banks, forestry departments and panchayats (body of rural governance). Farmers within 15 to 20 kms (if terrain is flat) radius around the radio station can listen to FRB by a 50-Watt transmitter. In hilly terrain, repeaters can be used to reach the last mile. FRB can strengthen small-scale farming, rural communities, and rural communication. Of the 31 State Agriculture Universities (SAUs), Directorate of Extension of some i4d | August 2004

SAU’s like University of Agriculture Science, Bangalore, regularly conducts off campus field extension programmes for farmers. Radio as a means of communication and decision making tool will not only aid these universities in executing their agriculture policies, but also health and education issues. Since early 1950s agriculture policies to strengthen crop production through extension programmes by the government were started, currently Extension Services (ESs) is continuing many programmes like training, education and field trips for the farmers. LPFMRS can catalyse these efforts through radio as has been proved in the past but at very large scale through All India Radio. By virtue of close proximity of the radio station, farmer folks can directly participate or contribute towards productive farm related activities. Through its All India Co-ordinated Research Project (AICRP) of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), manpower and funding for FRB could be tapped. AICRP is a mechanism in building nation-wide co-operative, interdisciplinary research network, linking ICAR Institutes with the SAUs. ICAR, an autonomous apex national organisation, which plans, conducts and promotes research, education, training can make best use of this opportunity by funding and requesting SAUs to run a local radio station.

Basic equipment list for FRB A small recording studio, recording room and cabinets to store audio tapes is needed to house the equipment. Production equipment • Studio console (multifunctional equipment) with built a telephone hybrid , • Two studio monitor speakers, • Two dual auto reverse cassette deck, • One CD changer, • Five headphones, • Five dynamic microphones with windshields, • Two utility mixer, • 3 microphone stands with flexible arms, • Two microphone desk stand that is flexible, • Five portable cassette recorders with XLR (a connecting cable) mic inputs. • Five dynamic microphones for the cassette recorders, • Automatic voltage regulators for equipment and computers, • Two computers, with digital editing software, • Digital wall clock, • Telephone connection. • One or more computers can be used if enough fund is available though not necessary. Transmission Equipment Two 50 Watt FM stereo transmitter, One wide band omni directional antenna, Antenna cable, One channel compressor and limiter, Antenna Mast and anchors height specified by Wireless Planning Commission (WPC). August 2004 |

Community listening to radio

Field Extension Services (off campus activities) and Extension Services (in campus activities) offer variety of agriculture activities that broadly fall in following categories: (a) Field extension work for education of farmers, (b) Training of extension workers, (c) Linkage with research and other extension organisations, (d) Extension education council, and (e) Other extension services. By way of ‘radio ecosystem’, FRB would provide a new dimension to view the dynamic flow of agriculture dependent, socio-economic and cultural activities of people in an annual agriculture and culture cycle. It would open new frontiers in agriculture, education, training, and sharing of old and new ideas. Local folk songs, stories, festivals can be recorded and broadcast that will help in preserving the culture and identity of that region. Along with FRB, entertainment programme should also be considered to make the LPFMRS popular among the local people. It is fun for the people of all age groups to participate and contribute in programmes like songs, drama, documentary and other types.

Programme contents and format FRB can include a variety of programmes like local agriculture news, crop production, food processing and storage, livestock and beekeeping, pest management, rainwater harvesting, soil conservation, soil fertilisation, trees and forestry, water management, environment, community development, gender and development, global issues, social issues and biodiversity, community development. Of course, entertainment programmes should never be ruled out. The programme format consists of documentary (covering any topic with a broad approach, with facts and experiences of people), drama (combining education and entertainment of a specific topic), features(short programmes with an approach to factual themes like health or nutrition, pest control or fertilisation in a creative, artistic way), interviews (a dialogue between the host and a guest expert), panels and discussions (programmes demonstrating different perspectives on an issue or question).

License SAUs need to apply in the prescribed form to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in triplicate, through the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India or the


Community radio: An important media for farmers

state government concerned. The form can be downloaded from the Internet from the following sites: information&b/CODES/CRS-application.doc, information&b/CODES/licenradio.pdf Within one year from the date of signing of the license agreement, the applicant must complete all necessary formalities. These include obtaining Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocations (SACFA) clearance and so forth, to set up the necessary broadcast facilities and obtain a Wireless Operating License from the Wireless Planning Commission, Wing of Ministry of Communications and IT.

Planning and organisation In order to begin FRB, ESs should adopt the following model: (i) introducing the concept of radio station to the farmers, (ii) selecting location for the radio station, apply for license, (iii) constructing production studio, purchase equipment, (iv) selecting and training trainees, (v) shortlisting those interested in becoming community broadcasters and finally going on air. All the physical (infrastructure need) and non-physical (training, decision, motivation, interest) activities will depend upon the trust between the ESs workers, leaders and managers on one hand and farmer communities, community based organisation or NGOs at the other. The radio station can also have a local name so that people are able to connect to it. A short list of stakeholders that could form the core of the FRB consists of centres/department of agriculture sciences or universities, local people from diverse background, members of radio clubs, youth clubs, trusts, and cooperatives etc.

Expenses Equipment cost and recurring cost: Based on the equipment list, rough guestimate of a radio station costs could be between 8 to 10 lakhs (US $ 18,000 to 21,000). Of course, part of the fund can be generated from the community. Training costs include travel allowance of the trainees, food and lodging. License and spectrum fee: There is no license fee, but licensee will have to pay some spectrum usage fee. A bank security of Rs 50,000 (US$1000) is to be deposited to ensure timely performance of the license agreement.


Technical: Audio equipment of three different types comprise a typical LPFMRS with recording equipment is the microphone, portable field recorders and studio recorder, editing equipment called studio console/mixer and or multimedia computers, transmission equipment, comprising two 50-Watts FM transmitters. The transmitters and audio equipments could be purchased from agencies within India, or imported from abroad. There are lots of information available on the Internet for audio equipment. Computer software for editing and mixing can be used too and is recommended, as the quality of programme produced is excellent. From the Internet free to download editing software is available. From one would be able to download very basic software for editing radio programmes that can be used during training. Select Cool Edit 96 and start downloading. Cool Edit 2000 does not have the facility for saving the edited program so preferably it should not be downloaded. For advance use free multi track (ability to record more than single sound track) can be downloaded from During unavailability of electricity, back up should last for few hours. The radio station can best rely on solar powered battery charger.

Training Training generally for 2 to 3 weeks is important to gain skills of programme production and equipment handling. Women, farmers, youth and students need to be encouraged to take part in the training. Training in recording, audio production and broadcast should be achieved through workshops.

Sustenance of the CRS Long-term sustenance of the radio station is very important. As per the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the station cannot generate revenue by sponsoring programmes or through advertisements like All India Radio. SAUs can request grants from ICAR, and other UN organisations, UNESCO funds radio projects and Food and Agriculture Organisation could also be approached. Non-government organisations and personal donations can meet some of the expenses of the radio station. Farmers and self-help group can contribute in radio resource fund. Producing audio programmes for cooperatives, banks, schools, NGOs, panchayats and charging them are excellent ways of raising funds. There are many government and autonomous bodies that have many development schemes for development. The radio station can and should charge a fee to make people aware through interesting radio programmes on agriculture, health and education. Specific information from the Internet can be made available to the people on request. It could then be broadcast over radio like email messages. People frequently travel for all sorts of personal jobs to Tehsil/Block/Mandal/Zilla Parishad/Taluk offices located in towns. Through e-Governance, facility provided at the radio FRB, people could use the services at minimal cost for application forms of all sorts. Such models of e-Governance are popular in places like Dhar and Mellur.  i4d | August 2004


Ham radio in Bangladesh Information and Communication Technology provides a facility to communicate, resource information and the authority to communicate.

The world is now divided into two. One part is affluent in information, the other poor in information. At present, the nation that does not have any way or knowledge to acquire information through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is poor. In past few years, there has also been severe change in the definition of ‘literacy’. The citizen able to use or having access to Internet, computer, telephone, radio and other technologies, is a ‘digitally literate’ citizen, the ones unfamiliar to use or not having access to these are digitally illiterate. This new dimension of illiteracy has added up in our society in this age of ICTs. In the third world, specially in Bangladesh, there has emerged a regrettable distance rather than the expected proximity. This pitiable distance is called ‘Digital Divide’.

ICT in poverty alleviation ICT provides a facility to communicate, resource information and the authority to communicate. Presently in Bangladesh for every thousand people there are only 1.5 computers, 4 telephone connections and 7 televisions. That means digital divide is not only limited between the first and third world but have spread between the cities and villages, between men and women of Bangladesh. In recent times the rapid flourishing of ICTs is playing a significant positive role in poverty alleviation. The increased possibility of acquiring and sharing information resulting from the expansion of ICT creates positive atmosphere for poverty reduction. So, today the biggest challenge that stands before us is how we will use ICTs as the greatest tool of poverty reduction in Bangladesh.

Amateur radio or Ham radio AHM Bazlur Rahman Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication (BNNRC), Bangladesh

August 2004 |

A pre-eminent medium of ICT is ‘amateur’ or ‘ham radio’. Amateur radio is a science related hobby. People having this hobby are called ‘Ham’ or amateur radio holder. Hams have opportunities to attain plenty of skills in the attractive world of ICTs. Hams play a

major role in national disasters, emergency medical treatment and other public services. A ham is devoted to be tolerant, honest, friendly and patriot. The authority of amateur radio can play a big role as part of ICTs in a country like Bangladesh because of the following: (a) a workforce skilled in electronics or technology can grow up without any extra investment through the expansion of amateur radio; (b) the skill of amateur radio holders in electronics and modern communication system can be used in nationally important aspects including poverty reduction; (c) the amateur radio holders can provide such important public services that are not possible by the government bodies in such a short time. The individual skill, knowledge and experience of the amateur radio operator’s helps to make the nation confident and selfdependent and present the country to the world with respect. Bangladesh Government approved the introduction of amateur radio service for the first time in 1992. Ministry of Post and Telecommunication of Bangladesh works as the focal ministry for amateur radio through the T & T Board. The T & T Board used to provide license for General grade, or High Frequency through a one level examination. At present the number of license receiver is around 60 – 70. But in Japan a total of 13,50,127 and in Australia 22,965 in India 15,000 amateur radio operators are operating now. The T & T board stopped taking the exam to acquire amateur radio license for last three years without any pre-declaration. We encouraged the board through continuous advocacy for those three years. Morse code was being included in the previous exams that resulted to a passing number of 4 to 5. Also there were various mentalities working not to let people pass.

Bangladesh Amateur Radio League A national amateur organisation named ‘Bangladesh Amateur Radio League’ was


established on 20th May, 1979 as a amateur radio related organisation. This organisation became member of International Amateur Radio Union in 1992. Besides, in 1993 the Foundation for Amateur Radio Services (FAIRS), Bangladesh branch was established. These two organisations worked as amateur radio organisations in Bangladesh from 1993 to 2000. But afterwards due to change of leadership and other reason, Bangladesh Amateur Radio League became an ineffective and now defunct organisation. Bangladesh is absent in the world amateur related forums only because of it’s ineffective organisations. But still some people are trying to stay with it. As a result Bangladesh’s representation in amateur radio programmes has collapsed home and abroad. BARL is failing to play any effective role to preserve the interest of amateur holders and clear the roadblocks in the way of amateur radio growth.

BNNRC and its activities BNNRC was established in 2000. Since then, BNNRC started nationwide campaign for the spreading of amateur radio. For this awareness about amateur radio increased nationwide specially among the civil society along the coastal belt. BNNRC started continuous advocacy since Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission was established in 2001. As a result, amateur radio exam was first held under BTRC in January 2004 and for the first time Morse code was withdrawn in Bangladesh. Keeping the exam in front BNNRC started nationwide campaign. A total of 300 applied for the exam and 237 of them took part in it. A total of 76 passed the exam overcoming all barriers. Amateur radio can play a positive role in development communication of Bangladesh. Specially alternative communication can be built up between the coastal zone such as the 16 districts and the capital city. Already amateur radio networks between Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Coxsbazar, and Dhaka–Barishal and Dhaka–Bhola have been established and are working successfully. Moreover, recently experts identified Bangladesh as an earthquake-prone area. They said, Bangladesh is situated on the harmful tectonic plates of Indian subcontinent. An earthquake of 6-Richter scale can turn cities like Dhaka/Chittagong or Shylhet into piles of debris. Water, electricity and telecommunication systems are severely damaged during earthquake. So communication systems other than amateur radio can’t be initialised instantly. We can provide a helping hand to reduce damage and increase security through establishing amateur radio at an emergency during natural calamities. According to a statistics, although only 5% of the world cyclones strike Bangladesh but 85% of the world’s cyclone damage is created here. Bangladesh’s major weakness in taking cyclone precautions and carrying post cyclone activities is malfunction of telecommunication system. The tendency of cold wave, heat wave, boat capsizing and water surge is increasing everyday. Amateur radio can stand as an Information and Communication service.

