History Of Radio Broadcast in India

Table of Content

Introduction to Radio

Radio is wireless transmission of signals, by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space. It does not require a medium of transport, Information is carried by systematically changing (modulating) some property of the radiated waves, such as heir amplitude or their frequency. When radio waves pass an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce an alternating current in the conductor. This can be detected and transformed into sound or other signals that carry information. The word ‘radio’ is used to describe this phenomenon, and radio transmissions are classed as radio frequency emissions.

In 1894, Guglielmo Marconi read about Hertz’s and Tesla’s work on wireless telegraphy, and began his own experiments. By 1897, Nikola Tesla had successfully conducted experiments, and obtained a U.S. patent for his invention of “wireless transmission of data” in 1897 and 1900.

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Finally in December of 1901 Guglielmo Marconi used J.C. Bose’s invention to receive the radio signal in his first transatlantic radio communication over a distance of 2000 miles from Poldhu UK, to St. Johns Newfoundland. Marconi was celebrated Worldwide for this achievement, but the fact that the radio patent was already registered by Tesla in 1900, as well as the fact the receiver was invented by Bose was not well known. Soon after the patent is given to Marconi and he received the Noble Prize.

Origin and Development of Radio in India:

After the invention of Radio broadcasting in the western countries, broadcasting by private Radio Clubs started in a few cities in India like Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

The first radio programme was broadcast by the Radio Club of Bombay in June 1923. It was followed by the setting up of a Broadcasting Service that began broadcasting on 23rd July 1927 on an experimental basis at Mumbai and Kolkata simultaneously under an agreement between the Government of India and a private company called the Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd. When this company went into liquidation in 1930, Indian State Broadcasting Service under the Department of “Controller of Broadcasts” was constituted and in 1935 Lionel Fielden was appointed the Controller of Broadcasting in India.

The Indian State Broadcasting Service was renamed as All India Radio in January 1936. It remained under Department of Communication, Deptt. of I&B, Deptt. of Information and Arts for periods ranging from 1 to 4 years and finally has been under the Deptt.of Information and Broadcasting since September 10,1946. At the time of partition, India had six radio stations (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Tiruchirapalli and Lucknow) and three radio stations went to Pakistan (Lahore, Peshawar and Dacca, now in Bangladesh).

The first radio programme in India was broadcast by the Radio Club of Mumbai in June 1923. It was followed by the setting up of a Broadcasting Service that began broadcasting in India in July 1927 on an experimental basis at Mumbai and Kolkata simultaneously these were nationalized by the British Raj in 1930 and operated under the name of “Indian Broadcasting Service”. Until 1936 when it was renamed “All India Radio” (AIR). AIR was officially renamed to “Akashwani” in 1957, however all English usage refers to it as All India Radio. All India Radio is one of the Largest radio networks in the world. The headquarters is at Akashwani Bhavan, on the Parliament street, New Delhi. When India became independent, the AIR network had only six Stations located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli with a total complement of 18 transmitters – six on the medium wave and the remaining on short wave.

Radio listening on medium wave was confined to urban limits of these cities. As against a mere 2,75,000 receiving sets at the time of Independence, now there are about 132 million estimated radio sets in the country. When India attained Independence in 1947, AIR had a network of six stations and a complement of 18 transmitters. The coverage was 2.5% of the area and just 11% of the population. Rapid expansion of the network took place post Independence. AIR today has a network of 237 broadcasting centres with 149 medium frequency(MW), 54 high frequency (SW) and 177 FM transmitters. The coverage is 91.85% of the area , serving 99.18% of the people in the largest democracy of the world. AIR covers 24 Languages and 146 dialects in home services. In Externel services, it covers 27 languages; 17 national and 10 foreign languages.

August 15,1947 There were Six Radio stations at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras,Tiruchirapalli and Lucknow. July 20, 1952 First National Programme of Music broadcast from AIR July 29. 1953 National Programme of Talks (English) commenced from AIR. 1954 First Radio Sangeet Sammelan held.

October 3, 1957 Vividh Bharati Services started.

November 1, 1959 First TV station in Delhi started (at that time, it was part of AIR). July 21, 1969 Yuvavani services started at Delhi.

August 15, 1969 1000 KW Superpower Medium Wave Transmitter commisioned at Calcutta(Mogra). January 8, 1971 1000 KW Superpower Medium Wave Transmitter commissioned at Rajkot 1974 Akashvani Annual Awards instituted.

July 23, 1977 First ever FM service was started from Madras. September 14, 1984 Two High Power250 KW shortwave transmitters inaugurated at Aligarh. October 30, 1984 First Local Radio Station at Nagarcoil started. 1985 All AIR stations were provided with 5 channel satellite receiver terminals. May 18, 1988 Introduction of National Channel.

April 8, 1989 Commissioning of Integrated North East Service. March 2, 1990 The 100th station of AIR commissioned at Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) March 10, 1990 Two 500 KW Superpower shortwave transmitters commissioned at Bangalore. October 2, 1992 Commissioning of FM Chanel at Jalandhar. April 1, 1993 The 150 th station of AIR commissioned at Berhampur (Orissa). August 15, 1993 Introduction of Times slots on FM Channel to private Parties at Delhi-Bombay. September 1, 1993 Time slots on FM Chanel to private parties at Chennai. January 24, 1994 FM Channel at Panaji.

July 25, 1994 Time slots on FM channel to private parties at Calcutta.
September 10, 1994 Multi-track recording studios commissioned at Mumbai. September 28, 1994 Four 500 KW Superpower Shortwave transmitters at Bangalore inaugurated. This has made Bangalore one of the biggest transmitting centres in the world. October 31, 1994 The 175th station of AIR commissioned at Nasik. November 13, 1994 Time slots on FM channel to private parties at Panaji. August 5, 1995 Multi-track recording studios commissioned at Chennai. February 1, 1996 Foundation stone laid for New Broadcasting House at New Delhi. May 2, 1996 Launching of AIR on-line Information Services on Internet. January 13, 1997 Started Audio on demand on Internet Service. April 1, 1997 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) introduced at Delhi on experimental basis.

January 26, 1998 ‘Radio on Demand’ service on 2nd FM Channel Transmission. February 25, 1998 AIR ‘News on Telephone’ and AIR ‘live on Internet’. August 15, 1999 Radio station commissioned at Kokrajhar in Bodo Land Autonomous Council Area. August 15, 1999 Second FM Channels commissioned at Delhi and Calcutta with Yuvavani service. July 17, 2000 Regional Staff Training Institute (Tech.) started functioning at Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) Sept 1, 2001 AIR launched Infotainment channel known as FM-II at four metros, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, in addition to the Metro Channel FM-I. Nov 12, 2001 Museum of Radio and Doordarshan was inaugurated. Declared as The Public Service Broadcasting day to commemorate Gandhiji’s visit to AIR Feb 27, 2002 AIR launched its first ever digital statellite home service which will cater to Indian sub-continent and South-East Asia. July, 2002 Celebrated 75 years of Broadcasting.

April, 2003 Marketing Division of Prasar Bharati Inaugurated. Jan 26, 2004 Bhasha Bharati Channel of AIR launched at Delhi and Classical Music Channel launched at Bangalore. Apr 01, 2004 Launch of Kisan Vani Programme from 12 Stations of AIR. Dec 16, 2004 DTH Service of Prasar Bharati, with 12 AIR Channels, launched.

Organizaational Structure of All India Radio

The Prasar Bharati Board functions at the apex level ensuring formulation and implementation of the policies of the organization and fulfillment of the mandate in terms of the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990. The Executive Member functions as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Corporation subject to the control and supervision of the Board. The CEO, the Member (Finance) and the Member (Personnel) perform their functions out of Prasar Bharati headquarters at 2nd Floor, PTI Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110 001.

All important policy matters relating to Finance, Administration and Personnel are submitted to the CEO and the Board through the Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel) as required, for the purpose of advice, implementation of proposals and decisions thereon. Officers from different streams working in the Prasar Bharati Secretariat assist the CEO, Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel) in integrating actions, operations, plans and policy implementation as well as to look after the budget, accounts and general financial matters of the Corporation. Prasar Bharati also has a unified vigilance set up at the headquarters, headed by a Chief Vigilance Officer. Prasar Bharati Marketing offices located at Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Trivendrum and Guwahati look after all marketing activities of both All India Radio and Doordarshan. There is a branch Marketing office located at Kochi also. To facilitate decision making, the Policy & Executive Committee (earlier known as Management Committee) has been constituted for both Doordarshan and AIR, chaired by the CEO. The Directorate General of All India Radio and the Directorate General of Doordarshan are headed by the Directors General.

They function in close association with the Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel) and the CEO in carrying out the day-to-day affairs of AIR and Doordarshan. Both in AIR and Doordarshan, there are broadly four different Wings responsible for distinct activities viz. Programme, Engineering, Administration & Finance and News. Programme Wing: The Deputy Directors General (DDGs) in the headquarters and in the regions look after all matters relating to programming and content creation. These officers belong to the Programme cadre of All India Radio. The offices of the regional DDGs are located at Delhi and Chandigarh (Northern Region), Mumbai and Ahmedabad (Western Region), Lucknow and Bhopal (Central Region), Kolkata (Eastern Region), Guwahati (North Eastern Region), Chennai (Southern Region –I) & Bangalore (Southern Region-II) .

Audience Research Wing: There is a Director (Audience Research) to assist the Director General in carrying out surveys on the programmes broadcast by various stations of All India Radio. Audience Research Unit of DG:AIR is supported by six Dy.Directors at the Regional Mobile Units located at Shillong, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Allahabad and 38 Audience Research Units headed by Audience Research Officers spread over the entire country. This is perhaps the largest media research organisation in the world.

