CUTTACK: Ravenshaw Radio 90.4 MHz has gone off air, thanks to the delay in grant of the Wireless Operating Licence (WOL) by the Union Communications and Information Technology Ministry.
The first campus community radio service had, in fact, been in operation for around a year without WOL. The Ravenshaw University authorities as well as the officers in charge of the service were not aware of the mandatory licensing provision of the Communications Ministry. And when they did, they have immediately applied for the licence. But even after a lapse of around a month, the WOL is yet to be granted. As a result, the 90.4 MHZ Ravenshaw Radio has stopped its broadcast.
According to the authorities, the Radio service started operations in April 2011 following the signing of the grant of permission agreement (GOPA) with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Under the agreement, Ravenshaw University was accorded permission to run the radio service for a period of five years.
However, that the radio service was operational without WOL came to light a month and a half back during the National Conference of Community Radio Centres in New Delhi. “We were told that the broadcast without WOL was illegal. Thus, we have suspended the transmissions pending grant of the licence. We have already deposited the ` 19,000 fees for WOL for one year with the Ministry along with relevant documents and awaiting the permission,” Chairman of Ravenshaw Radio Netajee Abhinandan said.
While Ravenshaw University Vice-Chancellor Prof BC Tripathy is set to take up the matter with the Union Government, Abhinandan said there was no halt in the preparation of content and programming. “This is a temporary suspension. Students continue to come in and record their content, the programme planning and finalisation is on as usual. We expect grant of WOL and resumption of broadcast within a few days,” Abhinandan said.