Present barriers • Amateur radio is not yet popularised nationwide for lack of mass awareness regarding amateur radio operation. It is required to campaign regularly with the initiative of BTRC, Ministry of Science and ICT, various university, educational institute and to


take initiative to establish at least one amateur radio club station in every district. • One level examination system and arranging examination every six month have not yet been introduced. There is need to take examination every 6 months with the initiative of BTRC and to re-introduce one level examination. To give general grade license to the examinees passed in last January instead of novice license. BNNRC has already submitted an application to the honorable chairman. • There is 71% direct and indirect tax on the import of amateur radio set. As amateur radio is accepted as part of ICTs and moreover, according to paragraph 3.2.7 of Bangladesh Government’s Information and Communication Policy it has been said that “Use of Information and Communication technology and information services has to be brought under the purchase ability of mass people”. As it is not used in any commercial activity and amateur radio holders contribute to establish life line communication for public interest, so all the direct and indirect taxes on amateur radio should be reduced and brought to 5% like India. Initiative from the Ministry of Science and ICTs is expected in this regard. • There is problem related to the new application form purchase rate and processing fee set by BTRC. Presently BTRC has set Rs 500 (taka) (USD10) as purchase rate of all kinds of form and Rs 5000 (USD100) as processing fees. As amateur radio is never used in commercial purposes and it contributes to establish lifeline communication for public interest and it is a hobby of common citizen, so all the fees of application form and processing fees should be withdrawn. In India, it takes only Rs 500 (USD 10) to complete all the processes. Memorandum has been submitted by BNNRC to the chairman of BTRC. Bangladesh is basically a disaster prone area. Help by the amateur radio operators is required to set up communication before and after disaster. It is also needed to establish amateur radio as a popular medium by removing the barriers of amateur radio growth. Besides, to establish Bangladesh as a developing country of the third world to the outside world, the importance of person-to-person communication is immense. So let us all together utilise ICTs to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDGs). Let’s jointly demand to establish the opportunity of Information and Communication facility as a human right rather than mere opportunity.  Full version of this paper can be accessed at

References: • Bangladesh Disaster Report, 2002, 2001, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Forum, Dhaka. • National Information and Communication Policy. • Ministry of Science and ICTs. • Youth led Poverty Reduction through Digital Opportunities, YPSA, Chittagong. • Seminar paper, The role of Bamboo Telecom Centre in world wide telecommunication from villages of Bhola, Bangladesh Village Telecom Association. National Media Survey, 2002

i4d | August 2004


Community radio initiative in Jharkhand We can best visualise community participatory programme using the state infrastructure by using the airwaves.

Sudhir Pal Charkha Development Communication Network New Delhi, India

August 2004 |

It was like a festival for the villagers of Lesigunj and Panki Blocks of Palamou distict of newly created Jharkhand state in India. People were in different mood and happy because this is for the first time they would listen their own voices and issues on ‘Chala Ho Gaon Mein’, a radio programme made by, about and for them was going to be aired from All India Radio (AIR).

Radio for empowerment Palamou that was in news for drought, backwardness and recently for the naxalite activities witnessed a unique and innovative use of radio as an important tool for empowerment. People from different corners of the village gathered at the predestined locations decided by them. The first programme is relayed through AIR Daltongunj at 7.15p.m. on Sundays. Community made arrangement for special listening sessions in 45 villages in and around Lesligunj and Panki blocks. Adequate publicity was made to inform the people to assemble at village choupals, schools, and community halls for group listening. This was an entirely a new concept and probably for the first time in eastern belt. A radio deck with heavy sound box was fixed and 100-150 people of all ages sat around lantern of gaslight to listen to the programme. Community representatives of the community radio project organised the group listening session. I, along with Suresh Kumar, Coordinator community radio, was present at Piprakurd, a Mahato dominated village in Lesligunj Block. At Durga mandap chowk of Piprakurd village, there were 150 people listening to the programme in pin drop silence. We noticed that there was a whisper in the crowd when narrator was announcing the names of the participants and their villages, community felt representation of

their village was not included. At 7.45 pm, we invited feed back from the audiences and voice raised by Basant- “It is totally disgusting, no participation of our village— our village school building has collapsed, teachers are using desks/benches for their personal use- our children are suffering”. Lalan Mahato felt the programme would improve the quality of their life. According to Laxman, a young social worker, it would benefit both literate and illiterate community. Devendra Singh felt that this could be used as a tool for combating corruption. Nandlal informed about the poor quality of the production and assured of better performance by their village people, if given opportunity. Others like Giriwar Kumar, Mira Kumari and Rinku kumari appreciated the efforts and came forward to participate in the programme. I witnessed the power of this unique cost effective media, reaching to remote areas, capable of involving communities at each level like starting from identification of issues, content planning, creative participation and finally programme production.

Visualising community participation According to Bertolt Brect (1930), “Radio could be wonderful public communication system, imagine a gigantic system of channels – could be, that is, if it were capable not only of transmitting, but also of receiving, enabling the listener not just to hear but also to speak, not isolating but connecting them.” Community radio is a medium of communication utilised by a group of people, living within close geographical proximity, sharing socio-culture heritage, speaking one language. It distinguishes from the mainstream media by strengthening local culture and communities’ participation in all aspects of broadcasting.


An essential tool for sharing in Daltongunj

It will be a critical voice of the community demanding their constitutional rights and entitlements. The initiative will be meaningful, if it is rooted in community participation and their ownership. It not only reinforces ethnic identity but also promotes social cohesion and harmony. The power of the medium is enormous for social change in a country that is poor, illiterate and having diverse languages/cultures. In India, our present framework makes it impossible to own a radio station, unlike in other countries like Nepal, South Africa, Canada and Australia. We can best visualise community participatory programme using the state infrastructure by using the airwaves in spite of the Supreme Court Judgment delivered by Justice Sawant and Justice Mohan on 9.2.1995, stating airwaves are public property.

‘Chala ho gaon mein’ ‘Chala ho gaon mein’ (Let us go to the village) in Daltongunj is using this medium for social development. 16 men and women were trained in the required skills to prepare and produce a radio programme and operate their own radio service. We found that in three major areas, the participation of women was unsatisfactory. Women do not listen as much or as attentively as men; their participation in the programme is minimal and their issues are not adequately covered in the programme. Many of the people, we met during focus group discussions recalled that programmes were made on the issues like alcoholism, dowry, superstition, corruption, literacy and child marriages.

Community radio in India Only handfuls of NGOs are experimenting with radio as a tool for social development. Earlier amongst these is the Deccan Development Society (DDS), working among the dalit women in Pastapur, Andhra Pradesh. The DDS has a radio centre, which makes –broadcast programmes. DDS has helped local women from landless farming communities learn both radio and video production techniques. The programmes are interactive among the communities interested in exchanging information. The project depends entirely on nar-


rowcasting. DDS in principal objects the use of state machinery for their production. They are simply waiting for change in the state policy for commissioning the transmitter. Media of late also focused the community participatory project by KMVS (Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan) from AIR, Bhuj. With the financial support from Department of Rural Development and UNDP, KMVS is empowering the community women to run panchayats successfully in collaboration with Ahmedabad based media activists group, ‘Dirshti’. Voices initiated Namma Dhwani (India’s first community cable radio network in Budikote, Karnataka), where villagers used the narrow casting to air their own cable radio programmes. Community radio project works in tandem with two non profit making organisations, Voices, a Banglore based development communication unit and MYRADA (Mysore Development and Rural development Agency). Their focus is on empowerment of the disabled through radio. The first project at Kanakpura is in collaboration with the Maharishi Ramana Institute for Blind. The visually challenged depend entirely on audio for all information and through this programme they have succeeded in building their operational skills for radio production. The Daltongunj initiatives, in many ways, are closer to the broad definition of the community radio, because here the local communities are involved at each level, like starting from identification of issues for developing the content and creative participation in the production. National Foundation for India (NFI) supported the project Manthan Yuva Sansthan and AID were the facilitators. The community radio programmes were narrowcast by AIR stations as ‘Chala Ho Gaon Mein’.

How it is unique? It was indeed a unique experiment using radio for development and empowerment of rural and disadvantaged communities. Designed as community driven project, and with a very short span of time the programme generated a great deal of enthusiasm among the local people. Listeners felt strongly to the programme not only because these programmes were geographically and culturally more intimate but also being part of the programme at all levels. Suppressed local talent emerged to the fore, women caught up within the feudal social structure, started to find voice of their own slowly. It seemed people were connecting among themselves and started feeling as its own. But the process was cut short due to the paucity of the funds and it was disappointment for the communities, who were even willing to pay some money to continue the programmes, hundreds of letter were received requesting not to stop the programme. Manthan has a mandate in development communication; it is second attempt by Manthan supported by Charkha Development Communication Network to initiate the community radio program in Angara block in Jharkhand, a tribal belt. The main focus will not only help to develop and design the programme by the communities but also find ways to sustain the programme locally after stabilising it in 2 to 3 years through sponsorship from the various development agencies. We look forward to this project showing the way for other initiatives. i4d | August 2004


The old, the new and the hybrid radio Radio Madanpokhara is an outstanding example of successful community initiative in Nepal’s effort for development in general and development communications in particular.

Kishor Pradhan Panos Institute South Asia Kathmandu, Nepal

August 2004 |

Many of us who grew up in the seventies in the last century, when we loved the western movies, are familiar with Clint Eastwood and his western classic ‘The Good, Bad and the Ugly’. The good guy Clint at the end of the movie was the winner. The moral of that classic was there are always good, bad and ugly in a society, whether it was the lawless western society, or the present day emerging ‘information society’, the combination of its all results always the good winning. In the context of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) also there are old, new and hybrid ICTs and it so seems that in so called developing countries, the hybrid emerges the winner.

Radio Madanpokhara (RM) In Nepal, one of the so called least developed countries in Asia, which implies in terms of ICT also, a farmer in Madanpokhara village, located 8 hours drive from the capital city of Kathmandu, in the western part of Palpa-Tansen hill district of Nepal needed to sell his buffalo. He had to spread the word around in his village. Here it’s better to use the jargon ‘communicate’. And there was no other better means to market his buffalo then to make an announcement through a community radio in his village by paying a very nominal fee. And he sold his buffalo. The Nepali farmer made the announcement and sold his buffalo by the virtue of an ICT hybrid community radio, serving to give a voice to the community. Such an access to ICT, hybrid it may be of old and new media, has been possible for a farmer in a far-flung village in Nepal and the voice of the community is finding an outlet. Thanks goes to successful operation of the ICT hybrid community Radio Madanpokhara (RM) for the past four years in a rural setting in Nepal.

The humble beginning After a long struggle for obtaining the license from the Nepali government, when RM went on air with a 100 watts transmitter in 2000, with initial technical support from UNESCO and Radio Sagarmatha, the first public radio in Nepal based in Kathmandu, the radio station’s studio was located in a small space adjoining the cowshed of the station manager. In addition to UNESCO’s support, RM was started with a trust fund of 65 members each paying annual membership fee of 1000 rupees. In few years, it collected about Rs 400,000 and by the summer last year, had constructed its own building and has a studio now which is as good as any other commercial FM radio station in the urban spreads of Nepal. It has also now 500 watts transmitting capacity. Besides the annual membership fee, the running cost for Radio Madanpokhara is met by the annual contributions from their development budget by the Madanpokhara Village Development Committee (VDC), which officially owns it, and Palpa-Tansen District Development Committee. It also earns small revenue from selected advertisements and sponsorships. Only few station staff receives small remunerations, and others work as unpaid volunteers. Monthly income of RM is roughly Rs 30-50,000 and the expenditure is around Rs 25,000. The station does not carry commercials for Cocacola, Fanta, Chow Chow (readymade noodles) and other such products. It entertains mainly births, marriages, deaths and community-based announcements, like the one of the farmer, that are aired as commercials, rather ‘community commercials’. “It is not only to select commercials, we are careful with what songs we play also”, says Gunakar Aryal, a local from Madanpokhara, and the station manager of RM. He adds how the


Community radio station, Madanpokhara

radio as an ICT, a globalisation technology, can be used carefully to retain the traditional values of a village, may it be social, cultural or economic. All the more, the RM has completely relied on local human resources, the communities, and volunteers for running its show. Volunteers from Radio Sagarmatha initially trained representatives from 20 village development committees and one municipality as reporters and producers in Palpa-Tansen. There were an additional 11 volunteers from the local area. Since then, the numbers of volunteer trainers and reporters have now increased significantly. This truly community radio broadcasts to many parts of Palpa and some parts of seven adjoining districts, reaching around 400,000 people. Though the radio station is owned by Madanpokhara VDC, it is managed by a media committee board. The management board has seventeen members from various fields, groups and organisations in the village, thus very well representing the various communities in Palpa. As for what voice of the community the Radio Madanpokhara is giving, it is very much community focused as programmes are centred on topics that affect the everyday life of the local community. In addition to everyday periodic local news, there are programmes on natural disasters such as landslides and fire, farming, disadvantaged sections of the community as well as songs and music. It has mobilised women and integrated gender issues also as the station involves a number of women volunteers who produce and present programmes. There are regular programmes on children’s issues, gender and other development areas. “These days I listen to Radio Madpokhara for local news and for entertainment. I am sure that most of the people in my village listen to Radio Madapokhra rather than Radio Nepal”, says a young lad Ram Magar, who has just returned to his village from his three years stint in the middle-east. The RM is broadcasting 8 hours a day currently, although on special days/occasions there are additional hours of broadcasting. It is more popular than the state Radio Nepal that does not have much space for local community concerns to voice themselves.

Marriage of the old and the new ICT As when globally the so called ‘digital divide’ is transforming into ‘digital opportunities’, Radio Madanpokhara is also not left behind in the global ICT race. Keeping pace with the new developments


with ICTs, in the last couple of years, the RM has married the application of digital technology with its traditional analogue production and broadcasting capacity. As a member of FM Radio Network Project, initiated by Kathmandu based South Asia Regional Office of Panos, with technical and grant support from Media Development Loan Fund, Prague, Czech Republic and a local media organisation Communications Corner in Kathmandu, RM has been using new ICTs, like computers, digital recording and editing hardware and software in its production and broadcasting. From January this year, it has further upgraded its digital capacity under the same project to wireless satellite technology for distributing and receiving audio data and files through satellite audio channels. RM has been equipped with satellite receiving system like encoders, decoders and radio modems and it now receives news and other development content programmes from the central hub of the network, based in Kathmandu everyday through a satellite. It also distributes its programmes to other member radio stations through the same satellite audio channel networked through the Kathmandu based ISP and the radio network hub.