Engineering Wing: Engineer-in-Chief, All India Radio is the Engineering Head of AIR network, assisted by Chief Engineers. He is responsible for planning, design, operation & maintenance of the total technical infrastructure of AIR including the radio broadcast development. E-in-C operates through the Engineering Headquarters, Planning & Development Unit in the AIR Directorate, Zonal Chief Engineers and Engineering, Heads of various AIR stations. The Zonal Chief Engineers offices are located at Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and New Delhi. E-in-C is also responsible for radio broadcast, research & development and training of engineering staff.

Civil Construction Wing (CCW): The Civil Construction Wing (CCW), also headed by a Chief Engineer, looks after the civil construction activities. The CCW also caters to the needs of Doordarshan. All India Radio is officially known as “Akashwani,” radio broadcaster of India and a division of Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India), an autonomous corporation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. It is the sister service of Prasar Bharati’s Doordarshan, the national television broadcaster.

Administrative Wing: A Deputy Director General (Administration) assists the Director General on all matters of General administration. A Director looks after the Engineering and Programme administration of All India Radio.

Security Wing: A Deputy Director General (Security) assisted by Assistant Director General (Security) looks after security and safety of AIR installations, transmitters, studios, offices, etc. These officers also look after the security needs of Doordarshan.

News Services Division: The News Services Division works round the clock and broadcasts 511 bulletins daily both in the home and external services, headed by a Director General (News). There are 44 Regional News Units and one Central News Unit of News Services Division of AIR.

External Services Division: The External Services Division of All India Radio broadcasts in 26 languages – 16 foreign and 10 Indian languages. These services are radiated for an aggregate duration of 72 hours daily and are projected to cover 100 countries. Transcription & Pro-Gramme Exchange Service: The Transcription and Programme Exchange Service, headed by a Director, looks after exchange of programme among stations, building and maintenance of sound archives and marketing of select archival recordings. It also looks after the marketing of archival tapes and CDs.

Research & Development Wing: The functions of the Research Wing include Research and Development of equipment required by AIR and Doordarshan, investigation and studies relating to AIR and Doordarshan. It is also responsible for development of prototype models of R&D equipment for limited use field trials in the network of AIR and Doordarshan. A Chief Engineer heads the R&D Wing.

Staff Training Institute (Programme): The Staff Training Institute (Porgramme) functions at Kingsway Camp, Delhi. It imparts in-service training to Programme Personnel and Administrative Staff and induction course for the newly recruited staff and short duration refresher courses. There is another Staff Training Institute (Programmes) functioning at Bhubaneshwar. In addition, at present five Regional Training Institutes at Hyderabad, Shillong, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram are working.

Staff Training Institute (Technical): The Staff Training Institute (Technical), part of the Directorate since 1985, now functions at Kingsway Camp, Delhi as a Subordinate Office of AIR. The Institute organizes Training Courses for the engineering staff of All India Radio and Doordarshan from the level of Technician to the Superintending Engineer. It also conducts Departmental Qualifying and Competitive Examinations. There is one Regional Staff Training Institute (Technical) at Bhubaneswar.

Marketing Division: In the recent years,Prasar Bharati while fulfilling its mandate as a Public Service Broadcaster has also been making concrete efforts to augment its revenue generation by way of considerable and aggressive Marketing of its in-house programmes and also producing customized programmes. Setting up of Marketing Division at Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Kochi & Thiruvanathapuram is a step in this direction.

A single window facility for all the channels of All India Radio and Doordarshan, Marketing Division caters to all the needs of advertising, reaching out to clients, preparing media plans according to their budget and requirements, executing their publicity campaigns and producing spots/jingles and sponsored programmes wherever the need be, are some of the important functions of marketing division. With AIR and Doordarshan’s vast network and a reach beyond comprehension, Marketing Division, Prasar Bharati help the clients reach every nook and corner of the country and that too sitting at one place. Some of our major clients include Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Directorate of Income Tax, Department of National Disaster Management (Ministry of Home Affairs), Ministry of Company Affairs, Ministry of Roads and Surface Transport, NALSA, Commenwealth Human Rights initiative for Right to Information, Department of Post and Telegraph, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.

News Service Division

All India Radio now under Prasar Bharati has the distinction of being one of the major broadcasting organizations in the world. The News Services Division (NSD) of All India Radio disseminates news and comments to listeners in India and abroad. From 27 news bulletins in 1939-40, AIR today puts more than 510 bulletins daily around 52 hours in 82 languages/dialects in the Home, Regional and External Services. Out of these, 89 bulletins are broadcast daily from Delhi in the Home Service in English, Hindi and other Indian languages. The 44 Regional News Units (RNUs) putout 355 daily news bulletins in 67 languages. This includes news bulletins mounted exclusively on FM ‘Gold’ channel from 22 AIR Stations. In addition to the daily news bulletins, the News Services Division also mounts everyday a number of news-based programmes on topical subjects from Delhi and some other Regional News Units.

Early History: The history of news broadcasting in India is much older than that of All India Radio. The first ever news bulletin in the country went on the air from the Bombay Station on July 23, 1927 under a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company. A month later on August 26, 1927 another bulletin in Bengali was started from the Calcutta Station. Until 1935, two bulletins, one each in English and Hindustani were broadcast from Bombay and a bulletin in Bengali was broadcast from Calcutta. The Indian Broadcasting Company went into liquidation in March, 1930 following which broadcasting came under the direct control of the Government of India. The service was designated as the Indian State Broadcasting Service. It was renamed All India Radio on June 8, 1936. Development: The real breakthrough in news broadcasting came after January 1936 when the first news bulletin from the Delhi Station went on the air on January 19, 1936 coinciding with the starting of its transmission. Besides, news bulletins in English and Hindustani, talks on current affairs were also started from the Station in both the languages.

The Central News Organization was set up on August 1, 1937. Mr. Charles Barns took charge as the first News Editor in September and he later became the first Director of News. The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 gave an impetus to the development of the Organization. The Monitoring Service was set up in 1939 to monitor foreign broadcasts. In 1943, the External Broadcast Unit was set up under the Director of News. By 1945, the Central News Organization was handling news bulletins in different Indian languages as well as in the External Services. After Independence, news broadcasts of AIR grew both in quantity and quality. More emphasis was laid on national and regional news bulletins. Home Bulletins: The News Services Division broadcasts from Delhi 86 daily news bulletins in English, Hindi and 17 Indian languages for a duration of 12 hours and 20 minutes. In Hindi, 21 news bulletins are broadcast for a duration of two hours 30 minutes while 20 news bulletins are put out in English everyday for a duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes. These include two Sports news bulletins one each in Hindi and English. Apart from Hindi, forty-time news bulletins in 17 Indian languages for a duration of 7 hours and 45 minutes are broadcast everyday.

The importance of language bulletins lies in the fact that they are the main source of national, international and regional news for the masses in small towns and villages. The evening bulletins in Dogri, Kashmiri and Urdu also include a commentary on topical subjects. Regional Bulletins: Regional bulletins were introduced in the early fifties. The first news bulletins in regional languages were started in April, 1953 from Lucknow and Nagpur Stations. In 1954-55, Regional News Units were set up at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. This went on steadily and at present there are 45 Regional News Units functioning in different parts of the country. 146 news bulletins in 66 regional languages/dialects including English and Hindi are broadcast for duration of 19 hours and 35 minutes. External Bulletins: To start with, the External Services were part of the News Services Division. They were de-linked from the News Services Division on September 15, 1948. However, the responsibility of compiling the external news bulletins remains with the News Services Division.

At present, a total of 66 news bulletins are broadcast daily in 26 languages (Indian and Foreign) for a duration of 9 hours and 13 minutes. Fifty six of these go on the air from Delhi while the ten bulletins of 1 hours 20 minutes duration are put out by our 56 RNUs – Mumbai (01), Kolkata (03), Hyderabad (01) and Chennai (2),Dharwad(1),Ahmedabad(2). Bulletins On Fm ‘Rainbow’ Channel: The News Services Division is putting out news headlines on FM ‘Rainbow’ channel from Delhi from May 28, 1995. Twenty four news headline bulletins on FM ‘Rainbow’ are broadcast round-the-clock from Delhi. The duration of each headline FM ‘Rainbow’ bulletin from Delhi is one minute approx. At present 22 AIR stations are broadcasting FM Headlines. Bulletins On Fm-Gold Channel: The then Information and Broadcasting Minister launched a news and entertainment channel called AIR FM-II (now called FM Gold) on September 1, 2001. The Channel is on the air for about 18 hours a day from 6 am to 10 minutes past 12 in the night. It is a composite blend of information and entertainment with one third of its contents devoted to news and current affairs.

The Channel carries news on the hour originating from Delhi. Composite news programmes in Hindi and English originating from Delhi are exclusively broadcast every morning, midday and evening for duration of 30 minutes each. These include ‘Samachar Savera’, ‘Dopahar Samachar’ in Hindi and ‘Breakfast News’ in English in the morning and ‘Samachar Sandhya’ in Hindi in the evening. The channel has also some specialized programmes like ‘Market Mantra’ (Business Magazine) and ‘Sports Scan’. Other news-based programmes mounted on FM Gold include ‘Vaad Samvaad’ and ‘Countrywide’ based on interviews with prominent personalities. News Based Programmes: In February 1936, talks on current topics were introduced for the first time in English. In September, talks on current topics in Hindustani were added. Later ‘Topics for Today’ and ‘Focus’ on matters of current interest were introduced on 26th October, 1962. The daily ‘Spotlight’ and weekly ‘Current Affairs’ titles were given in place of ‘Topic for Today’ and ‘Focus’ in 1967. The Current Affairs programme deals with topical issue in which various specialists on the subject express their viewpoints. The half-an-hour programme in English goes on the air from Delhi from 9.30 p.m. on Sundays.

