The Indian broadcast regulator TRAI (Telecom Regularity Authority of India) is opening up community radio in the subcontinent.

Community radio stations will now be allowed to carry commercials - up to five minutes in any hour - and also cover news and current affairs.

At the same time, TRAI is extending the boundaries of eligibility for a radio licence both to individuals and any legally constituted organisation. In addition, the application process for a licence will be simplified.

The regulator recommends a licence period of five years with a provision for revocation by the government. However, there are no proposals for government funding or grants and sponsorship for programming has been rejected.

There is presently just one community radio station in the whole country, based at Anna University in Chennai.

Data sourced from The Times of India; additional content by WARC staff