Hybrid friendly policies? Since the liberalisation and promulgation of ICT policies after the restoration of democracy in Nepal, there have been significant growth of private radio FM stations. Currently there are about 60 licenses issued to operate public radio stations on FM frequency, and half of them are already on air. The current private radio policy that includes the licensing fees (for radio modems, satellite links) and code of conduct, however, does not differentiate between commercial and community radios. As commercial radios have commercial investments and they relatively earn also likewise, a common regulation does not portend well for the non-profit people focused community radios like the Radio Madanpokhara. “Every time I come to Kathmandu I visit the ministry and tell them about the problems community radios have with the current radio policies. I also tell them RM is a ‘model’ and government willing can be replicated in all the villages of Nepal and help communities to communicate for development”, says Gunakar. There is no denying in what Gunakar says. The RM four years ago had a humble beginning, but it is certainly a success story. Radio Madanpokhara is an outstanding example of successful community initiative in Nepal’s effort for development in general and development communications in particular. In this era of information revolution and globalisation, information and knowledge management is becoming central to development of communities and so called information based economic ‘information society’. Information and knowledge can empower communities for development. Though there has been efforts by the government in Nepal to develop rural telecentres or call these knowledge centres, or whatever jargon you have for it, using hardcore new media ICTs like PCs and Internet. The best bet for countries like Nepal is the marriage of old and new media ICTs for development or ICT4D. And in that case, with Nepal’s both grassroots as well as policy and technology experience, marrying radio with new ICTs is the best bet. If policies are favourable for hybrid ICTs, then the ‘community communication commitment for development’ promises to bring about change, as is the sole purpose of hybrid ICT like Radio Madanpokhara. i4d | August 2004


Independent radio in Afghanistan In 2003 - 04, Internews set up 15 independent radio stations in Afghanistan under its media development programme.

Communication is the means by which people create their identity, both individual and collective. It underlies our sense of community and our sense of difference. In community radio skills, sound, music and speech can be recorded, edited and produced using software tools with an intuitive user interface. Computers become devices for achieving creative production goals rather than tools for business and public administration.

Communication in Afghanistan In rural Afghanistan radio is the only source of information about market prices for crops, election, and thus the only defence against speculators and extremists. It is used in agricultural extension programmes, as a vehicle for both formal and informal education, and it also plays an important role in the preservation of local language and culture in this country where the literacy level is 20 per cent. 96 per cent of the households have no access to electricity and a small number of people have access to print media and TV.

Introduction of community radio The press law signed by the President Hamid Karzai in September, 2002 paved the way for independent radio stations in the country. Prior to that, even before the war and Soviet invasion, radio was a state monopoly and community radio didn’t exist. Now community radio in Afghanistan is not only creating an infrastructure but it’s also about bringing a new culture of communication which will speed up social change.

Internews initiatives In 2003-’04, Internews set up 15 independent radio stations in Afghanistan under its media development programme. This year, Internews is setting up 20 more as part of a national network of independent local radio stations and programming. All of these 15 radio stations began broadcasting Internews’ national programme initiative Salaam Watandar, a three hour daily program of news and entertainment, delivered to the stations over satellite. Salaam Watandar includes the popular Ba

Sanjar Qiam Internews, Afghanistan.

August 2004 |


The following stations are supported by Internews: No



Population CSO 02

Broadcast Hours

Date Went On Air



Radio Bamiyan

Bamiyan City, Bamiyan Province


10 Hrs

August 16, 03

88.0 MHz


Radio Sharq

Jalalabad district, Nangarhar Province



September 30, 03

87.6 MHz


Radio Killid

Kabul City, Kabul Province


24 Hrs

August 1, 03

88 MHz


Radio Millie Paygham

Mohammed Agha district, Logar Province


7 Hrs

October 23, 03

94 MHz


Radio Tiraj Mir

Pul-e Khumri district, Baghlan Province


15 Hrs

October 15, 03

91.3 MHz


Radio Shura’e Qarabagh

Qarabagh district, Kabul Province


9 Hrs

January 25, 04

91.3 MHz


Radio Sahar

Herat City


6 Hrs

October 25, 03

88.7 MHz


Radio Azad Afghan

Kandahar City


6 Hrs

December 6, 03

88 MHz


Radio Naw-e Bahar

Balkh district, Balkh Province



January 4, 04

88.5 MHz


Radio Sulh-e Paygham

Khost district, Khost Province



January 23, 04

93.1 MHz (88.2 Pirate)


Radio Rabia Balkhi

Mazar City, Balkh Province


6 Hrs

January 8, 04

87.9 MHz


ðRadio Zohra

Kunduz district, Kunduz Province


6 Hrs

February 25, 04

90.5 MHz


Radio Nedaye Sulh

Ghoreyan district, Herat Province


10 Hrs

February 14, 04

91.4 MHz


ðRadio Sedaye Adalat

Chagcharan, Ghor Province


6 Hrs

20 March, 04

88.5 MHz


Radio Istiqlal

Baraki-Barak, Logar


3 Hrs

Salaam Watandar Only

89.6 MHz


Radio Zafar

Paghman, Kabul Province

3 Hrs

Salaam Watandar Only

88.5 MHz


Radio Yauali Zhagh

Saydebad, Wardak


3 Hrs

Salaam Watandar Only

88.5 MHz


Radio Imam Sahib

Imam Sahib, Kunduz


3 Hrs

Salaam Watandar Only

88.5 MHz


Khabar news program with a team of journalists, reporting from around the country as well as programmes on health, education, human rights and music. Currently, 43 per cent of the population is within the footprint of a locally-broadcast Salaam Watandar signal. Finally, Salaam Watandar is also broadcast on VTMerlin shortwave 11,795 kHz from 6AM-7.30AM and at 17,700 kHz from 6PM-7.30PM.

Contents of community radio Three of the above mentioned radio stations, Radio Zohra, Radio Rabia Balkhi and Radio Sahar are women radio stations and are supported by IMPACS, a Canadian NGO as the main partner and

Internews as technical partner. These stations focuses on women’s affairs, health, education, children, parenting, leadership, and community issues. In light of the upcoming national election in 2004, the stations will also educate women about the political and electoral process and the significance of women’s participation as voters and decision-makers. The purpose of women station is “to give women a greater voice and to link and educate women around Afghanistan”. The programmes of the community stations are designed to address social development, responsibilities, to educate the community about their rights and to provide entertainment.

Radio stations in Afghanistan

Insight community radio station


Radio Arman, a Kabul based commercial radio station, set up by a group of Afghan-Australian businessmen is also broadcasting 24 hours of music and entertainment for a specific group of Kabul audience. Arman is one of the leading Kabul radio stations. UNESCO has supported a Kabul women radio station Radio Sadai Zani Afghan broadcasting a couple of hours for Kabul women with educational and informative programmes. SIARA, an Afghan NGO has supported a campus radio in Hirat city, the radio station is run by student of journalism and programs include talk shows by students. BBC has recently launched a new programme called Barayee Afghanistan for Afghanistan, targeting Afghan audience with contains about Afghanistan. BBC is also available on FM in most parts of the country.  i4d | August 2004

Vol. II No. 8

The i4d News

August 2004

Information for development

 Community Radio 400 more FM radio channels to come up in India Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and All India Radio (AIR) are planning to provide 400 more FM (Frequency Modulation) channels. Currently, there are only 30 FM channels in the private sector. Apart from the FM radio expansion, the government is also looking at having roughly 5000 community radio networks through a restructure in policy and simplifying guidelines. At present the FM services of AIR serve 30 percent of the Indian population and it is restricted only to the urban areas. The expansion would bring most of the rural areas into the transmission reach. The target for coverage by the end of the current five-year plan is 50 per cent. This expansion by the Ministry will bring the second radio revolution in India. All India Radio (AIR) in India has also launched an offer of 50 percent discount on its commercial slots for community radio programming. 44 AIR stations have been identified for this. Sixteen educational institutes have been issued letters of intent to set up community radio stations. At present the Anna University in Chennai is the only recently licensed non-profit broadcaster. Vidya Pratisthan’s Institute of Information Technology (VIIT) in Baramati, Maharashtra has also got a license to operate community radio station. All India radio is the only major operator of over 200 radio stations in the country.

Communty radio made legal in United Kingdom It was a historic day in the long journey of community radio when full time communty

August 2004 |

radio was made legal in United Kingdom. After over twenty years of campaigning by the Community Media Association and its members, the community radio Order legalised a new tier of not-for-profit radio stations, enabling communities throughout the UK to use the medium of radio to create new opportunities for regeneration, employment, learning, social cohesion and inclusion as well as cultural and creative expression. However, the new Order imposes certain limitations by which a large number of communities will be severely restricted in their ability to achieve financial sustainability and others will not be allowed to have community radio at all.

UGANDA drafts first national broadcasting policy Following a nation-wide survey to gauge Ugandan’s views on the performance of the broadcast media, a broadcasting policy was drafted to guide operations such as content, ownership, broadcaster obligations, advertising, human resource development, the media and good governance and signal distribution. To elicit comments on the draft, the broadcasting council of Uganda also held a public meeting.

TRAI recommends Unified Licensing Regime in India Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) recommended a Unified Licensing Regime covering from telecom to broadcasting. The recommendations envisaged a two-stage process to introduce a Unified Licensing Regime in the country. The first phase that entails a Unified Access Service License at the circle level has already been imple-

mented. The second phase is on its way where preliminary consultation paper and Open House discussions have already been held. Based on the comments of the two, TRAI finalised the draft recommendations. All the stakeholders are now given the opportunity to offer comments on these draft recommendations to help in the finalisation of final recommendation on Unified Licensing regime to the government of India. The draft recommendations can be read at TRAI website.

MF to launch project with Radio Sagarmatha in Nepal The Mountain Forum (MF) Secretariat is launching a pilot project in Nepal in association with the Asia Pacific Mountain Network (the Asia-Pacific node of the Mountain Forum) and Radio Sagarmatha, which is the oldest independent community broadcasting station of South Asia. The project aims to form a bridge between the audience (and participants) of the radio programmes and the Mountain Forum community. This would facilitate a dialogue between communities at the grassroots in Nepal and the global and regional communities of the Mountain Forum. Potential issues for discussion will be identified, ideas will be posted on MF online discussion lists and inputs will be provided to Radio Sagarmatha producers to be incorporated into their research. In the first phase, there are plans to produce and broadcast 8 to 10 such programmes in the local language. The Mountain Forum is a network of networks focused on sustainable mountain development issues. It is primarily made of academics, students, experts, professionals and policy makers across the region and the world.


The i4d News

 Agriculture CD on 30 agriculture projects The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India has brought out a compact disc containing 30 bankable projects in minor irrigation, plantation and horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, land development, agricultural engineering and forestry. This is part of the Nabard initiative for providing guidance to banks, farmers and government agencies in formulating projects under various agricultural activities. These model projects are also available on the NABARD Web site as well as with District Development Mangers of NABARD in all districts of the State.

Rural IT centres to give information to farmers The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has developed a Pest Disease Information System (PDIS) as part of its bioinformatics initiative, for four major crops, i.e., paddy, coconut, sugarcane and cotton in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, covering about 22 villages. The programme is developed with the Indian Farmers and Industries Alliance and Federation of Farmers Association.

This is part of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR)rural action plan, initiated by the information technology ministry for the development of village information centres, called ‘Samadhan Kendras’. The main objective of the programme is to establish a rural IT centre, which can cater to the needs of the rural population. The first project has been initiated in Andhra Pradesh in the country. The centre aims to develop an integrated information system-using database containing the baseline information both on health and agriculture. As a pilot project, the common pests and diseases affecting the main crops in the district have been identified and the photographs have been incorporated in the software. The software is being installed in the touch-screen kiosks at the Samadhan Kendras. Besides, other information like availability of fertilisers, pesticides, bank loans, agricultural offices, etc have also been added in the software.

Intel promotes e-Learning Intel Semiconductor Ltd announced the ‘Intel Mobile Initiative for Learning in Education.’ The objective of this initiative is to accelerate the adoption of mobile learning, teach and research to students, faculty and administrators anywhere and anytime. This initiative is designed to deploy mobile technologies such as wireless local area networks (WLAN) and Intel Centrino mobile technology for fast and collaborative learning.

 Education Delhi Govt to provide computer education for 7 lakh students The proposal of funding the project to impart computer education in 710 government

1st exclusive satellite for educational services of India EDUSAT, an exclusive satellite for educational services will take the country to new frontiers of formal and technical education with its launch. G.L. Shekar, Professor at the National Institute of Engineering (NIE) who is spearheading satellite and web-based education in Karnataka, said the project entailed space-based connectivity through EDUSAT and was targeted at schools, colleges, and institutes involved in higher education to enhance the scope and quality of non-formal education. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has envisaged the development of a nationwide education network through EDUSAT, will provide sustainable distance education service in India using GSAT-3. The scope of EDUSAT would be realised in three phases. The first phase was a pilot project being implemented in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh using INSAT 3 A. The second phase of the project, also known as the semioperational phase, would facilitate the use of new technology and the network would expand to cover two more States and a national institution. In the third phase of the project, the entire country would be covered using six regional beams and one national beam by enlarging the network and making it operational, he added.


schools of Indian capital city was approved by the Expenditure and Finance Committee (EFC) of the Finance department. In this project, the computerisation would be completed by 2008 and the government has sanctioned Rs 99 crore for this. The Education department will implement this project under which each school will get 10 computers for students and one for the principal’s room. A Bangalore based company will provide the hardware.