The corresponding Hindi programme, “Charcha Ka Vishai Hai” goes on the air from 9.30 p.m. on Wednesdays. ‘Samayiki’ and ‘Spotlight’ are also news-based programmes broadcast daily from Delhi. Commentaries on current topics in Urdu, Kashmiri and Dogri are also put out daily from headquarters, Delhi. Coverage Of Parliamentary Proceedings: The daily and weekly reviews of the proceedings in Parliament were introduced on February 14, 1961 in English and Hindi. The daily review called ‘Today in Parliament’ in English and ‘Sansad Sameeksha’ in Hindi has two parts, one on the proceedings in the Lok Sabha and the other on those in the Rajya Sabha. The weekly review in English – ‘This week in Parliament’ and that in Hindi ‘ Is Saptah Sansad Main’ – sums up the important highlights of the proceedings in both Houses during the preceding week. The broadcast of the daily and ‘Weekly Reviews’ of the proceedings of the State legislatures, when they are in session, were started in 1971-72 in the respective regional languages. A review of the ‘Proceedings of the Delhi Assembly’ was started from December 14, 1993. Radio Newsreel: Radio Newsreel was started on December 10, 1955 both in English (Radio Newsreel) and Hindi (Samachar Darshan) from Delhi. Newsreel in English is broadcast on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while Samachar Darshan is broadcast on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Some Regional News Units also put out regional Newsreels in the respective regional languages. News On Phone Service: AIR news on Phone was introduced on February 25, 1998 from Delhi. The service provides the latest news highlights in Hindi and English to a listener anywhere in the world on phone on dialing the specified numbers.

Later, the News on Phone’ service in Tamil from Chennai, in Telugu from Hyderabad, in Marathi from Mumbai and in Hindi from Patna were also introduced. This same service has also been started from the Regional News Units at Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore and Jaipur in 2006 and from Imphal and Lucknow in 2007. New Facilities: NSD has set up new News Studios with facilities for inclusion of “Phone-in’s” and has arrangement for holding Radio bridge conferences on special occasions. Source of News: The bulk of AIR news comes from its own Correspondents spread all over the country. It has 90 regular Correspondents in India and five abroad at Colombo, Dhaka, Dubai, Kathmandu, and Kabul . Apart from this, AIR has around 500 Part-time Correspondents based at nearly all district headquarters. The PTCs are to meet the requirements of Doordarshan News also. NSD subscribes to the news agencies – UNI, PTI and their corresponding Hindi services – Univarta and Bhasha, and ANI to make its bulletins broad-based. Another source of news are the Monitoring Units (English and Hindi) attached to the General Newsroom and the Central Monitoring Services, which monitor the bulletins of major broadcasting organisations of the world. A Radio News Exchange Programme was initiated with the members of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union to broaden the news coverage. An Information Technology Unit was set up at Delhi to take care of the IT requirements of NSD.

The Unit has set up an internal Website to cater to the news requirements of the Regional News Units and others. Set Up Of NSD: The News Services Division is headed by a Director General (News) (PB) who is one of the senior most officer of the Indian Information Service. He is assisted by a team of Additional Directors General (News), Directors (News) and Joint Directors (News). The different operational wings of NSD at headquarters in Delhi include: General News Room, Hindi News Room, Reporting Unit, Talks Units (English and Hindi), Newsreel Unit, New Format Cell, Indian Language Units, Monitoring Unit, Reference Unit and Administrative Wing. The Regional News Units in various States are headed by a Joint Director or a News Editor or an Assistant News Editor assisted by Correspondents, Reporters and Newsreaders-cum-Translators.

Objective of All India Radio

To provide information, education and wholesome entertainment, keeping in view the motto, “Bahujan Hitaya; Bahujan Sukhaya” i.e. the benefit and happiness of large sections of the people, and strive to: Uphold the unity of the country and the democrative values enshrined in the Constitution Present a fair and balanced flow of information of national, regional, local and international interest, including contrasting views, without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own. Promote the interests and concerns of the entire nation, being mindful of the need for harmony and understanding within the country and ensuring that the programmes reflect the varied elements which make up the composite culture of India. Produce and transit varied programmes designed to awaken, inform, enlighten, educate, entertain and enrich all sections of the people, with due regard to the fact that the national broadcast audience consists of a whole series of public.

Produce and transmit programmes relating to developmental activities in all their facets including, extension work in Agriculture, Education, Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology. Serve the rural, illiterate and underprivileged population, keeping in mind the special needs and interests of the young, social and cultural minorities, the tribal population, and of those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas. Promote social justice and combat exploitation, inequality, and such evils as unsociability and parochial loyalties. Promote national integration.

Commercial Broadcasting Service

The persistent demand from the urban populace to have an independent broadcasting station where entertainment was the order of the day encouraged AIR to launch its exclusive entertainment channel called Vividh Bharati in 1957. The experience proved a roaring success, Vividh Bharati Service introduced various kinds of entertainment programmes which established this channel as the most popular channel amongst the masses throughout the country. With the result, advertisers of all levels approached VB channel to open its services for catering to their requirements so as to enable them to take their services/products amongst the people where no other media was available. In view of the flow of advertisers, Vividh Bharati declared itself as commercial service in the year 1967 and advertisements were started broadcasting on this service in a professional manner. As on today, with a massive network of 40 stations located at all major and commercially vibrant cities covering around 20 crore of population, it continuously maintained the pace with all technological advancements in the field of electronic media and by shifting to FM Mode at all these centers, this channel ensures quality reception on the receivers in an absolutely disturbance free ambience.

Realising the role of advertising in accelerating the social and material progress of the country, AIR allowed commercial advertisements on Primary Channels in the year 1985 on the lines of Vividh Bharati Commercial Service. The exercise has brought rich dividends to both advertisers and the All India Radio in terms of additional revenue. The giant network of 115 regional stations is not only cost effective to the advertisers but also has the potential to reach far flung areas where no other mass media has succeeded in making any tangible dent. The enormous market gradually turning into an economically viable unit after the Green Revolution became the main target of manufacturers interested in penetrating it.

In order to closely monitor the performance of these CBS Centers, they are required to send monthly statements of revenue earned, outstandings dues, air-time sold, which are complied centrally at the directorate. The other vital network which operate mainly through FM transmitters, comes next in providing wider avenues to the advertisers to tap the semi urban and rural market for promoting their interests.

Central Sales Unit at Mumbai and other 15 main CBS Centers located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Cuttack, Thiruvanathapuram, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kanpur, Patna, Srinagar and Delhi are looking after the booking of commercials and its execution covering AIR stations on the medium wave, short wave and FM Band. With professionally sound team at these CBS Centers, All India Radio have been able to revamp its revenue graph to ever touched height, that too, without any compromise on quality or quantity, thus creating a market niche for itself. The working system of CBS Centers provides advertisers an easy access to all the relevant information as a result of which commercial service of All India Radio has been able to carve out a considerable part of ad spends in the radio broadcasting even in the era when there is stiff competition in the market on account of various reasons – thus making it – LABHVANI – in real sense for even a common man.

National Services:

The National Channel of All India Radio in radio’s 3 tier system was originally conceived as the first stage i.e. National System with a broadcast of an 18 hrs. per day. But for various reasons the channel was limited to night time service taking the National Programmes and covering 65% of area and 76% of population of the country. Presently it broadcasts programmes of entertainment and music with hourly News Bulletins for the entire country from 06.50 PM in the evening to 06.12 AM in the morning. This is the only channel available after most of the stations closed down. The programmes of National Channel are radiated by One Megawatt Transmitter from centrally located place i.e. Nagpur(Mtrs. 191.6 M – 1566 KHz.), 500 KW, from Kolkata from 11.00 PM(Mtrs. 264.5 M – 1134 KHz.) and 20 KW Transmitter at Delhi (Mtrs.246.9 M – 1215 KHz.) and two SW transmitters at 9425 KHz & 9470 KHz at bangalore and Aligarh respectively. The languages of broadcast are Hindi, English and Urdu apart from some music from other Indian languages. National channel’s office cum studios is situated at Todapur(West Delhi).


Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgah, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Pondicherry, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal. 50% & More
Assam, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu.

External Services:

Historical Background: All India Radio entered the realm of external broadcasting shortly after the outbreak of II world War on 1st October, 1939-when it started a service in Pushtu for listeners across- what was then the country’s North West Frontier.The service was designated to counter radio propoganda from Germany, directed to Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries.With the end of the war, the Victorious and Allies lost interest in continung with the propoganda warfare and the equipment was presented to AIR, which took over its active control.The need of continuing certain services was assessed and the number of services was rearranged. Present Status: Today, The External Services Division of All India Radio ranks high amongst the External Radio networks of the world, both in reach and range, daily in 55 transmissions with almost 72 hours covering over 100 countries in 27 languages, out of which 16 are foreign and 11 are Indian.

The foreign languages are Arabic, Baluchi, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, French, Indonesian, Nepali, Persian, Pushtu, Russian, Sinhala, Swahili, Thai, Tibetan and English (GOS). The Indian languages are Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Seraiki, Sindhi, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu. It has five major services namely, Urdu (12hrs.15 mts.), GOS/English (8hrs. 15 mts), Hindi (5hrs.15 mts), Bengali (6hrs.30mts.), anmd Tamil (5 hrs. 30mts)Urdu service is also available 24x7m DTH Role of ESD: External Services Division is acting as the window to India for outside countries by projecting India’s view point, progress and policies along with art and culture. With the changing scenario, our role has been still expanded due to a large Indian Diaspora both PIOs and NRIs and original foreigners interested in knowing another growing power, India.

