The Information and Broadcasting Minister, who also holds the Finance portfolio, was speaking at the 6th National Community Radio Sammelan here, where channels were awarded for innovative programming.

"Instead of having propaganda of different types which indoctrinates people, if you have sustained campaigns of this kind, which will drill into the human mind the healthcare, preventive health care system, radio can become a very powerful tool of education," Jaitley said, referring to a community radio station which won for its health campaign.

The Minister said in India dialects, weather, crop patterns change in every district and the role of community radio stations in informing and educating people gains importance.

Globally, he said, newspapers are shrinking but in India regional newspapers are expanding. The same trend could apply to community radio as well, he said.
Jaitley said that around 191 community radio stations are functioning though around 400 have been permitted. "Therefore, there should be a significant growth and connectivity as far as community radio is concerned," he said.


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