IGNOU develops online training for diplomats Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has launched an online training programme for Indian diplomats. The university has developed a virtual campus website for mid-career training programme for Foreign Service Institute officers. This internet based training course would enable the officers scattered across the world in different time zones to undergo training at any hour without physically moving to the headquarters. The course structure and the website has been developed by IGNOU and has been hosted by National Informatics Centre.

Science publications online The Appropriations Committee of the United States’ House of Representatives and the Science and technology Committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons recommended measures that would help make scientific journal publications available more freely online. This will definitely advance the movement for ‘open access’. Scientists are judged by their research output. Each year they publish more than a million papers in approximately 16,000 scii4d | August 2004

The i4d News ence, technology and medical journals put out by more than 2,000 publishers worldwide. Rising prices of Journals results in limited access to the scientific research especially in developing countries. The Commons’ Committee recommended that “all U.K. higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read online, free of charge, and Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way.” Building up institutional repositories with an open access should be established where scientists should ensure that their papers are archived.

Innovative technology making banking easier Banks are now experimenting with new technologies for their benefits. ‘Pigmy collection terminals’, which are actually mobile handhelds and ‘Simputer ATM’ are such examples. Field executives of the Krishna Bheema Samruddhi (KBS) Bank, a bank operating in Mahbubnagar of Andhra Pradesh, and Raichur, have been using handheld devices to collect instalments on advances, daily deposits for pigmy schemes and other deposits from the customers of the bank. These 400 gm ‘pigmy collection terminals (PCTs)’ can store information on 1,000 accounts and print receipts whenever a transaction is made. Suco Bank, another cooperative bank operating in Raichur, has tried an ATM experiment with the earlier version of Simputer, a palmtop built by the Bangalore-based startup PicoPeta. While the KBS bank is using PCTs for collecting deposits, Suco has done the reverse with customers going to a designated ‘Simputer ATM’ where a bank employee enters the data into the Simputer after handing out cash.

 e-Commerce New e-Commerce payment gateway to be launched Opus Software Solutions Private Ltd will launch the national e-Commerce payment gateway this year. Opus will be partnering the Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDBRT) in the gateway, which will be owned and governed by the Reserve Bank of India. This national e-commerce payment gateway will kickstart e-Commerce on a mass scale in the country. This will also be the e-Governance payment infrastructure for the country, which has so far not had any payment mechanism. Membership to the payment gateway will be open to nationalised, cooperative, scheduled and multinational banks. Opus will be using its ‘Electra’ suite of applications to power the national payment gateway. Electra is the first integrated card acquiring and issuing system on the Linux platform.

eSeva ties up with BharatMatrimony eSeva, the multi-faceted citizen services centre of the Andhra Pradesh Government in India, and, a n online matrimonial services provider, have announced a tie-up to provide matrimony services. This alliance will extend eSeva services which started as a government initiative to build up public-private partnerships. The eSeva alliAugust 2004 |

ance will make it easier for prospective brides and grooms to find their life partner. One can walk into eSeva centres and get themselves registered free-of-cost. Thereby, they can have their information hosted on the portal and also access other addresses. The other model is subscription-based with Rs 750 fee for a three-month period. This would entitle them to other services including an SMS-based mobile alert about response to their address.

 e-Governance IT minister puts e-Gov action plan in top priority Union minister for communications and information technology, Dayanidhi Maran emphasised the extensive use of ICTs in day-to-day management of urban local bodies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. He said, “ICTs have a particularly vital role to play in transforming the interface between governments and the citizens they serve, particularly in urban agglomerations.” The minister said that e-Governance programmes should be stabilised, enhanced and spread to overcome the increasing digital divide between municipal bodies across the country and speed up proliferation of the successes. A number of municipal corporations, particularly in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have successfully implemented e-Govern-

ance programmes. An e-Governace action plan has also been included in the top 10 priorities of his ministry. It envisages several mission mode projects focussed on improving service delivery to citizens and businesses.

India’s first e-Literate district Malappuram, a backward district in Kerala has been transformed into India’s first e-Literate district, deploying the world’s largest rural wireless broadband network. Information kiosks or the Akshaya Kendras has made information access very easy. Payment of electricity bills, getting birth certificates and filing complaints to police staions can be done through these kiosks. Over 600 Akshya Kiosks have already been set up at every 2 km by entrepreneurs.

 Telecom VSAT connects 300 Nigerian sites to broadband Gilat Satellite Networks has announced that it shall supply to Koochi Communications an additional 300 Skystar 360E terminals to deliver broadband communications to SOHO and SME users in Nigeria and West Africa. Koochi Communications is a satellite network provider, offering access, deployment and maintenance


The i4d News band services, open sky policy for Direct To Home (DTH) operators, lowering of customs duties on import of equipment, removal of service tax. The only important recommendation accepted is that DTH operators should be allowed to operate Internet and broadband services.

India to log the highest e-Com revenues among Asia-Pacific countries India is expected to log the highest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 83.7 per cent among Asia-Pacific countries in e-Commerce revenues between 200308, even exceeding the growth rate displayed by neighbouring China in the five-year period, according to research firm IDC. “The Asia/Pacific market (excluding Japan) is becoming an increasingly attractive e-Commerce environment. To enhance their competitiveness, companies must invest in e-Commerce solutions and pursue the expanding market aggressively by taking advantage of vast online opportunities,” IDC said. With a healthy Internet usage growth, recorded in the first half of 2004, and continued positive economic growth across the region, many businesses have been driven to increase their online services offerings, it added. “China’s rapid Internet growth has also witnessed a good number of users being turned into buyers and bringing good profits for many online businesses in the last few years. These burgeoning Internet trends are expected to drive an explosion of the overall e-Commerce market by 2008, where B2B commerce will make up a large portion of this growth,” IDC said.

of satellite solutions to Africa’s service providers. This would provide the necessary combined momentum to impart on the West African landscape the benefits of lessened barriers to broadband internet connectivity, and the overall promotion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) development.

IP-based telecom networks to be promoted in Asia Countries in the Asia-Pacific region need to gear up for implementing internet protocol (IP) based telecommunications networks and broadband platforms for facilitating convergence of data – voice and video. This came out from the Asia- Pacific Telecommunity Standardisation Programme (ASTP) being organised by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The representatives from the 25 member-countries of Asia – Pacific Telecommunity deliberated on various standards needed to usher in next generation communications as well as country specific contexts for creating an enabling environment. The objective of ASTP meet is to come out with a report on the expectations and apprehensions of APT member-countries on the new telecom standards. The report will be placed before the World Telecom Standards Con-


gress to be held in Brazil in the second week of October this year.

More villages to be connected through public phones The Department of Telecommunications with support from Universal Service Obligation Fund is planning to set up village Public Telephones. Bids have been invited for setting up phone in villages without any public phone facility yet. Of the 6.07 villages in India, about 5.22 villages have been covered. Of this, 5.09 lakh villages have been covered by the State owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. All basic and cellular operators would be eligible for bidding for setting up telecom facility in the remaining villages.

Much-awaited broadband policy dumps TRAI recommendations Broadband policy does not include almost all the important recommendations given by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It has rejected unbundling of local loop, lowering of spectrum fee for broad-

 Technology Cheap, computing device for the masses An Indian professor, Raj Reddy, at Carnegie Mellon University will be launching a new device called PCtvt by the year-end. This is going to be a wirelessly networked personal computer intended for the 4 billion people around the world priced at $250. This is aimed to serve 4 billion people around the world who live on less than $2000 a year. According to him this device will prove to be very useful for illiterate population of developing countries. It will be simple to use, controlled by TV remote control, and can also function as television, telephone and videophone. The project is supported by Microsoft and TriGem, the Korean computer maker in partnership with Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Information technology and the researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Cyber cafes in railway stations: Technology to transform After the success of a cyber cafe at New Delhi station, the railways is intending to replicate the success at 51-odd railway stations over the country. In a statement, the railway ministry said that by the close of this financial year, the target of 51 more stations would be met. The project undertaken by RailTel had been launched to better communication facilities in the railways.

For daily news on ICT4D log on to i4d | August 2004


India’s first campus community radio Anna University today is in a position to offer consultancy to the entire country on setting up of community radio stations as well as training personnel for it.

Anna University became the first in the country to commission the campus community radio on 1st of February, 2004. I had the unique privilege of associating myself right from the scratch.

The beginning of Anna FM

announced. It was fortunate to get its application forwarded and recommended by the State Government in June, 2003. Then we were told that we have to submit a bank guarantee which was not originally envisaged. After submitting the bank guarantee, our application was referred to the Home Ministry. Home Ministry made discrete enquiries, collected some documents, verified antecedents of the people who manage the Anna University and submitted its report sometime in August, 2003. Then, the file was referred to the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Telecommunication. The Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs had taken long time to clear and asked some clarifications. The Ministry of Telecommunication had again to refer the proposal to the Defence Ministry for clearance of frequencies. I now understand that the government has revised these guidelines and the future application from aspirants of the community radio will not be sent to External and Defence Ministries. We understood that the Ministry of Human Resource Development has cleared our proposal in the month of October, 2003 and External Affairs and

The experience I had while commissioning the station is full of excitement, even though I earlier had the privilege of associating myself with the commissioning of India’s first educational FM channel at Allahabad on 7th of November 2001. The experience of achieving the campus community radio was much more satisfying. I was following up the progress of the legislation of the community radio movement and was also associated in a small way at the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. I was also associated when the format for the simple two page application was developed. Thanks to Shri Anil Baijal, the former Additional Secretary to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, community radio aspirants have to fill up only a simple two-page application form along with one page affidavit and bank guarantee. The rest of it has to be done by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Institutions can either send Radio station in their application through Anna University the State Government or through the Human Resource Development.


The journey of the application Dr. R.Sreedher AVRC, Anna University, Chennai, India

August 2004 |

Anna University has applied for the community radio in the month of May, 2003, a full five months after the scheme was


transmitter of 50W and an antenna which was inspected by the engineers of AIR. The tower was erected at a cost of Rs 25,000 (USD 500). The indigenous di-pole antenna supplied by Bharat Electronics was mounted on it. So the entire cost had come to around Rs.12 lakhs (USD 24,000). The government agencies had quoted Rs 20 to 22 lakhs (USD 40 to 44,000). The process was completed on January 30, 2004. Then Anna FM became a reality.

The inauguration

Community listening to community radio programme

Defence have cleared it up by end of November, 2003. After higher officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting took up the matter with the Ministry of Defence and Telecommunication, things cleared by the end of December, 2003.

Letter of intent The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting then issued the ‘letter of intent’ on December 29, 2003. Once the ‘letter of intent’ was received by Anna University, it has to apply for allotment of frequency to the Ministry of Telecommunication. The process took two weeks. Frequency was allotted to Anna University by the Ministry of Telecommunication on January 14, 2003. Anna University has to sign the agreement with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and it was done on January 15, 2004.

SACFA The next step was to apply for SACFA clearance from the Ministry of Telecommunication for which the ‘letter of intent’, frequency allotment, the agreement and the map of location certified by the Survey of India, the details of transmitters along with a fee of Rs 1,000 (USD 20) to the WPC wing of Ministry of Telecommunication. We have to give a soft copy as well as hard copy. Soft copy was to be given in MS-DOS format. The Survey of India’s report costs Rs 10,000 (USD 200). WPC then referred the case to the Air Port Authority of India and the Ministry of Defence for a ‘No Objection’ Certificate (NOC). In the Ministry of Defence - Navy, Army, Air Force and the joint operations have to give NOC. After all these departments had given the NOC, the spectrum fee of Rs 19,100 (USD 400) has to be paid to WPC for issue of actual licence.

Hardware Anna University was able to build a small studio of 10 X 8 plinth area, which is digital, tapeless, transmission ready, multi purpose at a cost of Rs 7.5 lakhs (USD 15,000) with reverberation time less than 0.1. It has air-conditioning and a 12 channel console. The cost includes an audio server and two work stations. M/s. Bharat Electronics had approached Anna University with a prototype


It was inaugurated by the-then Deputy Prime Minister of India, Shri L.K.Advani with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. J.Jayalalithaa as the Guest of Honour. The function was presided over by the-then Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and the same was commissioned on February 1, 2004. The enthusiasm and the zeal of the bureaucrats of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, who went out of the way to see that the first station become operational at Anna University, were all plus points. The entire credit of operationalisation of this first community FM radio goes to the dynamic Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, Prof. E.Balagurusamy. He has declared that universities such as Anna University must be able to get some money for content creation. With his personal commitment to take science and technology to the community and his vision, leadership and support, the station became relayed.

Status today The Anna University is proud that it is running the community radio for the community and by the community with cooperation from the faculty of Anna University, its students, its neighbours and the developmental agencies without much difficulty and finance. Anna University today is in a position to offer consultancy to the entire country on setting up of community radio stations as well as training personnel for it.

Software On 1st of February 2004, Anna FM had only 3 hours original audio software. But now it has a collection of 400 hours within 125 days of its existence. Anna University has roped in the city police, the Adi Dravidar Welfare Corporation, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, Women’s Empowerment Organisations, Cancer Institute, Shankar Nethralaya, Entrepreneurship Development Organisations, Department of Science and Technology, Vigyan Prasar, Kalakshetra, Central Leather Research Insititute (CLRI), Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Southern Railway and host of other organisations for its software creation.