Further we have increasing trade partnership and political importance with a large number of countries throughout the globe. It is our moral responsibility to provide them with information, education and entertainment on this varied and multifaceted country, India. In view of the above, our broadcasts depend on our relations like political relations, Economic compulsions, i.e: our trade with other countries and social relations: Broadcasts for NRIs and PIOs living in those countries. Purpose of External Services:

  • To project emerging India abroad.
  • To project countries democratic ideas and its policies.
  • To stimulate interest in Indian art and culture
  • To present India’s Point of view on major issues
  • To serve as a link with Indian Diaspora

The broadcasts follow a composite pattern and generally comprise of News Bulletins, Commentaries, Current Events and Review of the Indian Press, besides Newsreel, Magazine programmes on sports and literature, talks and discussions on social, economic, political historical, scientific and cultural subjects. Features on Developmental activities, important events and institutions, classical folk and modern music of India’s diverse regions, form a major part of total programme output. General Overseas Services

Vividh Bharati:

Eminent actors, play back singers, renowned writers, lyricists, directors and music directors have found way to express their experience and opinion through the Vividh Bharati Platform. A special programme entitled “Ujaale Unki Yaadon Ke” takes the listeners into the world of nostalgia dipping into the memories of the artists of the yester years. With the advent of new technology the transmission of programmes gradually migrated from earlier medium wave transmission to high quality digital stereo FM. Commercials were introduced initially in the Vividh Bharati Service in the year 1967 on an experimental basis. Realising the role of advertising in accelerating the social and material progress of the country, commercials were extended to Primary channels including FM & Local Radio Stations in a phased manner. Advertsing on Radio is not only cost effective to the advertisers but also has the potential to reach far flung areas where no other mass media has succeeded in making any tangible dent. Some of the popular programmes of Vividh Bharat can also be heard on our National Channel from 2300 hrs. to 0600 hrs.

This service now enjoys global listenership through Direct to Home Service (DTH) besides other 11 channels of All India Radio. AIR had been receiving advertisements through its registered agencies only. With the changing demand of the environment, direct clients are also entertained by all AIR stations. In remote and far flung areas, canvassors are appointed for bringing in local business. There are 15 main CBS Stations, located in each state capital responsible for booking for their entire state. Besides there is a Central Sales Unit called as CSU at Mumbai meant for booking for more than one state. A single window booking facility is available in CSU to facilitate bulk booking with a single contract. Further details of CSU are available at their website” www.csuair.org.in”.

FM Rainbow channel of All India Radio was launched at a time when radio listening was declining especially in big cities. People representing higher economic strata of the society thought it out of fashion to listen to radio programmes which, according to them, were addressing to the needs of average middle class radio listeners. Tehcnological improvements made in the field of sound recording tempted young music lovers to opt for other modes of music players because reception quality of these songs on AM mode was not as lively as it was in stereophonic cinema halls or on digital electronic equipments.

FM radio filled this gap effectively by ensuring disturbance free high quality music to its listeners. Even the presentation style of the compere on FM channel was transformed to suit the changing needs of listeners. Inter personal chatting style of the comperes caught the pulse of youths and allured them to come closer to their radio. In it’s round the clock b’cast, radio listeners were served with a recipe of whole new gamut of entertainment. Soon FM radio acquired the status of modern radio because it was speaking in their style and providing them listening pleasure. The old glory of radio was restored once again at least in terms of listening percentages.

At present AIR have 170 FM transmitters across the country, by which it covers 24.60% of the area and 35.89% of the population of the country. Out of these, FM Rainbow channel is available at 15 places i.e. at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, Panaji, Jalandhar, Cuttack, Kodaikanal, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada. Besides this Delhi Rainbow is also relayed fully from Mussorie, Aligarh, Kasauli, Kurseong and Shillong and partly from Hyderabad, Panaji, Dharamshala, Bhatinda, Kanpur and Vijayawada. The FM channel includes Pop music, Film songs, and Classical & Devotional music, News Headlines etc. FM GOLD:

FM Gold channel was on air on 1st September-2001 at Delhi as a niche infotainment channel with 30% of News and Current affairs component and 70% of entertainment programming. The duration of FM Gold channel is at present 18hrs daily as against the round the clock b’cast of FM Rainbow. At present FM Gold channel is available in four Metro’s i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. This additional channel gave its listener an option to choose between the two besides listening to other parallel running AIR and Private FM stations in the area. This channel is providing information updates on City Traffic, Airlines, Railways, Weather reports.

DTH Radio Channel is a Satellite Service meant for listeners who own a T.V.set. DTH Service is available through the DTH platform of Prasar Bharati with uplinking facilities at Todapur, Delhi. It is not a terrestrial broadcast service and DTH programme cannot be tuned in the ordinary radio receiver sets. DTH covers the entire country as well as neighboring countries. DTH is a 24 hour service broadcast digitally. The programming is planned in such a way that the repetitions are kept at minimum.

DTH Service provides different language channels available in every nook and corner of the country. The most significant aspect of DTH broadcast is its digital quality. The following channels are available on DTH.

Transcription Services of Air:

The Transcription Service was stared on 3rd April 1954 and entrusted with the main function of preparing transcription of speeches of all dignitaries with a special reference to the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the country. This unit was also performing the duty of processing of vinyl discs labeled “AIR-TS records” for preservation of recordings for future broadcast. The designation of service was changed to “Transcription & Programme Exchange Service” 1st April 1959 and the office was placed under the independent charge of a “Director”. As the processed records eventually proved to be uneconomical, the processing work had to be closed down in June 1967 and new modes of preservation like analogue magnetic tapes etc. came into use. Informal archiving had been there in the country, but as an organized activity, the job was assigned to this unit later.

Organizational Structure:

This Office Has the Following Functional Units :

Releases from AIR Archive: “Akashvani Sangeet” and marketing Since 2002 All India Radio central archive releases music albums under the banner ‘Akashvani Sangeet”. So far we have released 35 albums and the releases in 2006-07 were two volumes of Begum Akthar, two volumes of M.L.Vasanthakumari, two volumes of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and one album of the Carnatic maestro Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar. The releases expected in the coming months are three volumes of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, one volume of Badi Moti Bai and Rasoolan Bai, Maharajapuram Santhanam, T.R.Mahalingam, D.K.Roy, Ustad Amir Khan and Ramcharitmanas.

Besides these fresh releases new editions of earlier albums were also made as the stock was exhausted. Sales counters are opened in around fifty AIR stations and many of the Doordarshan Kendras for sales. In addition to this, releases are made available with retail music shops in Delhi. In the coming months the same pattern would be followed in other major towns. There have been efforts to attract the Public Sector Units to get bulk orders and it started showing results. The revenue earned in 2007-08 is Rs.27,00,000/-(Rupees Twenty-seven lakhs only) from the sale of commercial releases.

Sound Archives

The Sound Archives of All India Radio can be called as the National Audio Archive of the nation as it is the treasure house of precious recordings of more than 15000 hours of duration containing music and spoken word recordings in different categories. It is the largest library of Indian Music recordings and it possesses more than 12000 tapes of Hindustani, Carnatic and various folk music traditions.

The library preserves a separate collection of Mahatma Gandhi’s speeches
including the first and the last prayer speeches of Mahatma Gandhi recorded on 11th May 1947 at Sodepur Ashram, Calcutta and 29th January 1948 at Birla House, Delhi respectively. The only broadcast from AIR Delhi on 12th November 1947 is also preserved. AIR Sound Archive preserves speeches of Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru in 3000 analogue tapes. Other important voice recordings of eminent personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Sarojini Naidu etc. have also been preserved. Apart from this, award-winning radio dramas, features, documentaries etc. and memorial lectures are available in the library. The library contains recordings of all the Presidents and Prime Ministers of India.

Radio Autobiography:

In the category of Radio Autobiography we have 129 recordings of eminent personalities from various walks of life which now increased to 171 during this year. With the guidance of different AIR stations we identify the people of eminence to be recorded and after getting the approval from the Directorate these Radio Autobiographies are recorded. Central Archive has earned Rs.1,01,000/- in 2007-08 by disseminating archival recordings. This unit has received 240 new audio recordings in this year and catalogued 630 recordings.

Archives Digital Library:

A special project was launched to digitize all Archival recordings in 2001 and the project was completed in 2005.By this Akashvani has become one of the major digital libraries in the broadcasting network with modern tape numbering system in tune with the internationally accepted norms. Programme transferred into digital medium are approximately 15900 hours. Break up of recordings transferred into the digital format is as follows:- Prime Ministers’s speeches : 3200 hours

At present the accessioning of the new digital library is completed. The second phase of the digitization is ready to start in the coming days. There are approximately 10,000 analog tapes that are to be transferred. Programme Exchange Library:

The main purpose of this unit is to exchange good quality programmes among the stations as per their requirements. In PEU library approx. 8000 tapes containing the recordings of music and spoken word programmes are preserved for this purpose.

Besides containing both music and spoken word items in different Indian languages PEU library is also preserving the Language Lessons in Bangla, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu. PEU has a separate reference library of Folk and Tribal Music in all principal languages and dialects of our country.

Transcription & Programme Exchange Service has been allotted a fixed chunk between 1100 hrs and 1200 hrs for transmitting programmes to all AIR stations through RN Channel include programmes from Sound Archives, Programme Exchange Library, Radio Serials, Lessons on Languages and on Community Singing Songs, which are received from Community Singing Song cell of Directorate General of All India Radio and outstanding programmes requisitioned by various stations and also contributed by stations (PEU Library).

Programme Exchange Library circulates radio serials to identified radio stations. These radio serials are produced under software development project of PP&D unit of DG,AIR. Moreover monthly chain play produced by the Central Drama unit of DG,AIR are also circulated to identified radio stations after being fed through regular RN channel chunk.

