In India the concept of community radio is quite of a recent origin. Anna FM is India’s first community radio that was launched in 2004. In the north eastern region of India the concept of community radio is still at its budding stage. Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University, the only State Open University of the entire north east, took the first initiative to launch the first community radio service of the region.The University aims to provide education beyond barriers to reach the unreached of the society, has launched the first community radio of the north east on 28th of January, 2009 at 90.4 MHz with an experimental broadcasting from Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati. The regular broadcasting of the radio was formally started on 20th of November, 2010.
While delivering his speech Honorable chief minister of Assam Sri Tarun Gogoi has lauded the initiative taken by the university. He encouraged the step taken by the university. He said that with the technological growth in different media radio still occupies a powerful place. Though there is a drastic development in internet and television yet this hype is unable to diminish the importance of radio. He has suggested to the authorities of the university to use the medium in different fruitful manner, and encourage the people to make new and innovative methods of education that should motivate and inspire the upcoming generations.
In the year 2008 the entire process of establishing a Community Radio Station at the university was initiated with the submission of application form to set up a Community Radio Station to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. After completion of all other formalities, such as frequency allocation, SACFA Clearance etc, the Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) was signed on 18th August, 2010 between the Under Secretary to the Govt. of India and the Registrar, KKHSOU. The Wireless Operating License (WOL) was issued to the university on 9th November, 2010.
The first Community Radio Centre of the North East, ‘Jnan Taranga’, is the result of the support given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India and Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi. The University is indebted to them for their valuable help and support in setting up ‘Jnan Taranga’.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India in association with Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi organised the 6th Regional Consultation for community radio awareness at Guwahati with Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University as the local partner on 28th and 29th January, 2009. In connection with this occasion, the university received a temporary license of community radio for an experimental broadcast. This is for the first time that such a temporary license is issued to any university for a Community Radio Centre. The license was issued for live demo of Community Radio Station during an awareness programme. This programme was organized in association with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia. The first experimental broadcast of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University was done on 28th January 2009 under the same frequency of 90.4 MHz.
Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University took a step to work as the nodal agency for community radio awareness in the region aiming to provide necessary consultation and assistance to the interested institutions or voluntary organizations. The content of the programmes deal with both educational as well as community based issues. About 200 programmes were prepared by the Multimedia Production Unit of the university before launching the regular broadcast of the Community Radio Service ‘Jnan Taranga’ in November 2010. It is very significant that the second community radio of the region, ‘Radio Luit’ of Gauhati University was formally launched on 1st March, 2011. IIT Guwahati has also a campus radio (not community radio) exclusively for their campus.