Recurring expenditure With three hours of programme and more than 30 student volunteers, 10 senior academicians and media persons offering the services voluntarily, the recurring expenses for Anna FM is not high. But still it spends around Rs 70,000 (USD 1400) per month purely for local transport and other incidental expenses. With more and more partners joining, Anna FM will be able to achieve its goal and retain its No.1 position. i4d | August 2004




South Asian potpourri

AFGHANISTAN Women’s community radio station On the International Women’s Day (March 8) this year, an independent women’s community radio station, Radio Zohra, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was officially inaugurated. It is supported by the institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Internews and USAID-OTI. Radio Zohra broadcasts on 90.5 FM in Kunduz and it covers a radius of 20 kms and reaches a population of approximately 350,000. It is the third in a network of independent women’s community radio stations in Afghanistan, established by IMPACS and Internews. The first station was Radio Balkhi in Mazar-I-Sharif, established in March 2003, the second one is Radio Sahar-in-Heart which went on air in October, 2003.

BHUTAN BBS serves Bhutan radio Bhutanese radio broadcasting begun in 1973. With low literacy and a small percentage of electrical grid coverage, radio is a very popular medium in this country. Bhutan is served by the statesponsored Bhutan Broadcasting System (BBS) which own and August 2004 |

operate the broadcasting operation. BBS radio broadcasts 12 hours every day and gives a daily news bulletin in 4 languages. Its main objective is to inform, educate and entertain the public. Use of Internet was started in Bhutan in 1999, but still it has been restricted to urban areas. Bhutan’s only Internet Service Provider (ISP), Druknet was initially conceived merely as a domestic e-mail service, keeping Bhutan sealed off from the rest of the world; but the-then king decided to give Bhutanese citizens limited access to the World Wide Web. Internet was introduced to Bhutan in 1999. In 2000, UNESCO sparked the idea of radio-browsing programmes to provide information from the Internet to the disadvantaged and illiterate people and to increase awareness of new ICTs. JFIT/metasurvey/countryreports/southasia/bhutan.pdf

INDIA Namma Dhwani (Our Voices) India’s first independent community radio initiative is in Boodikote village, Karnataka. It is a cable radio service because India forbids communities to use the airwaves. With the help of UN funds, a media advocacy group, VOICES laid cables, sold subsidised radios with cable jacks to villages and trained young people to run the station. Since March 2003, the beginning of broadcast, Our Voice Community Radio has played a major role in community life. It is


cracked with the sound of school children singing songs and giggling to jokes, of young girls talking fearlessly about evils of dowry and admonishing boys for teasing them at school; of women giving out recipes and teaching others how to open a bank account and of farmers debating the vagaries of weather and fluctuating crop prices.

Pastapur Women’s radio The Zaheerabad area in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh where the Deccan Development Society (DDS) works, falls in one of the least developed regions of the country, Telengana, and is contiguous with the least developed districts of North Karnataka. Deccan Development Society (DDS), a grassroots organisation working with Sangams (village level groups) of poor women, most of whom are Dalits, have evolved programmes with three principles: gender justice, environmental-soundness and people’s knowledge. The UNESCO recognised the presence and services rendered by the DDS in the region with regard to empowerment and education of the poorest of the poor women and facilitated funding for establishing a radio station in Machnoor village. On October 2, 1996, James Bentley, Regional Communication Adviser (Asia), UNESCO had a consultation with about 35 women from the sangams of DDS. Based on the felt needs, narrated by the local women and UNESCO’s interest in women’s development and democratisation of communication media, DDS was identified as a suitable partner for UNESCO’s ‘Women Speak to Women’ project. It was proposed to operationalise a low-cost radio station, subject to issuance of a license by the Government of India. As part of this, DDS initiated necessary steps for establishing a radio station. The FM station is designed to work on the audiocassette technology. It has two FM transmitters and a 100-meter transmission tower, which has a capacity to broadcast to a radius of 30 kms, roughly, the coverage area of DDS. DDS inaugurated its Community Media Centre on October 15 (the International Rural Women’s Day) 2001. The Pastapur Women’s radio, in spite of its long time readiness to go on air, is still awaiting a community-broadcasting license as the Central government is still finalizing the regulations of the new broadcasting legislation. In the meantime, the studio facilities are being used to produce audiocassettes on issues related to women empowerment, agricultural needs of semi-arid regions, public health and hygiene, indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity and food security and local song and drama.

MALDIVES Maldives radio (Community radio and SHE) ‘Radio Haveeru’, a 15-minute radio programme broadcast from the Voice of Maldives, focuses on rural development. It includes some aspects of adolescence reproductive health. The same programme is repeated in the evening when most of the people come back to their homes after work. Another women’s issue oriented programme is


broadcast at mid-morning. It aims at the women who stay at home. Radio spots on Thalassaemia and family planning had already been produced and broadcast by the Voices of Maldives, under the guidance of SHE. From 1996 to 1998, in total 45 radio programmes have been produced and broadcast 90 times. The topics targetting the community are adolescent sexual and reproductive health, thalassaemia, AIDS, family planning, pregnancies, food and nutrition.

NEPAL Radio Sagarmatha Nepal has changed from a monarchy and a one-party political system to a more democratic form of government in 1990. This was the main factor that opened up new possibility to democratise the electronic media which was formerly controlled as a whole by the government. Nepal’s National Communication Policy Act (1993), prepared by a special task force was the main force behind Nepal’s first independent community broadcasting station as well as South Asia’s first major effort at ‘independent community radio’, Radio Sagarmatha. A major provision of the act was the private sector participation in FM broadcasting. ‘Sagarmatha’ is the Nepali name of the Mount Everest. It means the head in the heavens. The radio Sagarmatha was established with financial and technical assisstance provided under UNESCO’s international programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The programmes broadcast from this radio station cover growing air pollution problem of Kathmandu, urbanisation and its impact on the heritage sites, tourism, the threat of HIV/AIDS and garbage disposal. It also celebrates the ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity of the people around Kathmandu valley. It is an initiative of the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) and is governed by a board that includes Himal Association, Nepal Press Institute and Worldview Nepal.

PAKISTAN Internews initiatives Internews has implemented a one year project funded by USAID that includes advising the Pakistan government on media law and providing training to journalists and station managers of the country’s first private radio stations. As a part of the project, it has built a state-of-the-art independent radio production facility at the Uks foundation, an NGO in Islamabad that works on the portrayal of women in the media. Here women journalists are being trained to produce radio programmes. Prior to the Internews programme, none of the women worked for non-government radio. Only 3 per cent of all the journalists were women. The country’s first independent syndicated programmes were launched by Internews-trained women journalists at Uks Foundation. Internews also helped to build the country’s i4d | August 2004

first university-based community radio station at Peshwar University, situated in the North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. It has also worked with a community radio station in Lakki Marwat near the FATA region to raise awareness about modern farming practices in the region such as drip irrigation. The Lakki stations coverage includes tribal FATA region.

There are 26 licensees in Pakistan, distributed over 17 cities. The cities and the licensees are as follows: • Karachi: Kohinoor Airwaves, Lahore; Shamal Media Services, Karachi; Vectracom, Karachi; Tradeserve International, Islamabad; Syndicate Entertainment, Karachi. • Lahore: Kohinoor Airwaves, Lahore; Shamal Media Services, Karachi; Tradeserve Intl. Islamabad. • Faisabad: Kohinoor Airwaves, Lahore; Tradeserve International Islamabad. • Islamabad/Rwp: Kohinoor Airwaves, Lahore; The Communicators, Islamabad; Shamal Media Services, Karachi. • Multan: Tradeserve Intl. Islamabad. • Vehari: The Communicators, Islamabad. • Sukkur: Shamal Media Services, Karachi. • Peshawar: Interactive Communications, Islamabad. • Sarai Naurang: SAIF Intl. Combined, Islamabad. • Gujrat: Future Tech Engg. Islamad. • Sialkot: Interactive Communications, Islamabad. • Abbotabad: The Communicators, Islamabad. • Hub Chowki: SALLAR Engg. Islamabad. • Muridke: SALLAR Engg. Islamabad. • Changla Gali: SALLAR Engg. Islamabad. • Gwadar: SALLAR Engg. Islamabad. • Bahawalpur: KATS Comm. Multan.

SRI LANKA Mahaweli community radio The Mahaweli Community Radio (MCR) concept was a modified version of the experience of Baandvaerkstedet – the Tape Workshop, a public access programme of Radio Denmark. The first of its kind in South Asia, Sri Lanka’s MCR was set up in 1981 by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation with the assistance of UNESCO and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). During 1981 to 89, MCR’s mobile teams visited some 1500 villages. The MCR experience has been widely used for an integrated rural development project in Bangladesh and also in developing and setting up rural broadcast systems in Bhutan and Cambodia.

Kothmale community radio Located in the central region of Sri Lanka, Mawathura, about 25 kms south-west of Kandy Kothmale Community Radio (KCR) is one of 5 community radio stations, operating under the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). It started transmission in 1989, broadcasting only 1 hour a week from a mobile station. In 1992, the mobile station became a permanent one with 3 broadcasting hours on every working day whereas now there are programmes everyday for 8 hours, in mornings and evenings. Three monthly listeners’ meetings are being organised to receive the feedback from the audience and to observe their opinions regarding the change in programmes. To assess the prospects for converging community radio and the Internet to serve rural information needs and to assess its possible impacts in rural communities, the UNESCO funded Kothmale Community Radio Internet Project was launched in 1999. To make the Internet accessible to a wide rural audience, KCR started including information from the Internet in its radio programmes. Although a major part of the listeners lives in a remote area in the country, they are interested enough in international matters. One of the main reasons is that many people of the region have family members working and staying in the Middle East. Part of the international news covers information about exchange rates and national market prices that is sent by the National Bank of Colombo.

Courtesy: Agha Iqrar Haroon Research: Saswati Paik

GIS Institute Ad page - 31 August 2004 |



‘Tambuli’ in Philippines The success of Mahaweli Community Radio Project in Sri Lanka paved the way of Tambuli Community Radio in Philippines, a country made up of some 7000 islands, spread over an archipelago stretching for about 800 kilometres from the north to south. The term ‘tambuli’ is used for the traditional carabao horn or sea conch used by the chief of the baranggay (village) to call the people for an assembly. The term ‘tambuli’, as a result of this project, became an acronym in Filipino; it began to stand for ‘Voice of the Small Community for the Development of the Underprivileged’.

The first jerk The seed of Tambuli project was planted in 1986 in a very informal way and ultimately it began to germinate in the second half of 1991. UNESCO added momentum to its growth, providing US$25,000 to cover the cost of first 10-watt Allard transmitter, the basic studio equipment and accessories for the community radio station in Batanes, a very remote area where the people could only tune to radio programmes from China and Taiwan. In 1990, Radio Ivatan in Basco, located in Batanes Island went on the air as a precursor of the Tambuli Community Media Project. The cost of running the radio station and of producing the the local newspaper were taken over by the community and the Batanes Development Foundation by the end of 1993.

To pull it on In 1991, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) agreed to finance the first phase of this project through UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. The pilot programme ran from September 1991 to December 1994 and there was huge support from the communities and local government which was beyond expectation. It resulted in savings in the international project funds. For getting more experience in varied settings, another 6 community media systems were in operation by the end of 1994 including the former in Batanes. With the fund from DANIDA again, the second phase of the project was scheduled to be started in early 1996, although, due to bureaucratic delays, it was ultimately started in mid-1996. Its planned duration was three and a half years with international financial support of US$575,000. Because of the advances it made in empowering the people through their direct involvement in decision making, this project won the UNESCO Rural Communication Prize, worth US$20,000 from among 22 other international contenders.

Directing the way Louie N. Tabing, a rural broadcaster for over 20 years before the project, managed the Tambuli Project and was a consultant in the


UNICEF effort. Tabing and his small team of three people were very cautious and methodical in selecting the sites for the operation of this project. There were some criteria made to determine the suitable locations. The geographical area should be around 10 to 30 km2, preferably isolated by mountain, sea or difficult terrain, with 10 to 20 thousand population. It should be poor by means of media communication, but yet should have the potential for building and managing a radio station and community newspaper. It should also consist of a potential for social organisation, community consciousness and cooperative work. The community must have the will to collect the resources and offer land, building etc. for a community centre to settle the radio station and the newspaper office. There must be potential of interaction between the communities, groups of towns and islands. The project was initiated in any locality only after considering the expression of enthusiasm by the people ensuring further support for having a local communication system.

The destiny reached From 1992 to 2001, this project of UNESCO helped set up 24 pilot community radio stations in remote areas, islands and districts of the country. With them serving as models, UNICEF also established 12 community radios aiming to promote child’s rights from 2000 to 2002. A few other initiatives in the country, mainly by schools that offer mass communication courses, followed. After the first community radio station, Radio Ivatan, the second station was established in Laurel in Batangas Province, only about 85 kilometres south of Manila. The third station was on the island of Panay, located in the central Philippines. These 20 watt to 100 watt town or village level stations are managed and operated by volunteers from the community. The community members prepare the programmes, handle the management and assume responsibility for the stations. The stations are non-commercial, non-political and non-religious. This set up is unique in a country like the Philippines where there are over 600 radio stations, most of them are commercial and the rest are government and religious. Tambuli project has provided a great support to the people in terms of empowerment through information so that they can be motivated to take better advantage of existing development opportunities and also to identify and pursue their own development opportunities through media-supported discussions and debates.