Transcription Unit:

One of the main functions of this service is to transcribe the recording of speeches delivered by President and Prime Minister and preserves them in the form of volumes in chronological order. It is obligatory on the part of AIR stations to record all the speeches delivered in public functions by the President and Prime Minister. Tapes containing recording of speeches along with transcripts are received by T&PES from various concerned AIR stations. The bound volumes of all transcription are prepared and kept in the archive. All the speeches of President and Prime Minister are preserved in the CD form with detailed data entry.

This unit works as the banker of blank tapes to be supplied to the stations on their demand of programme material. 75,000 tapes are in circulation among all AIR stations for the purpose of exchange of the programmes. The bank supplies blank tapes to the new stations before their commission.

The Foreign Programme Unit of the T&PES co-ordinates the exchange of programmes being received from broadcasting organisations across the world. These programmes include wide spectra of topics ranging from Science, Current Affairs, Western Light Classical, Western Pop and Rock to Women and Environment. This unit also coordinates the broadcast of SAARC Audio Visual Exchange (SAVE) Programmes in India. All the hues and shades of listeners’ interest are covered in these programmes.

In order to refurbish the vintage music recordings in Archives, this unit was installed some years back with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme. Hundreds of hours of recording of music and recordings of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru etc. were refurbished here. At present this unit takes care of the audio quality of the recording being released by AIR and Doordarshan Archives.

“AKASHVANI SANGEET” All India Radio got the opportunity to record, broadcast and preserve the rendering of all the major musicians over a period of time. Today it has a rich repertoire of Indian Classical Music both in Hindustani and Carnatic. AIR Archives has started releasing selection from its precious music collections under the banner “Akashvani Sangeet”.

As AIR has released the authentic and original Music under the banner of “Akashvani Sangeet”, which is inimitable in style and not available in the market, due publicity is required for its propagation. For this, AIR stations have been requested to produce promos and jingles to publicize the albums of Akashvani Sangeet. The up-to-date list of Akashvani Sangeet is available on the AIRNET, the official website of AIR.

Keeping in view the current marketing strategies and competition with other music companies AIR is giving discount to its buyer on different patterns which is as follows:

1. 15% discount is being given at the sales counter at AIR station premises. 2. 20% discount is offered during fairs, festivals and concerts before the invited audience. 3. 30% discount is offered to music retailers and individuals for the purchase of more than 100 albums. 4. 30% discount is also offered to the staff of AIR & Doordarshan.

Besides AIR has also evolved a policy of offering 30% discount to the Public Sector Undertaking/ Insurance Companies/ Banks etc. for producing not less than 1000 copies having their logo and message. They can use it as corporate gifts on various occasion.

All India Radio is in process of developing a professional website which will have not only the information of Akashvani Sangeet albums but also about the availability of recordings in All India Radio Archives.

To realize its objectives AIR has evolved over the years, a three-tier system of broadcasting namely national, regional and local. It caters to the information, education and entertainment needs of the audience through its stations in this country of continental dimension and with a plural society. They provide news, music, spoken word and other programmes to almost the entire population of the country, 102.7 cores as per the 2001 census. Its vast reach especially in the rural and tribal areas make it the primary and sometimes the only source of information and entertainment.

National channels broadcast national programmes which are heard on the Medium Wave in most part of the country. Recently it has started airing on Short Wave also. The regional and sub-regional stations provide the second tier of broadcasting giving programmes in the regional languages and promoting regional cultural facets. In addition FM Channels at Metros cater to the modern needs of the people primarily the youth.

The Vividh Bharati has also been shifted to FM broadcasting system at 40 places. There are 170 stations on FM mode set up to cater to the needs and tastes of audience of small towns in various parts of the country. Recently in the last couple of year’s community radio centres were set up at 5 places in the North Eastern India to serve the local tribal population.

Regional Channels of AIR are located mostly in the state capitals and in the major linguistic-cultural regions of every state. Altogether 115 such channels are spread over 29 states & 6 UTs states and Union teritorries of the country.

All India Radio offers a 3 tire system of broadcasting, namely National, Regional and Local. National Channel forms the first stage of it. Started on 18th May, 1988, the National Channel of All India Radio works as a night service from 6.50 p.m. to 6.10 a.m. the next morning. It covers 64% area and about 76% population of the country, through its 3 MW transmitters at Nagpur (191.6 M-1566 Khz), Delhi (246.9 M-1215 Khz) and Kolkatta (264.5M-1134 Khz from 2300 hrs) with shortwave support in 31 Meter Band (9425 Khz & 9470 Khz) which cover the entire country.

Having the whole area of India as its zone, the programme composition of the Channel has been designed to make it representative of the varied cultural mosaic and ethos of the Nation as a whole. National Channel serves in three languages – Hindi, Urdu and English with vast variety of programmes on Science, Health, Sports, Literature, Humour, Current Social Issues, and Cultural Heritage so as to enrich the vast knowledge of its listeners. VIVIDHA both in Hindi and English are also taken up with lot of advance planning. Magazine programmes on economics, science, sports, music, literature and health are also broadcast on regular basis. Career guidance, current affairs and social issues are taken up in the fortnightly programme FOCUS. Eminent personalities from different field are featured in the programme of senior citizens and AAJ KE MEHMAN. The programme HANSTE HANSAATE is broadcast twice a week.

A number of magazine programmes are broadcast daily with proper emphasis on minority welfare. Education, culture and socio-economic development are focal points of daily Urdu Magazine programme MANZAR. An issue based phone-in programme – HELLO ZINDAGI is broadcast on first Thursday of every month. In order to involve listeners and ensure their active participation in the programme activities, programmes of their messages/requests are broadcast five days a week including the programmes JAI JAWAN for soldiers. Hourly new-bulletins, alternatively in Hindi and English are broadcast only from the National Channel throughout the night. Whenever the Parliament is in session, National Channel broadcasts recording of the “Question Hour” for the benefit of the listeners. During the Holy Month of ‘RAMZAAN’ a special 50 mts. programme ‘SAHARGAAHI’ is broadcast daily (4.10 a.m to 5.00 a.m.) in which emphasis is given to human values and Indo-Islamic culture. National Channel has imparted training to IGNOU students for Diploma in Radio Programmes.

Appeal for funds except for the Prime Minister National Relief Fund, at a time of External Emergency or if the Country is faced with a natural calamity such a floods, earthquake or cyclone.

Direct publicity for or on behalf of an individual or organization which is likely to benefit only that individual or organization.

Trade names in broadcasts which amount to advertising directly (except in Commercial Services). Footnote:

The code applies to criticism in the nature of personal tirade either of a friendly Government or of political party or of the Central Government or any State Government. But it does not debar reference to and/or dispassionate discussion of policies pursued by any of them. If a Station Director finds that the above Code has not been respected in any particular by an intending broadcaster he will draw the latter attention to the passage objected to. If the intending broadcaster refuses to accept the Station Director suggestions and modify his accordingly, the Station Director will be justified in refusing his or her broadcast.

Cases of unresolved differences of opinion between a Minister of State Government and the Station Director about the interpretation of the Code with regard to a talk to be broadcast by the former will be referred to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India who will decide finally whether or not any change in the text of the talk is necessary in order to avoid violation of the Code.

The Election Commission (EC) recognizes the significance of television and radio in the coverage of elections. Their reach is widespread and impact substantial. On the one hand, the electronic media can be misused to favour one party or another. But on the other hand, the EC recognizes that electronic media can, if used properly be an important source of information for voters across the country. It can provide the widest first hand education for voters on political parties, their symbols, various leaders and different issues in the election.

This is why electronic media all over the world is the single biggest source of information of voters in terms of debates, campaign, coverage etc. It is essential therefore that a model code of conduct is established for electronic media both to ensure that it is not misused as well as to ensure that it be used in the best interest of democracy and the voter. Listed below are the Dos and Don’ts for election coverage on electronic media. DO’NTS:

There should be no coverage of any election speeches or other material that incites violence, against one religion, against one language, against one group etc. In any constituency only one candidate should not be projected. While he is not necessary to cover every single candidate (as some constituency may have several candidates) at least the more important candidate should be covered in any reports from a constituency. The following could be covered in balanced and fair manners. Campaigning and experts from campaign speeches.

Symbols, banners, flags and other campaign materials of parties. Results of opinion polls by non political, professional organisation with a established track record. Party manifestoes (critical analysis of which is also perfectly genuine) Candidate and their views in different consistencies across the country. By and fair it is meant that among the measure political parties. No political parties should be given substantially more coverage than others. Balance does not mean each party must get exactly the same air time to the last second but party is should be given broadly the same amount of time.

We also consider that the Act itself should lay down the authority and powers of the Governors to prevent possible encroachment’. Accordingly, it recommended a Board of Governors (no more than seven) to be headed by a Chairman. ‘The Chairman should be a public figure with a national reputation for integrity, ability and independence, and the members should be drawn from diverse fields of national life and enjoying a reputation in his particular field’. The Committee left selection to the Government itself, and the term & office of Governors was restricted to six years with two members retiring every other year in rotation; It argued that conditions for creativity could only be fostered by decentralisation of authority down to the regional and local levels. The Verghese Committee:

The Verghese Committee recommended the setting up of a National Broadcast Trust (or Akash Bhanti) under which a highly decentralised structure would operate. It did not see the need for autonomous corporations or even a federation of State Government Corporations. Neither did it support the idea of two separate corporations for radio and television. However, besides asserting at the Trust should be an independent, impartial and autonomous organisation, the Committee wanted ‘the autonomy of the corporation and its independence from government control to be entrenched in the Constitution. The Committee recommended that the Trust be supervised by a Board of Trustees (or Nyasi Mandal) consisting of 12 members who would be appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Prime Minister from out of a list of names forwarded by a nominating panel comprising the Chief Justice of India, the Lok Pal and the Chairman of the UPSC.

