The history of Indian Radio states that broadcasting began in India with the development of a private radio service in Madras (presently Chennai) in 1924. Later, British colonial government approved a license to a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company, to inaugurate Radio stations in Bombay and Kolkata. The company almost went bankrupt in 1930 but the colonial government took away the two transmitters and the Department of Labour and Industries started operating them as the Indian State Broadcasting Corporation. In 1936, this very Corporation was renamed All India Radio (AIR) and was controlled by the Department of Communications. When India became independent in 1947, AIR was separated as a Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The development of Indian radio symbolises the quick and dramatic changes of the Broadcasting Authority of India. The national television or the Doordarshan and All India Radio, or Akashwani networks had been state-owned and was controlled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The news reporting through radio usually presented the government's point of view and there was hardly any public communication. However, with time Indian Radio has become a prime entertainment and music medium for the audience.
The local broadcasting of Indian Radio reflects local issues of concern. Presently, radio broadcasting is presented in 24 languages and 146 dialects all across India and there are 104 million radio households in the country, using approximately 111 million radio sets. All India Radio (AIR) initiated regional radio services in India. A variety of programmes broadcasted in AIR caters to different regions and languages across India. Regional radio in India has reached almost all the states individually. The Punjabi radio channels, Bengali radio channels and others strictly cater to their colloquial audience. Similar channels are transmitted in other Indian states as well.
Community radio in India 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 is usually popular with 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, only with the educational (campus) radio stations under somewhat strict conditions.
Indian radio personalities are the connoisseurs of some of the most significant changes in the audio media of the nation. Lately, the radio organizations are made up of copywriters, producers, compeering executives and most importantly radio jockeys. The RJs or the radio jockeys have been serving the Indian radio proficiently for almost a century. Earlier they were known as the radio announcers, who were newsreaders or hosts and later with the advent of FM channels the Radio Announcer were referred to as Radio Jockey or RJ. Nowadays being a radio jockey has become a desired career option due to its profitable future and icon status. They deliver Indian Radio Programmes of interesting topics that are aired on various radio channels of India to entertain the Indian audiences all across the nation. These programmes on Indian radio not only entertain, but talk about important issues related to social welfare as well.
The national radio stations in India have brought about an easy and portable way of entertainment across the country. This intimate mode of entertainment and recreation are present in other states as well. The Kannada radio channels and Malayalam radio channels thoroughly entertain the audiences in the south.
Almost every household of India is well acquainted with the shows of Indian radio and its associated FM channels. The national radio stations along with the regional stations, assure its coverage in almost all the corners of the nation.