Sources • Communicating for Development by Colin Fraser and Sonia Restrepo-Estrada, I.B.Tauris Publishers, London, New York, 1998 (pp. 190-218) • We thank Louie N. Tabing for providing insights on this project with i4d editorial team.  i4d | August 2004




Booming radio revolution Jayalakshmi Chittoor i4d, India

As in any revolution, there is action, anarchy but order emerges out of chaos. The booming numbers of stations in Thailand and Indonesia face legal and bureaucratic bottlenecks, but the momentum of the democratic and empowering medium of free media for communities have helped to build a strong network of activists, trainers and policy advocates for community radio in these two countries.

Thailand Roxanne Toh reported late last year in an Inter Press Service feature that the voice of community radio is getting louder across Asia, but so is the interference coming from governments that are wary about their growing strength. Community radio ventures have thus mushroomed; often broadcasting from homemade transmitters and makeshift venues like unlit toilet cubicles to abandoned spaces. When the new constitution came into place in 1997, community radio stations began to tackle local issues, often taking critical views of the government. There are more than 150 community radio stations today, although they are operating as part of pilot efforts and not on full licenses. Such strength has led governments to be careful of these grassroots efforts. The government is reluctant and thus delaying the establishment of independent regulatory bodies to institutionalise the presence of community radio and clarify the rules under which they can operate, says Kulachada Chaipipat, director for Thailand of the South-east Asia Press Alliance (SEAPA). The Public Relations Department in Thailand issues the (broadcasting) licenses, says Supinya Klangnarong, of the non-government Campaign for Popular Media ReAugust 2004 |

form. As an activist Supinya is sure that the popular desire for keeping the momentum alive is so high that the government’s reluctance cannot stop it now. The grey area in which community radio finds itself forced to operate in Thailand makes it vulnerable to legal action and other harassment. The constitutional directive to have frequencies for the public is a sea change in Thailand since 1955 before which the military controlled the airwaves and licenses. Community radio stations have trouble obtaining frequencies and their legal status still remains very shaky. The community radio stations have used the New Frequencies Act of 2000 to set up shop, which stipulates that 20 per cent of frequencies would be assigned to community broadcast. The government was trying to get a share in this ownership of the 20 per cent slot, which was solely meant for the public. Uajit Virojtrairatt, who has helped communities in Thailand set up their radio stations, also pointed to a worrisome trend that the ‘command and control’ attitude of the government and bureaucracy has not really changed at the operational level. The initial hesitation of communities in even setting up stations was overcome soon, and the grassroots communities are unstoppable in promoting this wave revolution.

Indonesia Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population. Ethnically, a highly diverse country, with more than 300 local languages, it has been facing a turmoil and unrest for about five years. There is of course a silver lining in every cloud. Media opened up, with private radio stations being set up in many islands. The setting up of independent news and features agencies added to the potential for producing and sharing a different kind of content than was produced in the erstwhile ‘controlled-media’ regime. The industry grew by more than 30 per cent, from about 750 to over a 1,000 stations, with some 60

stations on the air in Jakarta alone, in just two years. While most stations are addressing local issues - especially - conflicts and covering them more realistically, the thrust is on promoting an atmosphere of peace, development and learning. Internews-sponsored programs reach 18 million people across the country, training over1700 radio journalists from more than 300 stations. Convergence technologies are becoming the order of the day where cost and technical excellence have to match the diverse needs of the islands. Internet radio is becoming a popular option for many stations. A UNESCO project in Indonesia seeks to expand 10 local radio stations within the UNESCO/Danida Local Radio Network with an Internet/radio component. Combining this activity with a community-radio/internet café where individual studies can be carried out with guidance offered by trained staff. Such innovations have led to the resurgence of interest among the donors, international development agencies and other catalysts of change. In a recent report in Andy Phipps reports about radio stations that are addressing issues of human rights, religion-based conflicts and resolution efforts, providing governance information etc. He quotes a contributing journalist whose enthusiasm to serve the public for the larger goal of peace outweighs his need to earn his bread. Such is the fervour of the community radio movement in Indonesia. In November 2002 Indonesia passed a 64 article Broadcasting Act. After passing, the legislators have spent two years debating and rewording several drafts of the Freedom of Public Information Bill. What is interesting is that while the process is open and democratic, there are still serious concerns among the public and media networks about the fine print articles and sections of these two legal instruments. It actually reflects a deep involvement of the communities in advocacy and decision making from a very bottom up approach.





Promoting democracy There is at present little opportunity for community radio to sustain itself through traditional forms of community radio income - individual and organisational membership, donations, and sponsorship are almost non-existent in Timor-Leste.

James Scambary Dili, East Timor


It is East Timor, a country with no tradition of a free and independent media, there are now over 16 locally run not-for-profit community radio stations broadcasting to local communities. Since the vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999, the community radio sector in East Timor has developed at an astounding rate. There is at least one station in every district, and about five in the capital Dili.

Background Prior to 1999, there was only one station on air i.e. Radio Timor Kmanek (RTK) in Dili. There is now even a fledgling Community Radio Association, currently supported by Internews and UNESCO to represent community radio as a sector and lobby the government on media law, broadcast licensing and other issues. These stations were set up by local communities with support and training from a range of aid agencies including USAID/OTI, the Portuguese development NGO Inde, the Australian Union funded NGO Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA), the World Bank, UNESCO, the Japanese mission, Caritas Canada and the media training NGO Internews, along with other smaller project support from a broad range of NGOs. In a country with only an estimated 60 per cent literacy rate and few are able to afford access to television, newspapers, telephone and no access to Internet outside Dili (and only at rates unaffordable to most of the population), community radio has been an essential form of communication between the capital and the districts, and for local news, information and education. Some of the more advanced radio stations such as the UNESCO supported station Lospalos in the remote east have become adept at using radio as a forum for education and community development, producing documentary series on gender, culture, children’s rights and oral history, in partnership with NGOs.

Current scenario The community radio sector, however, is not without its problems, especially in sustainability. One such problem is electricity. Outside Dili the power supply is very unstable; some areas have been without power for over a year. This means stations have to rely on costly generator power, some stations have wind power and solar panels but this is rarely sufficient. With low population density and chronic poverty, there is at present little opportunity for community radio to sustain itself through traditional forms of community radio income - individual and organisational membership, donations, and sponsorship are almost non-existent in Timor-Leste. Stations do earn income from community announcements through the coupon system, but NGO sponsored radio programmes and government public service announcements are likely to be the only other viable forms of independent income for this sector for some years ahead. On a sectoral level, legislation is still being developed in the fields of media law, broadcast licensing and spectrum regulation. In concert with the government, Internews has been trying to develop community radio friendly media law and guarantee the independence of the community radio sector from government control. As with many other aspects of democracy in the world’s newest nation, there is still a steep learning curve ahead.

Excerpts from UNDP report on community radio in East Timor Stakeholders in community radio The Community Radio Centre (CRC), Internews, Intercooperacao Desenvolvimento (INDE), Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA), CARITAS Australia, UNESCO, USAID among others. i4d | August 2004

The radio stations • Radio Comunidade Tokodede (RCL): Set up by UNESCO in May 2000 to serve the information and educational needs of the people of Lautem District. • Radio Timor Kmanek (RTK): RTK was founded by the Catholic Church in 1994, and until recently was funded by Paix and Development, a Canadian NGO, by Radio Portugal until December 2000, and Caritas Australia. • Radio Comunidade Maliana (RCM): RCM was set up with support from USAID and UNESCO and first went to air in April 2000. • Radio Comunidade Tokodede (RCT): RCT first went to air in December 2001. It was set up by a former clandestine students group, the Grupo Juventude Liquica, with support from Usaid, Internews, and the Japanese mission. • Radio Rakambia (Dili): Radio Rakambia were set up in 2001 with assistance from APHEDA. Until recently they were one of the strongest community radio stations in Timor. • Radio Viqueque(Viqueque): The Dutch-based NGO ‘Friends of Viqueque’ established this station, which began broadcasting in July this year after about four years set up period. • Radio Falintil (Dili): Until 2000, Radio Falintil was a clandestine mobile broadcasting operation under Indonesian rule. USAID then funded the establishment of a permanent facility and again funded its move in 2002 with support from VOA. • Radio Loricu Lian (Dili): Radio Loricu Lian was set up by Sahe Institute for Liberation, Yayasan Hak, Fokupers and the student group RENETIL in 2001, when they made a number of experimental mobile transmissions. Equipment was first installed at Loriku Lian in November 2003 with support from Association of Men Against Violence. Laws and regulations The main communications regulatory body is ARCOM, established by decree in July 2003, but still in the set up process. ARCOM’s perceived roles will be in: frequency allocation and regulation, broadcasting licensing, issuing codes of conduct for broadcasting services. There is uncertainty for community radio in

a number of key areas with ARCOM’s role, and the first is in the definition of licences-there are only two: public and private. Another uncertainty is under Section 4 where the law states that ARCOM may issue a public tender or auction for a radio frequency permit. Another problem is licensing fees. No community radio can afford such fees. If a third category of licence was created for community radio, they could (and should) be exempted from fees. There is also problem associated with the government’s proposed independent body for the administration of Community Empowered Project (CEP) radio assets appears to duplicate ARCOM’s role in regulating broadcast licensing. This would mean two regulatory bodies responsible to two different ministries, which would multiply the costs and effort in the spectrum and broadcast licensing process for community radio broadcasters. The major problem however is that nothing has yet been finalised. While there are decree laws stipulating fines and imprisonment for breach of broadcast and spectrum licenses, currently the licensing arrangements for community radio are unclear. All are believed to be still operating under the old UNTAET mandate, and it is unclear if there is a provision to extend these temporary license agreements. A group comprised of representatives from different sectors of the Timorese broadcasting sector, together with assistance from UNESCO and Internews has submitted a draft broadcast law before the Timorese parliament. This draft broadcast law submission contains a range of recommendations, including: • An Independent Broadcast Authority (separate from ARCOM), along with a set of recommendations regarding its role, composition, funding, a set of prescriptions for a licensing regime inclusive of community radio, and legal framework. • The establishment of a broadcasting association representative of all broadcasters, with prescriptions for its role, funding, legal framework, and a discussion of the future merging of ARKTL and the CRC. • The hand over of CEP station assets back to the community. • A community radio technical support unit managed by the broadcast association, in liaison with ARCOM. • A discussion of the importance of community radio to civic education and democracy building and a summary of the consultation process to have taken place so far in the community radio sector. Courtesy: James Scambary, Dili, East Timor,

JT MAPS Page - 33 August 2004 |


B OOK R EVIEW Community Radio Handbook Colin Fraser and Sonia Restrepo Estrada (UNESCO, 2001) 100pp

UNESCO has supported research and studies into the issue of Community media, since 1982, it has also set up community radio stations in Africa and Asia. The 1997 UNESCO World Communication report covered a section on the growing ‘movement’ of community radio, identifying Community Radio as a medium to give voice to the voiceless, and as a process of enabling marginalized communities to express their views. Community Radio provides a unique medium for citizens to share their views with the community as well as critique governance decisions. The notions of transparency and good governance take on new dimensions and democracy is reinforced. Timely and locally relevant developmental information can be shared using this medium of particular significance is its power to jump the illiteracy divides, allowing the unlettered women to become active participants in social change process. It thus emerges as one of the most promising tools of community development. Homa Bay projection in Kenya was the first Community Radio in Africa. In the age of convergence technologies, with the advent of online communications and multimedia, Sri Lanka’s Kothmale Internet Radio experiment created by Wijayananda Jayaweera and Louie N. Tabling of Tambuli Community Radio and creator of

‘Village on the Air’ and numerous others have emerged as champions, innovators and leading experts whose work has led to advancement of Community Radios. The experiences of UNESCO’s various projects have been well documented in several reports. This handbook has emerged as an invaluable addition to the resources on Community Radio. The introductory chapter highlights the basic ingredients necessary to set up a Community Radio station enabling the community to think the communications needs and demystifying the infrastructure and ‘soft’ needs. Given that there are 2 billion radio sets (The number continues to grow) and 20,000 radio stations around the world, the scope of outreach can be almost global. While a traditional radio stations could cost as much as USD 20000, a Community Radio station can be set up with just USD 3000. The ultimate judge of the radio program is a listener and the Community Radio often produces stuff that is valuable to the listeners. The handbook is a guide to not only setting up a station but it helps an NGO or community to respond to the communication needs of the communities it serves. It is divided into eight well thought out chapters. The first chapter addresses the fundamental principles and features of Community Radio and traditional broadcasting and its evolution; especially in the context of globalisation. It emerges as an important medium. The second chapter covers features and functions of community radio, followed by two chapters dedicated to legal and technical aspects respectively. The fifth chapter provides a hands-on guide to getting started, covering preparatory, management, location, legal, programming and sustainability aspects, besides fund raising. The sixth chapter is dedicated to programme policies and balancing news and views, and ways to focus on educational, cultural and religious broadcasts besides telling the reader on ways of doing audience surveys. The seventh chapter deals in framing a code of conduct, selecting community broadcasters and the training needs and how it can be fulfilled. Five detailed case studies form the best practices and lessons learnt from Radio Olutanga, Sagarmatha, Ada, Bush Radio, and Radio Chaguarurco from Philippines, Nepal, Ghana, South Africa and Ecuador respectively. Reviewed by The reviewer recommends this book as Jayalakshmi Chittoor Editorial consultant a must-read-and-collect resource for all interested in community radio.