The Chairman and three members would be full-time members while the other eight members would be part-time. It would be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to appoint the Controller-General Broadcasting, the Directors and other senior personnel. The Controller-General would head the central Executive Board and will be ex-officio Secretary to the board of Trustees. The Central Executive Board, in co-ordination with Zonal Executive Councils, would be responsible for implementing the policies and directives of the Board of Trustees. Programming would necessarily be decentralised and producers down to the local levels would enjoy ‘a significant measure of autonomy’.

The Joshi Working Group on Software for Doordarshan:

Though the Joshi Working Group was not asked to go into the question of broadcasting autonomy, it did stick its neck out in staling bluntly that ‘functional freedom’ did not exist at all in Doordarshan, despite government claims. However, it noted that the crucial issue is not ‘autonomy versus government control’ but ‘urgent reforms in structure and management styles for support to creativity’. It, therefore recommended the creation of an institutional arrangement which provided co-ordination and interaction among political, administrative rid communication spheres for policy guidelines and evaluation of ware. Further, it recommended the establishment of a National Doordarshan Council to tender advice to the Minister on the broad social objectives and the modes of TV programming. The Joshi Working Group however, did not favour the freeing of broadcasting from the control of the I and B Ministry. It had no objection, Doordarshan receiving directives from the Minister or his deputy. The Prasar Bhaarati Bill (1989):

The Ptasar Bharati Bill (1989) is based largely on the Varghese Report (1978) and the Prasar Bharati Bill (1979) that was introduced by the Janata Dal government in Parliament in May 1979. There are some basic differences too. While the Prasar Bharati Bill favours the creation of Broadcasting Corporation through an Act of Parliament, the Varghese Report clearly wanted broadcasting autonomy to be a part of the Indian Constitution. This would be necessary to ensure that no future government would tamper with the freedom and independence of the corporation. Further, a Trust in the service of the public was what the Varghese Report; envisaged; the present Bill propose a ‘Corporation’ which does not have statutory dignity and power. The objectives that the present Bill sets out for the corporation are taken almost faithfully from the Varghese Committee’s objectives’ for the National Broadcast Trust. Yet it does not go as far as the Varghese Report which wants the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to discard its responsibility for broadcasting altogether. The bill manages to sneak in a representative of the Ministry as a part-time Governor. This is not the ‘Full autonomy’ the Varghese Committee had in mind. The Varghese Committee warned against ‘copying blindly’ the structure and organisation of western broadcasting institutions.

The structure envisaged by the new Bill is patterned closely on that of the British Broadcasting Corporation; even the nomenclature is similar. Moreover, the Varghese Report underscored the need for a decentralised structure with powers delegated at regional and local levels; the present Bill says little about devolution of the powers of the Central Governing and Executive Boards. The Bill does not also go into the question of ‘franchise stations’ for educational institutions or of independent radio and television producing agencies. On the matter of the selection of the Chairman of the Board of Governors too, the Bill departs from the Varghese recommendations. Instead of the nominating panel consisting of the Chief Justice of India, the Lok Pal and the Chairman of the UPSC, the present Bill would rather include the Rajya Sabha Chairman, the Press Council Council chairman and a nominee of the President. Similarly, it deviates radically on the composition of the Broadcasting Council/Complaints Council. Indeed, the current Bill is far closer in content, form and spirit to the Prasar Bharati Bill (1979) than to the Varghese Report’s , recommendations. B. G. Varghese, Umashankar Joshi and other Committee members reacted strongly to the 1979 Bill. Both felt that the then Government had been ‘distrustful’ of the people and that the extent of autonomy provided in the Bill had been considerably diluted; there was no provision, they remarked, for any decentralisation of the functioning of the proposed broadcasting corporation. These objections can be raised against the 1989 Bill too. The Bill became an Act in 1990 with approval by all political parties in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The first step the ruling Congress government took in response to the ‘invasion’ by cross-border satellite television was to set up be ‘Vradan Committee (1991) to re-examine the Prasar Bharati Act (1990). The Vradan Committee suggested that Doordarshan should devote ‘at least 20% of total broadcasting time on each channel to socially relevant programmes’. Further, no more than ten percent in terms of time of the programmes broadcast should be imported’. It also recommended that ‘while dealing with any matter of controversy, the programmes shall present all points of view in a fair and impartial manner’. The United Front Government went a step further. It sought to draw up a comprehensive National Media Policy which would take so account questions such as decentralisation of television, regulation cross-media ownership, participation by foreign media houses, role of advertising and unlinking from Indian Territory. The Ram Vilas Paswan Committee was set up for this purpose in 1995. It submitted a 104-page working paper with 46 recommendations on public and private electronic media, newspapers, news agencies, and film. The Committee had hammered out consensus on National Media Policy. Some of the recommendations were incorporated in the Broadcasting Bill introduced in parliament in May 1997. The Nitish Sengupta Committee (1996) was constituted in 1996 to have another look at the Prasar Bharati Act and to suggest amendment it submitted its report in August of the same year. The Broadcasting Bill (1997):

In mid-May 1997, the Broadcasting Bill was introduced in Parliament. A Parliamentary Committee headed by Mr. Sharad Pawar of the Congress (I) was constituted to have a second look at some of the controversial clauses such as cross-media ownership. Licensing procedures, extent of foreign equity to be permitted, and unlinking services for private satellite channels. The Bill makes it mandatory for all channels whether Indian or foreign to transmit their programmes from Indian Territory. Licenses for satellite channels will be granted only to Indian companies, and they would be allowed up to 49% foreign equity. No foreign equity for terrestrial channels would be allowed. The Bill bans cross-media ownership (newspaper publishing houses can have no more than 20% equity in television or cable companies), and foreign ownership. Besides, no advertising agencies. religious bodies, political parties or publicly funded bodies will be granted a license to own a TV Company.

Direct-to-borne (0TH) services would be licensed only to two companies after a bidding process. The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act would stand repealed once the Bill came into effect. The Broadcasting Bill was introduced in direct response to the Supreme Court of India’s direction to the Central Government in February 1995 ‘to take immediate steps to establish an independent autonomous public authority representative of all sections and interests in the society to control and regulate the use of the airwaves’. The Supreme Court was opposed to the privatization of broadcasting, observing that ‘private broadcasting, even if allowed, should not be left to market forces, in the interests of ensuring that a wide variety of voices enjoy access to it. The court saw ‘a potential danger flowing from the concentration of the rights to broadcast/telecast in the hands of (either) a central agency or of a few private broadcasters’.


During the past few years, especially from the beginning of the last decade of the previous century when liberalization took place, privatization has made deep inroads in almost all sectors. The broadcasting media is not an exception to this trend. With the changing needs of the audience, the need was felt to attract the listeners of radio. Until 1993, All India Radio was the only radio broadcaster in India and private players were not permitted to broadcast and participate in radio broadcasting. In 1993, the Government took the initial step in the privatization of this sector and permitted private FM radio operators to buy airtime block on All India Radio’s FM channels in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi Chennai, Kolkata & Goa, develop program content and sell advertising time for these block to advertisers On July 6. 1999, the Government announced the Phase I Policy and permitted the greater participation by the private sector in the FM Radio broadcasting business by allowing companies to bid for 108 radio channels in 40 cities Under the Phase I Policy, the Government has announced bidding for an additional 338 radio channels in 91 cities The privatization or entry of private players in the field of broadcasting has an impact in general.

However, no serious studies appear to have been made in this respect. Hence, a need is felt to assess the impact of FM for the purpose of teaching. The introduction of frequency modulation (FM) in India has not only resuscitated the once dying airwaves, but the country may well be on the road to revival of radio’s golden age. India seems at the threshold of true democratization of the airwaves. The radio profession is poised for a further leap toward reform with the advent of “community radio,’ a development that may help the public realize the true potential of radio. In 1947, India had only six radio stations under a central government-run structure. Now we look forward to 5000 stations in more decentralized Systems. ‘Use of the airwaves, which is public property, must be regulated for its optimum use for public good for the greatest number. Broadcasting is a means of communication and, therefore, a medium of speech and statement.

Hence in a democratic policy, neither any private individual, institution or organization nor any government can claim exclusive right over it. Our Constitution also forbids monopoly either in the print, or electronic mediai” This significant judgment by Supreme Court Justices P.R. Sawant and S. Mohan in February 1995 raised new hopes for radio’s revival. This historic Supreme Court judgment kicked off a debate on privatization of the airwaves two years earlier in 1993, All India Radio stations had begun allocating time-slots for FM. In 1999, the government announced a new FM policy and invited private commercial broadcasters to apply for licenses. In all, 108channels having 10-kilowatt radio transmitters were given licenses in 40 cities. Shortly after, private broadcasting truly took off in India in 2001. In this first phase of radio privatization, there are now 185 FM relay stations in the country, of which 139 are run by the government-owned All India Radio, and 46 by semi and private broadcasters. And the government plans to raise the number.

The initial license fee system made profit-making difficult but the government plans to find a way to help the FM stations be commercially viable. There is discussion, for example, of opening up FM stations to foreign direct investment (FDI). However, despite privatization. The image of FM radio remains that of an entertainment medium and not as a powerful communication tool, because private broadcasters are still not allowed to air news. But this could change in the next phase of privatization The concept of community radio was behind the government’s decision to allow the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to operate 40 FM stations, although the university has started only 16. However, its experience of providing distance education through radio has been quite productive.

