Question: Auction of how many FM channels was approved in 236 cities by the Central Government recently?
- On December 20th, 2017, the Central Government approved the auction of 683 FM channels in 236 cities.
- This decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The government has already completed auction of two batches of private FM channels.
- Now the government’s plan is to conduct auction of third batch to cover many cities including Jammu and Kashmir and the North-Eastern states.
- It is known that at present where the target population is less than 1 lakh, there are no private FM radio channels.
- In the third phase, FM radio channels will be auctioned in 29 states and 6 Union Territories (except Dadra and Nagar Haveli).
- After the auction, private FM radio broadcasts can be started in these States / UTs.
- The auction is likely to earn an estimated revenue of more than Rs 1100 crore.
- Under the FM policy guidelines, auction of the first and second batch of private FM radio channels was conducted in the third phase in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
- In the first batch, 97 channels were sold in 56 cities and 66 channels were sold in 48 cities in the second batch.