Book reviews are invited! If you have read any book on ICT4D that you may like us and our readers to know about, we invite you to write a review of the same. Please send your reviews, as recommended in the editorial guidelines to the editor or e-mail: 34

i4d | August 2004


Website on community radio in India Community radio is of, for and by the community. But how to make it possible? Now there is a ready-made source to collect the information about the initiatives required for community radio. It is all on In collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), VOICES from Bangalore, India has launched a website in June 2004 about community radio. The website covers many issues associated with community radio and also provides the guidelines for setting up a community radio station, advocacy initiatives for community radio and also description of experiences of various community radio projects in India. There are hyperlinks to the following: Introduction, Advocacy initiatives for legislation, Campus community radio, Community Radio Handbook, Community Radio – The Indian experience, How to set up a community radio station, FAQs and Links to visit. Once the visitor clicks the Introduction, the brief of the entire contents is available. It consists of an introduction to community radio and its role in the society. It has stated that “The current situation confronting community radio in India is the focus of this website”. There is also scope of exploring news, events, discussions and audio files from the homepage itself. In the ‘Introduction’, the brief of all the other resources available in various sections of this site can be explored. Detailed information about the existing community audio/video initiatives in India are given in August 2004 |

the section entitled as ‘Community Radio – The Indian Experience’. The guidelines provided by the Ministry of Information Technology are provided in the section ‘How to set up a Community Radio Station’. The section ‘Community Radio – the South Asian Experience’ provides some of the projects on community radio of South Asian countries. The glimpse of community radio legislations from Australia, South Africa, Canada, Ireland is also available in a separate section. The questions on the procedures to be followed and equipment required have been answered in another section under the title ‘How to set up Community Radio Station’. Any visitor of this website can easily get an idea about the status of India in respect of community radio operation. ‘Articles & White Papers’ is a separate section that consists of articles by media professionals and others who have been working in this field for several years. The ‘Links to Visit’ consists of hyperlinks with Partners, Organisations and Networks, Campus Radio (ANNA FM in India and Peswar Radio in Pakistan), Community Radio in the Developing World (mainly highlighting the major projects of South Asia) and Community Radio Global which includes Kauai community radio of Hawaii Islands, WMNF-88.5FM that covers Tampe Bay and beyond, KBOO community radio of Portland. The contents of the Community Radio Handbook are also provided in this site that include some headings. Each of those headings is hyperlinked for further elaboration in details. The headings are as follows: (1)

Community radio – the promise and potential, (2) Community and community radio, (3) Profiles of community radio, (4) Existing platform for community participation, (5) Performance and practices in India, (6) Content planning, (7) Simple and sustainable, (8) Impact and evaluation, (9) Global and regional models. This website will make its contents available in 11 Indian languages besides English. As the portal is very new, there is huge scope of updating the contents if the site is enriched by more projects going on in various corners of the globe. It will be a very resourceful website if all the projects on community radio, not only in South Asian countries, but also in other parts of the globe, are provided in an arranged manner, preferably region wise, in this website. At the same time, the status of the projects need to be updated regularly. In addition to these projects, the website may be enriched with more information on the application of community radio in various fields of development also through research-based articles and reports.  For further information, contact





Role of community radio If we interpret in terms of ‘e’ as electronic media, the scope of e-Learning can get a vast platform in respect of its concern and long-term effect and coverage.

Saswati Paik i4d, India


In the Olympic Games of the electronic advancement, there is a never-ending marathon race being competed by the nations all over the world. But the nations have started at different times with different speed, energy and potential. It is therefore, really challenging job to verify their progress in various sectors of technological advancement and its extent of spread within the nation itself. Keeping this point in mind, we have started the new section under the heading ‘ICT and Education’, a part of which is ‘e-Learning’, a term newly emerged and not well-defined still now.

‘e’ percolating in e-Learning If we go back to the history of development of e-Learning, we find some phases of its development. 1990 to 99 was the era of custom computer based training (CBT) that was consisted of standalone CD-ROM training courses, playing on end-user computers, standalone training stations and sometimes beyond the clients or server LANs. But it was costly, slow, labour-intensive and had limitations in software. During 1994 to 99, packaged content, which is financially sensible to sell and cost-effective, came to the market. Although the packaged IT training courseware can be quite effective, but the professional skills and learning contents needed to be improved to make it customisable and industry or business specific. 1997 to 99 was the period of rise of the Learning Management System (LMS). The need of strict standards was felt to make the content sources more user-friendly and useful in any type of administrative platform. In around 1999, Internet boom acted as the next piston in the process of progress of e-Learning. The ‘move to the web’ brought administrators, instructors, managers, workers and learners together under one umbrella providing a consolidated virtual environment. Therefore, ‘do-it-in-house’ e-Learning concept emerged and many portals were also launched offering some learn-

ing processes. In the latter half of 2001 and 2002 the focus of e-Learning has become more accustomed to certain specific trends such as blended learning, Learning Content Management Systems (LCMSs), web collaboration, simulation and learning games, training without trainers for knowledge sharing and informal knowledge exchange. With the increasing speed of life in both developed and developing countries, it is a matter of increasing importance day-by-day.

Community radio – is it promoting e-Learning? e-Learning although prefixed by ‘e’ and many experts comment that ‘e’ does not necessarily mean the use of computer as a must, but to many of us the term still is in half darkness. If we interpret in terms of ‘e’ as electronic media, the scope of e-Learning can get a vast platform in respect of its concern and long-term effect and coverage. After going through the contents of this issue, if any of our readers ask the question whether community radio is also performing some tasks of e-Learning, what should be the answer? If learning is supposed to be for all and ‘e’ is used as the short cut of the term ‘electronic’, why shouldn’t we interpret the verbal knowledge spread through electronic media like community radio as a part of ‘e-Learning’? Of course, it is, at least from the point of view of the countries of South Asia where billions of people are living in the rural areas without electricity, even without some very basic amenities which the professionals, associated with the core sector of ICT, spending three-fourth of the day with email, voice mail, chatting across the country, SMS etc can’t even just imagine. It must be kept in mind that although ICTs are rapidly becoming available for the use in both formal and informal education, but such process is much more common among the rich and in the developed countries rather than for the poor or developing countries. The development process in this sector is comparatively slow in the developi4d | August 2004

ing countries where demographic aspects matter a lot. On the way of development of ICT in education, there is always a back pulling factor of great digital divide which is very difficult to overcome, but can be compensated by easy available amenities.

Education through ‘e’ media With the advent of the radio broadcasting in the 1920s and ’30s, the use of radio for non-formal education was initiated. After the Second World War, educational radio gained its popularity in the industrially developed nations such as Europe and North America. Later it also spread to the developing countries through the colonial broadcasting. With the development of frequency modulated (FM) radio transmission, the consequent growth of local and community radio stations, the increasing availability of relatively low-cost, portable AM/FM radio receivers etc have paved the way of extending the range and scope of its activities. As a medium for non-formal education, local and community radio is attractive, available, accessible as well as affordable. Radio talks, documentaries and features, radio drama, music and song, magazine programmes, panel discussions etc all can convey educational messages attractively and because of the attractive audio presentations, it may leave a long-term impression in the people’s mind. With the advancement of ICT, portable, low cost FM transmitting stations have been developed and digital radio systems that transmit via satellite and/or cellular are being implemented in many parts of the globe. Internet streaming audio software technology has emerged to allow a global audience to listen to news from a distant country. This has provided more scope of utilising radio for community learning in a better way. The Radio Farm Forums was started in Canada in the 1940s. This idea was later taken up in Ghana and India. BBC Radio provides courses in major European languages for more than 30 years. To help the primary school teachers “Let’s Speak English” project in Namibia was implemented in 1990s which produced 32 radio programmes with two linked textbooks and school-based listening groups. Even if community is not directly involved in the August 2004 |

broadcasting and management of radio stations, radio has a special kind of effect on the community in life-long learning process. Now practice of ‘blended learning’ is most common. It seems that we are at the turning point of ICT where the dead end of traditional education and beginning of technology oriented ‘hi-tech’ education and debatable process of ‘e-Learning’ does not have any clear-cut border.

Out of the bloom It was a television broadcast. There was news coverage on a village in Birbhum District, West Bengal (India) where there is no single bridge over a canal, the people of the village use local type of boat which is a bigger form of frying pan (kadai in Hindi). Because of the lack of communication facility, the people from the neighbouring villages, even the relatives of the village people rarely visit that village, the school children rarely can go for education beyond secondary level. If we look at the countryside of the developing countries, such remote areas we can locate in countrysides of the developing countries. The people who can’t think of a peaceful life with minimum basic infrastructural facilities, will need many decades to know the use of computer. Will the young generation be able to receive the materials of distance or open learning, offered by National Open Schools, Indira Gandhi National Open University etc? Will the postman even dare to knock their door, crossing the hurdle of communication? Will any community radio help to raise their voices in near future? Can we ensure that the innovations of Indian Space Reserach Organisation’s DECU/SITE experiments in rural India to promote education and development through satellite broadcasting initiated 25 years ago, will help to produce convergence solutions for e-learning? 

Further Readings http://www.orbicom/



Map policy in six months In an interview to i4d, Kapil Sibal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Ocean Development highlighted the importance of a national mapping policy, to be unveiled in the next six months. Access to geographic information is a central policy issue in most of the developing countries. How do you see your Ministry’s role with regard to present situation of science and technology? India has a long history of high quality and relevant research and development. In contemporary age, the role of science and technology is paramount in any country’s development, whatever is the nature of state of affairs economically or socially. Starting with agriculture, we need to double our food production and ensure better quality inputs to our farmers. Reforming the health sector is itself a challenge. Infrastructure development is another area to be taken seriously since this sector holds the key to development. Going by figures in layman terms, demographically 67 per cent of our population resides in rural areas and is involved in agriculture and rural industry, which contributes to about 20 per cent to the GDP. Even the manufacturing sector is in poor state, contributing just around 30 per cent towards the GDP. The service sector takes a lead with 50 per cent. Is it that 700 million people do not contribute to the wealth of the nation? When it comes to the problem of illiteracy we find that 60 per cent subsidizes the rest 40 per cent of the population. In this entire scenario, the Ministry has a vital role to address every sector independently and support for its progress.

Knowledge accumulation, management and dissemination have to be ensured for various sectors. The role of ICT and various tools are fundamental in this aspect and the large pool of scientific community in India needs to be tapped. The government has to make investments to raise the technical know-how. For example, the farmers are to be made aware of latest farming practices and this was how the first Green Revolution took place.

How do you see the growth of knowledgebased industry and its role in society? If the 19th and 20th centuries demanded investments in the form of capital, the 21st century needs knowledge as an investment.

What are your views on the need of a National Map Policy? A national map policy shall be a very essential step in this domain. There are some concerns with the Ministry of Defence that


Do you think that the Survey of India’s range of maps is adequate for urban and regional planners? What is your opinion on moving towards 1: 5,000 or 1:10,000 scale maps or need based maps? We have maps of scales lower than 1:50,000 for rural areas. It is true that we need good maps for urban areas. SoI alone cannot complete the task of mapping. It will have to delegate the work to private entrepreneurs so that within couple of years we have the entire data on the required scale. Having data on the right scale is not enough; it should be supplemented by data from other government departments. It has to be tailor-made for use by each department in the country. We need a road map – a broad general mapping all over India on required scales that would require the expertise from the public as well as the private parties. I would like to have a public-private partnership that benefits all the stakeholders involved.

are being worked out on the application and usage of aerial photography. There also some problems at the state level with respect to cadastral data. What we have contemplated is a National Map Policy. We would be moving the Cabinet for its approval. Once the policy comes in place we can make the state governments realize the benefits of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the fields of planning, infrastructure development for change. We look forward to public-private partnerships to achieve this. Cadastral maps in India are almost out dated by decades. Do you think SoI can or should play a role in this aspect? Land is a state subject and doesn’t directly fall under the purview of SoI. Updated cadastral maps are very much necessary and key to many development and grassroots level work. Cooperation from the state governments or a centre-state partnership is needed. Rural India has assets but in the absence of titles and ownerships that are not recorded it is not saleable asset. The National Map Policy shall now set the ball rolling . The process of setting up a spatial data infrastructure of large scale database requires techniques and collaboration. What policy directions would you suggest? I think India has the technology to set up such spatial database infrastructure for large scale datasets. It is a matter of collaboration to get it implemented and make it sharable in the global arena of standards. In terms of policy, we should have transparent policy, subject to the concerns of security that invites both the private and the government departments working together. i4d | May 2004

 Rendezvous 14-15 A PRIL 2004, N EW D ELHI

C4D workshop become so successful that children want to manage the programme and even children from the north eastern of India – Meghalaya cross over to learn computers.” He also narrated an example in which children used to make programmes for a television channel. The immense popularity of the channel stemmed from the fact that children had total freedom to ask questions from politicians. Unfortunately the channel has closed down. Director, OneWorld South Asia, Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach said a new and a sustainable model for addressing social change is being extensively used in the north Indian states by Janani.

Some lingering questions in the C4D domain OneWorld South Asia ( recently organised a regional brainstorming on communication for development (C4D) in association with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on April 14 and 15, 2004, New Delhi. The aim of the meeting, which had participants from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, apart from India, was to look at communication for development in the context of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for development.

The aims of C4D Participants unanimously agreed that communication for development should bring about a positive change in the lives of people. Communicators should be able to influence State policies on development and mainstream voices of the poor and the marginalised. People should also feel empowered enough to ask for their rights. Tarja Virtenen from UNESCO said, “For C4D to be successful, it should have a meaningful participation in decision making, in managing information and that it does not contribute to the digital divide. C4D communicators also need to sensitise policy makers and should recommend the inclusion of best practices in government plans.” Pakistani journalist, Muhammed Shehzad said mere communication will not impact development. Participants also debated on the expected beneficiaries of C4D. Kishor Pradhan from Panos South Asia mentioned that dalit organisations in Nepal have been provided their own licences for radio for better communication and voicing their opinions on matters close to the community.