According to Divesh Kishore of IGNOU’s department of education, research and training, “Our experience has been very interesting. Through radio, students can communicate directly with their area counselor. And since its reach is about 70 square kilometers, they can also meet in person. Commercial radio has the potential to be profitable. The revenue of commercial FM services in the country has shown rapid growth in the past two years Out of re total budget for media advertising in India last year, radio received a mere two percent or Rs 1,500 million, with FM getting Rs. 500 million. But the revenue share of FM radio has been steadily growing for the last five years. As FM is now being perceived as a regional medium. In contrast, community radio is, by and large, a considered advertisement free because it is run by nonprofit organizations and generates revenue primarily through donations.

The Task Force on Information and Broadcasting. set up for the Tenth Five Year Plan, reported that community radio should be run as a public (meaning nonprofit) service much like the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). But Rakesh Kakkar, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s adviser on broadcasting. said recently that every one hour of radio programming should have five minutes of ad time so the broadcaster does not suffer losses. America, which has a lively, well-developed privately-owned radio system •offering news, information and entertainment options to serve diverse urban and rural needs has had some influence or FM or community radio broadcasting-be – the conceptual framework or programming. Privatization policy (2000):

In July 1999, the GOI decided to privatize the FM radio sector in keeping with Supreme Court directions and commitments laid down in the Ninth Five year plan. The GoI offered licenses for a 10-year period, charging a license fee with a 15% annual hike (Refer Exhibit II for policy guidelines for phase I of FM privatization)… The losses, caused by the irrationally high license fees, gradually worsened the situation and in June 2003, Go 92.5 FM sent a conditional notice to the GoI threatening to close operations if it did not change its policies. Radio broadcasters, including Radio Mirchi, started pressurizing the GoI for a policy change and on July 24, 2003, the GoI constituted a committee, Radio Task Force, headed by Dr. Amit Mitra, General Secretary, FICCI to study the FM radio industry and make recommendations for change in the licensing regime…

The policy guidelines in the second phase of FM privatization were seen as a major step in making FM radio viable. Financial viability was expected to allow radio stations to shift to more varied programming and hence deliver more choice and options to the Indian listener. “Diverse program formats have not emerged because of a regulated environment and a huge payout to the government”, said Steve England (England), owner of S2blue…

Radio Mirchi was quite optimistic about the new policy changes in the FM industry. In the changed scenario, where license fees would be half the amount that was being paid earlier, Radio Mirchi expected to earn healthy profits. The company had also taken measures to reduce the ratio of its employee cost to total income from 99% in 2002 to 21% in 2005. Its administrative expenses (as a % of total income) for the same period were brought down from a high of 174% to 34%. In October 2005, it set off its accumulated losses against its share capital and securities premium account through a reduction in issued and paid up capital…

Expansion of FM Radio channels:

In India, All India Radio – the public service broadcaster, had monopoly on Radio Broadcast, till a couple of years back. In May 2000, the Government of India opened the Sector for participation by the private FM broadcasters and offered 108 frequencies in 40 cities for open tender bidding. At present, 21 private FM stations are on the air in 12 cities. Now The Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has formulated a policy on expansion of FM radio broadcasting services through private agencies. This is also known as Phase – II of expansion of FM radio broadcasting. The salient features of policy for expansion of FM radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase – II) are: – Process of Granting Permission:

The entities that plan to operate FM Stations in India will have to bid for the license. The permission shall be granted on the basis of One-Time Entry Fees (OTEF) quoted by the bidders (Closed Tender System). The detailed  tender notice has not been issued yet, but the same is expected soon.

Eligibility: General Criteria

Only Companies registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956 can bid for license for operating Private FM Channels. However, subsidiary Company of any Applicant Company or Company under the same management shall not be allowed to participate in the tender process for the license. Further Companies associated with or controlled by any religious or political body or advertising agency will also not be allowed to tender for the license. The existing Private FM Station operators (existing licensees), who exercise their option to be considered for Phase 2, including those licensees who are eligible for automatic migration for channels already operational by them, shall be eligible to be considered for the pre-qualification round for fresh tendering under Phase 2, subject to their fulfilling the prescribed eligibility criteria. Financial Criteria:

The Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has formulated a policy on expansion of FM radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase-II). As in the Phase-I policy, the objectives of Phase-II shall be to attract private agencies to supplement and complement the efforts of All India Radio by operational zing radio stations that provide programmes with local content and relevance, improve the quality of fidelity in reception and generation, encouraging participation by local talent and generating employment.

Permission shall be granted on the basis of One-Time Entry Fees (OTEF) quoted by the bidders (Closed Tender System). The Ministry of I&B would separately issue detailed tender notice in due course enabling the interested parties to participate.

Eligibility Process:

The process of granting permission for new participants under Phase 2 shall consist of two rounds. The first round shall be for pre-qualification and only applicants qualifying in accordance with prescribed eligibility criteria given at item no. 3 below will proceed to the next round for making financial bids for specific channels in different cities. Participants of Phase 1, who exercise their option to be considered for Phase 2, including those licensees who are eligible for automatic migration for channels already operationalised by them, shall be eligible to be considered for the pre-qualification round for fresh tendering under Phase 2, subject to their fulfilling the prescribed eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria:

Only Companies registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 shall be eligible for bidding and obtaining permission for FM Radio channels. The following disqualifications shall apply to these companies:

Bidding will be conducted at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai for the respective four regions of the country with dates fixed at weekly intervals. Since companies will be eligible to participate in bidding for channels in all the four regions, their financial competence shall be assessed on the basis of the following indicative criteria:

However, each company may intimate in writing the maximum number of channels in different categories of cities it desires to bid for and its eligibility will be determined accordingly. In case the applicant does not wish to intimate these details, the applicant company should have the minimum net worth of Rs. 10 Crore.

The applicant company would be required to furnish Annual Reports and Audited Accounts for the last three years, or in the case of a newly incorporated company, Balance Sheets from the date of incorporation till 31st March, 2005, certified by a Chartered Accountant, to support its claim of financial competence.

Managerial Competence:

Names of Directors with evidence of their commercial or managerial competence. Directorship or other executive positions held by the Directors in other companies/organizations with details of such companies/organizations with documentary evidence to support their claim Names of the key executives, i.e. Chief Executive Officer, and Heads of Finance, Marketing and Creative Departments, if any in position, with evidence of their professional qualifications and managerial competence. The applicant company will have to conform to foreign investment and other related stipulations as prescribed in Para 8.1 below.

Separate Financial Bid for Each Channel: Every pre-qualified applicant may apply for allotment of only one channel in each city through a separate financial bid for payment of OTEF for each channel. Tender Deposit: Each such financial bid shall be accompanied with a demand draft for an amount equal to 50% of the financial bid and unconditional and irrevocable Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) for an amount equal to 50% of the financial bid valid for one year from the date of closure of the bidding process. Staggered Tendering: The venue, date and time for submission and opening of the sealed tenders will be staggered region-wise. Reserve OTEF: Reserve OTEF limit for each city shall be 25% of the highest valid bid in that city. All bids below the reserve limit shall be summarily rejected. Waiting List: Channels available for Private Agencies in Phase 2 in each city shall be allocated in accordance with descending order of valid financial bids received.

In the event of the number of valid bids being more than the available number of frequencies, those unsuccessful valid bidders, who are above the Reserve OTEF limit, and who are willing to continue the deposit of their PBG for the amount equal to 50% of their respective financial bids, will be placed in a waiting list in accordance with the descending order of their financial bids for a period of two years. Balance Bid Payment: Every successful bidder shall be asked to deposit the balance 50% of his financial bid through a demand draft within a period of seven days of being declared a successful bidder. Blacklisting and Forfeiture: Any successful bidder, who fails to deposit the balance 50% of the bid amount within the prescribed period, shall be immediately disqualified to take part in any fresh bidding anywhere in the country for a period of five years. Further, the original payment made through demand draft for 50% of the bid amount shall be forfeited immediately.

Letter Of Intent: On deposit of the balance 50% of the bid amount within the stipulated time, and fulfillment of other eligibility conditions, the successful bidder will be issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enable the company to obtain frequency allocation, SACFA clearance, achieve financial closure and appoint all key executives, enter into agreements with DD/AIR/BECIL and deposit the requisite amounts towards land/tower lease rent, common transmission infrastructure etc. and comply with requisite conditions of eligibility for signing the “Grant of Permission Agreement” within a period of nine months from the date of issue of LOI. In the event of the failure of any LOI holder to comply with the eligibility conditions for the Grant of Permission Agreement or failing to sign the Grant of Permission Agreement within the prescribed period of nine months from the date of issue of LOI, the full deposit of the bid amount shall be forfeited without further notice, and Letter of Intent and the allocation of frequency, if any, shall stand cancelled.

The frequency so released may be allotted to the next highest bidder from the waiting list. Grant of Permission Agreement: On complying with all the requisite conditions of eligibility, and furnishing a PBG for an amount equal to the annual fee (10% of Reserve OTEF), the LOI holder and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will sign the Grant of Permission Agreement in the prescribed format. Besides the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting would issue permission after signing the agreement to enable the permission holder to install the radio station, obtain Wireless Operating License (WOL) and operationalise the channel within a period of one year from the date of signing the Grant of Permission Agreement. The period of permission shall be reckoned from the date of operationalisation or one year from the date of signing of the Grant of Permission Agreement, whichever is earlier. In the event of the failure of the permission holder to operationalise the channel within the stipulated period, the permission holder shall become liable to pay the annual fee, which shall be recovered in one lump sum from the PBG furnished by the permission holder and the permission holder asked to furnish a fresh PBG to cover next year’s fee.