Examples of C4D The participants listed out successful as well as experimental C4D projects which are bringing about a positive change among the communities. Shahidul Alam from DRIK, Bangladesh gave the examples of two most interesting and inspiring projects in the country. He said, “Madarssas in the Sylhet district, which borders India, were persuaded by development organisations to impart computer classes as part of their education programmes. These classes have August 2004 |

Ashish Sen from Voices added that though the right to information has been provided for, the right to communicate has not been. Shanker Ghose from Charkha raised another point. He said, “It is not only a question of information access. Communication is only a tool for development. We need to understand who controls the button, which switches off and switches on the radio. Why is it that someone has these controls and for what reasons?” Mr Ghose also pointed out that IT excludes a lot of people in India and that infrastructure is a problem, particularly power and Internet connectivity. Bazlur Rehman from BNNRC, Bangladesh said that the priority in his country was to bridge the digital divide. “How do we do that is a big question?” Pakistani journalist and development practitioner, Mohammed Shehzad raised problems peculiar to his country. He said, “How can development be brought about in the absence of media freedom and how can there be development in the absence of a Parliament?” He added that only one-sided version of affairs are given out by the government and because the media is controlled, development is not possible. “Also, our political society lacks the culture of listening to dissenting views.”

Recommendations for enabling C4D Enabling C4D requires commitment from the growing range of C4D communicators themselves as well as the support of intermediaries - who contribute capacity building, advocacy and assistance in content production and distribution. The support of international donors and agencies is also vital. The Delhi meet on C4D recommended (1) coordinated advocacy for C4D through international and regional networking. sharing and highlighting C4D capacity building and production resources; (2) sharing of best practice for capacity development of the C4D communicators and for demonstration effect for C4D advocacy; (3) support for intermediary facilitation (advocacy, training, re-distribution) and (4) improving grassroots access and connectivity.  Report by Rahul Kumar, Full version of this report can be accessed at


Answer to Quiz in July issue, 2004 1.

AgFind (, (b) AgriSurf (http://, (c) Web-agri (, (d) @griculture online (,and (e) AgriMeta Search ( are all agricultural search engines.


Iguaçu Falls, Brazil on March 13-15, 2002. The congress is a “collaborative effort among agricultural information technology associations worldwide.” For details, visit the Web site The second congress, along with 4th International Conference of the Asian Federation of Information Technology in Agriculture (AFITA), is scheduled to take place on August 9-12, 2004 in Bangkok, Thailand. For details, visit the Web site





(a) World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, created in 1989. It is a portal for worldwide agricultural information management and dissemination and has many specialised information systems including FAOSTAT, EMPRES, FIVIMS, and AGRIS. For details, visit the Web site, (b) FAO Statistical Databases. For details, visit the Web site, (c) Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES), established in 1994, for transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases. For details, visit the Web site, (d) Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems, networks of national information systems that assemble, analyse and disseminate data on food insecurity and vulnerability. For details, visit the Web site index.jspx?lang=en , and (e) An international information system for the agricultural sciences and technology, established in 1974, in which 240 national, international and intergovernmental organisations are participating. For details, visit the Web site (a) European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Viborg, Denmark. For details, visit the Web site, (b) Asian Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture. For details, visit the Web site, (c) Pan American Federation of Information Technology in Agriculture (PanAFITA). For details, visit the Web site http://, (d) International Network for Information Technology in Agriculture, Germany. For details, visit the Website, (e) Japanese Society of Agricultural Informatics (JSAI). For details, visit the Web site, (f) Indian Society of Agricultural Information Technology, Dharwad, Karnataka. For details, visit the Web site, and (g) International Institute of Agroinformatics and Agromanagement, Meerut, India. For details, visit the Web site http:// (a) Agricultural On Line Access is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in the United States and its cooperators. For details visit the Web site http://, and (b) Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (http:// The AGORA website has been developed in close cooperation between Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and Cornell University, with funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation (Source: news/2003/23019-en.html). (a) ikisan (, set up by Ikisan Limited, Hyderabad (Nagarjuna group), is a multilingual agricultural portal, (b) MahindraKisan Mitra (http://, is a tractor portal set up by tractor manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., (c) KisanBazaar ( / http://, / is an agricultural marketing portal which at present offers free exchange of


information for sale and purchase of all kinds of agricultural produce. (d) The portal of Kisan Dehydration (http:// - a manufacturing unit at village Bhojapara, Gondal, district Rajkot (Gujarat), specialising in manufacturing of dehydrated onions, garlic and other vegetables, and (e) An automatic teller machine (ATM)-enabled card for farmers launched by Canara Bank on a pilot basis, at its Tavarekere branch in Bangalore Rural district (Source: The Hindu, April 1, 2004, http:// 7.

Merlin. For details, visit the Web site Merlin2.htm.


Grameen Communications, a not-for-profit information technology (IT) company formed in 1997, and a member of Grameen family of enterprises founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of well-known Grameen Bank, which pioneered the concept of micro credit. It was initially funded by International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada. For details, visit the Web sites, and bank/index.html.


(a) Computerised rural information systems project (CRISP), launched in 1986 by the department of rural development, ministry of rural development, government of India, for facilitating district rural development agencies (DRDAs) for monitoring poverty alleviation schemes through a computerbased information system (CBIS). Its latest version is RuralSoft, and (b) (i) An e-commerce solution introducing rural products to the Internet surfers, thus helping the rural poor, (ii) A scalable software, available in three versions, for processing data of official poverty alleviation schemes, (iii) Panchayati raj institution accounting software for monitoring funds, expenditure, revenue, and reporting, and (iv) A customisable browser that enables a rural community to build its gateway Web site along with local content and connection with other knowledge sources and services. For details, visit the Web site

10. (a) Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India Network (DACNET). The scheme is being executed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), (b) Agricultural Research Information System Network (ARISNET) is a network of agricultural research, extension and educational institutions in India over NICNET; a satellite based computer communication network of NIC called NICNET., (c) National Informatics Centre Network (NICNET)-based Agricultural Marketing Information System Network (AGMARKNET (d) NICNET- based Agricultural Information System Network (AGRISNET), an intranet over the NICNET.(Source: guidelines11.htm) 11. (a).Claimed to be the first agricultural portal for India, it was conceived and managed by Dr N. Sandhya Shenoi, FAO Fellow and Senior Scientist, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad in collaboration with the AIM Lab, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. For details, visit the Web site http://web.aces.uiuc. edu/AIM/diglib/india/default.htm, (b) The Web site created by Prof. M. A. Pai of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois as a non-profit initiative. It contains 15 channels including one on agriculture which is updated daily (http://, (c) The Agricultural Instructional Media Lab (AIM Lab) founded in 1993 to support instructional computing in College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. ( aim.htm), (d) Claimed to be world’s first agricultural portal, it was created by the AIM Lab, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Illinois. ( Farm) 12. Magarpatta, in Pune, Maharashtra. The project started with a loan of Rs 2 crore in 2000 from HDFC. Tower I with 300,000

sq ft of space is full. Tower II is fully leased out. Tower III will be ready by June 2004. The project will have a built up area of 20 lakh sq ft of space by 2005.So far Rs 450 crore have been invested in the project. The Magar families, the major landholders, propose to create a 40 lakh sq ft tech park. (Source: Datta, Sudipta (2004): 120 farmers pooled land to create this 400-acre cyber city, The Indian Express, New Delhi, March 30, Tuesday, pp1-2,; visit also 13. Shree Kamdhenu Electronics Private Limited, formed in November 1996, manufactures and markets its automatic milk collection systems under the brand name AKASHGANGATM. It is a totally automatic microprocessor / computer based milk collection system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of milk cooperatives and farmers. The Centre for Electronic Governance at Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has made the company an implementation partner for its dairy information systems kiosk (DISK) and dairy portal (DP) projects. The project was a finalist in Stockholm Challenge Award 2002. (http:// 14. M.R.Morarka – GDC Rural Research Foundation, Jaipur, Rajasthan It has also started a post-graduate diploma in organic agriculture management (PGDOAM) (http://www/ in Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), Rajasthan (http:// For details visit the Web site http:// 15. Dairy information services kiosk (DISK) is an eGovernance project for the dairy sector, which has two components: 1. An application running at the village dairy society level, which has Internet connectivity, and 2. A dairy portal (DP). It is being implemented by the Centre for Electronic Governance (CEG), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. (http:// 16. It is a call centre (toll-free number 1100) set up by Government of Andhra Pradesh in July 2003 exclusively to support queries from farmers on agriculture and horticulture related issues. In February 2004 its scope was expanded to cover all other departments. (Source: Raghuveer, March 18, 2004, 17. On February 10, 2004. The commission is required to make its recommendations as soon as practicable and in any case within a period of two years. For details, visit the commission’s Web site 18. RESOURCESAT-1 (IRS – P6) ( spaceindia/octdec2003/webpgs/pg09.htm). 19. Dehra Dun, Uttaranchal by Department of Space, Government of India on November 1, 1995. As many as 14 countries, namely, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, India, Kazakstan, Kyrghyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan are participating in the centre as signatory countries. ( (a) The Science of Plant Life by Surapala, a Sanskrit text written 1000 years ago about management of trees and other economic plants, (b) The 8th century Sanskrit treatise on bvagriculture by Kashyapa containing, among other things, recommendations for identifying fertile soils, (c) A nearly 2000year-old Sanskrit manuscript containing, among other things, ancient models for predicting rainfall, and construction of a plow and other implements, (d) A 17th century Persian manuscript, containing, among other things, recommendations for growing about 100 horticultural and field crops, and (e) Dear to the World, the Science of Plant Life, a treatise on horticulture of Rajasthan in western India written by Chakrapani Mishra, a scholar in the court of Maharana Pratap (1540 1597). (Source: Asian Agri-History Foundation, Secunderabad, 

i4d | August 2004

What’s on China 11-13 October, 2004 Global Mobile Congress Shanghai

Ethiopia 11-15 October, 2004 ADF 4: Governance for a progressing Africa, Addis Ababa

Jordon 14-15 September, 2004 Jordon ICT Forum Jordon

16-20 October, 2004 Global Forum for Health Research Mexico City

16-19 November, 2004 Global Indicators Workshop on Community Access to ICTs Mexico City

Thailand 21-24 November, 2004 Libraries - Gateways to Information and Knowledge in the Digital Age Bangkok

Uganda 05 - 08 September, 2004 Universities: Taking a Leading Role in ICT- enabled Human development Makerere University


United Kingdom

01-02 September, 2004 CODESRIA Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination Dakar

30 September-01 October, 2004 eHealth 2004 London West Conference Centre London

Kenya 04-08 October, 2004 25th African Health Sciences Congress Nairobi

Korea 08-12 September,2004 ITU Telecom Asia 2004, Busan

South Africa

United States

26 September - 01 October 2004 Radio Kidocracy Conference 2004 Ganzekraal

18-21 October, 2004 eLearning Producer Conference and Expo 2004 Orlando Florida 46768

02-04 March, 2005 ICTS and Civil Society Conference Johannesburg linkbuilder.cfm?selection=doc.652

01-05 November, 2004 E-Learn 2004 Washington DC

Sri Lanka Mauritius 07-09 September, 2004 ACT 2004: Building Partnerships to Mainstream Africa’s ICT Sector Mauritius Cybercity

18-20 December 2004 International Conference on e-Governance (ICEG) Colombo

Tanzania Mexico 04-07 October, 2004 Youth Employment Summit Veracruz

20-22 October, 2004 Women and ICT Arusha womens-ict.htm

02 – 05 April 2005 12-14 December, 2004 Eradicating Poverty through Profit San Francisco

02 – 05 April 2005 e-Learning 2005 Dallas, Texas www. eLearning2005glance.htm

Get your event listed here. August 2004 |



Community radio virtual library The toughest part is to cover an issue like community radio in few pages, which is never ending. Are you willing to read and know more about community radio? Numerous informative web links are there, so you may get lost online. Here are some web links, from where you can start or restart your venture to explore more and more on community radio. On your way, please let us know where you have reached. (Thailand community radio) (Thailand community radio) (Nepal community radio) (Indonesia community radio) (India community radio) (Indonesia community radio)

Articles, relevant elaborations are available at:• (History of community radio) (About community radio) (About community radio and many related links) (Indonesia community radio) (Article by Frederick Noronha),102,3,483 (Indonesia community radio) (Important information on community radio) (Links to media projects) (Article on policy issue) (Pakistan community radio) (Using community radio for non-formal education) (Pakistan community radio) (International project on community radio) (Indonesia community radio) papers/a/pdf/a002_aram.pdf (Article on community radio) (Australia community radio) Arts/Radio/Formats/Community_Radio (Many links to CR) (Community radio in Caribbean Islands) (Community radio in Caribbean Islands) AM911&pn=1 (Both Indian and global examples of community radio projects with details) (Sri Lanka community radio) (Article on community radio) (Article on community radio) (Book on community radio) (Radio for development in South Asia – write-up etc)

Area/project oriented documents are available at:• (Sri Lanka community radio)

For news and reports on community radio visit:- (Briefs of various projects on community radio) (Media news from S Asia) (Australia community radio) (Report on workshop on community radio) (Afghanistan community radio) (Reports covering many countries)

http://www.irinnews.orgreport.asp?ReportID=34332&SelectRegion= Central_Asia& SelectCountry=AFGHANISTAN (Afghanistan women’s FM) (Global scenario - countrywise) 


i4d | August 2004

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COMMUNITY RADIO : August 2004 Issue  

i4d encompasses the role and relevance of ICT in various development sectors such as Rural Development, Gender, Governance, Micro-finance, E...