In the event of the permission holder failing to operationalise the channel within a period of eighteen months from the date of signing the Grant of Permission Agreement, or failing to furnish PBG for the next year’s annual fee within a period of three months from the date of invoking the PBG, whichever is earlier, the Grant of Permission Agreement shall be revoked and the permission holder debarred from bidding for the same city for a period of five years from the date of revocation of permission. Fee and duration:

Annual Fee shall be charged @ 4% of gross revenue, for the year or @ 10% of the Reserve OTEF limit for the concerned city, whichever is higher. Gross Revenue for this purpose would be the gross revenue without deduction of taxes. The first year from the date of signing the Grant of Permission Agreement shall be reckoned as the commissioning period. The first year’s fee shall become payable with effect from the date of operationalisation of the channel or expiry of one year from the date of signing the Grant of Permission Agreement, whichever is earlier. The permission holder shall initially pay advance quarterly installments on the basis of the Reserve OTEF formula till the end of the financial year. Once the final fee for the financial year is determined on the basis of gross revenue share formula, the permission holder shall pay the balance in one lump sum within a period of one month from the date of such determination, in any case not later than 30th September of the following year.

From the second year onwards, the permission holder shall pay advance license fee on the basis of 4% gross revenue share of the first year or 10% of reserve OTEF, whichever is higher, within the first fortnight of each quarter, and balance due of final annual fee by 30th September each year. Gross revenue shall be calculated on the basis of billing rates, which shall include discounts, if any, given to the advertisers and any commissions paid to the advertising agencies. Barter advertising contracts shall also be included in gross revenues of either licensee on the basis of their respective relevant billing rates. Every permission holder shall furnish a bank guarantee for the amount of annual fee calculated on the basis of Reserve OTEF formula, and maintain its validity throughout the currency of the permission. Any default in payment of determined annual fee shall be recovered from the bank guarantee and if the amounts due are more, the permission holder shall be asked to furnish additional bank guarantees to cover the balance. Every permission holder shall maintain separate financial accounts for each channel, which shall be audited by chartered accountants.

In the case of a permission holder providing or receiving goods and services from other companies that owned or controlled by the owners of the permission holder, all such transactions shall be valued at normal commercial rates and included in the profit and loss account of the permission holder to calculate its gross revenue. Government shall have the right to get the accounts of any permission holder audited by CAG or any other professional auditors at their discretion. In case of difference between the financial results determined by the chartered accountant and the government appointed auditors, the views of the government appointed auditor shall prevail to the extent of determining gross revenues of the permission holder. Every permission under Phase 2 shall be valid for a period of ten years from the date of operationalisation of the channel.

There shall be no provision for its extension and it shall automatically lapse at the end of the period and the permission holder shall have no rights whatsoever to continue to operate the channel after the date of expiry. Government at the appropriate time shall determine procedure for issue of fresh permissions and no concessional treatment shall be afforded to the permission holders in the allotment of channels thereafter. No Multiple permissions in a city:

Every applicant shall be allowed to run only one channel per city provided the total number of channels allocated to the entity is within the overall ceiling of 15% of all allocated channels in the country. No permission holder shall outsource, through any long-term production or procurement arrangement, more than 50% of its total content, of which not more than 25% of its total content shall be outsourced to a single content-provider. No permission holder shall hire or lease more than 50% of broadcast equipment on long-term basis. No permission holder shall enter into any borrowing or lending arrangement with other permission holder or entities other than recognized financial institutions, which may restrict its management or creative discretion to procure or broadcast content. Total number of frequencies that an entity may hold:

No entity shall hold permission for more than 15% of all channels allotted in the country. In the event of allotment of more channels than prescribed, the entity will have the discretion to decide which channels it would like to surrender and the government shall refund its OTEF for these channels in full. Foreign Investment:

Total Foreign Investment, including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as defined by RBI, including FDI by OCBs/NRIs/PIOs etc., Portfolio Investments by FIIs (within limits prescribed by RBI) and borrowings, if these carry conversion options, is permitted to the extent of not more than 20% of the paid up equity in the entity holding a permission for a radio channel, subject to the following conditions: One Indian individual or company owns more than 50% of the paid up equity excluding the equity held by banks and other lending institutions. The majority shareholder exercises management control over the applicant entity. Has only Resident Indians as Directors on the Board.

All key executive officers of the applicant entity are resident Indians. If during the currency of the permission period, government policy on FDI/FII is modified, the permission holders shall be obliged to conform to the revised guidelines within a period of six months from the date of such notification, failing which it shall be treated as non-compliant of Grant of Permission Agreement, and liable for punitive action. No permission holder shall be permitted to change the ownership pattern of the company through transfer of shares of the major shareholders to any new shareholders without the written permission of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, which shall not be granted for a period of five years from the date of operationalisation of the permission, subject to the condition that the new shareholders conform to all the prescribed eligibility criteria.

News and Current Affairs Programs:

Every permission holder shall follow the AIR Program and Advertising Code as amended from time to time. In the event of the government announcing the setting up of a Broadcast Regulatory Authority, by whatever name called, and the content regulations are modified, the permission holder shall be obliged to conform to the revised guidelines. No permission holder shall use brand names or owners’ names or corporate-group names to identify its channel to gain commercial advantage over other permission holders. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting shall have the right to suspend the permission of one or more permission holders in public interest or national security to prevent the misuse of their respective channels and the permission holders shall be obliged to immediately comply with the directives of the Government. Penalty for Non operationalisation of Awarded Licenses:

Each permission holder shall operationalise the channel within 18 months of the date of signing of the Grant of Permission Agreement, failing which the permission will be revoked, and permission holder shall be debarred from allotment of another channel in the same city for a period of five years from the date of such revocation. The frequency so released will be allotted to a fresh successful bidder. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting may also revoke the permission if the channel is closed down for more than six months for whatever reason.

Community radio is a type of radio service that caters to the interests of a particular area in need of mass awareness. The broadcasting material of community radio has to be popular to the local audience but can be a secondary issue for more powerful broadcast groups. In India, the campaign of Community radio started in the mid 1990s, soon after the Supreme Court of India approved the idea, passed on its judgment in the month of February 1995, and declared “airwaves are public property”. This notion of the Indian government was passed on as an inspiration to groups across the country and community radio started with only educational (campus) radio stations under somewhat strict conditions. Community Radio In India, Indian Radio””1Anna FM is India`s first campus `community` radio that was launched on 1 February 2004, controlled by Education and Multimedia Research Centre (EM²RC) and the students of Media Sciences at Anna University produce all programmes. On 16 November 2006, the government of India advised a set of new Community Radio Guidelines that allowed the NGOs and other civil society organizations to possess and operate community radio stations.

According to government sources, about 4,000 community radio licenses had been on offer across India. By 30 November 2008, the Ministry of Information and Boadcasting already received 297 applications for community radio licenses, including 105 from educational institutions, 141 from NGOs and other civil society organizations, and 51 for `farm radio` stations to be run by agricultural universities and agricultural extension centers like the `Krishi Vigyan Kendras`. Among these, 107 community radio stations have been approved for licensing through the issue of Letters of Intent. 13 Grant of Permission Agreements (GOPA) were signed with license applicants under the new scheme by the Indian Government. By 30 November 2008, there had been 38 operational community radio stations in India. Of these, NGOs and educational institutions control majority of the radio stations. The first community-based radio station in India was licensed to an NGO that was completely separate from campus-based radio and was launched on 15 October 2008.

The `Sangham Radio` in Pastapur village, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh state was switched on at 11.00am unanimously to hear the shows. Sangham Radio, which broadcasts on 90.4 MHz, is applicable to execute the Deccan Development Society (DDS). This is an NGO that works with women`s groups in about 75 villages of Andhra Pradesh. `General` Narsamma and Algole Narsamma manage this community radio station. The second NGO-led community radio station in India was started on 23 October 2008 at `TARAgram` in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh state. This community radio channel was named `Radio Bundelkhand` after the Bundelkhand region of central India where it was mainly broadcasted. This radio station is licensed to the Society for Development Alternatives (DA), a Delhi-based NGO. Under the new community radio policy accredited by the Government, any not-for-profit `legal entity`, other than individuals, political parties and their affiliates, criminal and banned organizations can also apply for a CR license. Central funding is not available for such radio stations, and there are stern limitations on fundraising from other resources. Only organizations that are registered for the minimum of three years old and with a `proven` path record of local community service can apply.

License conditions unreservedly favor well-established stations as against low-priced low power operations, several of which include Mana Radio in Andhra Pradesh and Raghav FM in Bihar that run successfully on shoe-string budgets before the obligation of any community radio policy. Indian Government approved a community radio license that entitles the channel owners to operate a 100 watt (ERP) radio station, with a coverage area of almost 12 kilometers radius. A maximum antenna height of 30 meters is permissible and these radio stations are expected to produce at least 50% of their programmes in the local range and the programmes should be presented in the local language or dialect at the maximum extent. The prime focus is on developmental programming, though there is no clear restriction on entertainment. News programmes are prohibited on community radio in India, as also on commercial FM radio.

The government, however, has recently opened some new categories of news and varied forms of communication that are permitted on radio, including sports news and commentaries, information on traffic and weather conditions, exposure of cultural events and festivals, information on educational events, civic announcements adhering to the utilities like electricity and water supply, disaster warnings and health alerts. Five minutes of advertising per hour is allowed on the Indian community radio. Sponsored programs are strictly prohibited except when the program is sponsored by the Government at the Center or State. Activists and community workers coming from all across the country have gathered together under the sponsorship of the `Community Radio Forum` in order to organize training and support for community radio stations, as well as to maintain the petition for a more practical community radio policy. The Community Radio Forum, India, was registered as a `Society` and `Trust` on 26 February 2008. In the intervening time, mobile telephone operators have started to offer commercial broadcast services over GSM, escaping completely the government limitations built around traditional concepts of broadcasting technology, especially community radio in India.

Cite this page

History Of Radio Broadcast in India. (2016, May 18). Retrieved from


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