History of All India Radio
During the British Raj, broadcasting began in July 1923 with programmes by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club and other radio clubs. The birth of Radio broadcasting in India has started on an experimental basis in the year 1921 through a musical programme. In 1927, private radio clubs proliferated. In the year 1930, radio broadcasting started operating under the Indian Broadcasting Company. On March 1935, a separate office of the Controller of Broadcasting was created .The landmark in the history of broadcasting is the change of the name of the Indian Broadcasting to ‘All India Radio’ (AIR) in the year 1936. In the same year Delhi station was formed.
Akashvani was first used in the perspective of radio by M. V. Gopalaswamy after setting up the nation’s first private radio station in his house, "Vittal Vihar" in 1936. Nine AIR stations opened up in different places like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow and Trichy. On 12th November, 1947, the voice of Gandhiji was broadcasted in AIR.
Etymology of All India Radio or Akashva?i
Akashva?i is a Sanskrit word, meaning "heavenly announcement," or "voice from the sky". Akashvani was a suitable name for a radio broadcaster and was later adopted as All India Radio's on-air name from 1957.
Objectives of All India Radio
AIR has defined its objectives in the following:
Domestic Services of All India Radio
AIR has a lot of services in a number of languages, each serving different areas from corner to corner of India. ‘Vividh Bharati’ is one of the best-known services of AIR and is popular in Mumbai and other large cities of India. It offers a broad range of programmes including news, films, music and comedy programs. Some programs broadcast on Vividh Bharati are ‘Hawa-mahal: Radio plays based on novels and plays’ and ‘Santogen ki mehfil: Comedy show’.
Regional and External Services of All India Radio
Over the years, the radio broadcasting has expanded its service both in terms of reach and content suitable to the requirements of the nation. A three- tier system has been introduced. The national channel was formed on 18th May, 1988. It is located in New Delhi and it suffices national broadcasting. Major stations look after the regional broadcasts. Till date these include News Services, Cultural Programmes, Extension education services, External services for foreign countries.
The external services of All India Radio broadcast in 27 languages to countries outside India. The external broadcasts begun on 1st October 1939 by the British government. The External Services Division of All India Radio broadcasts on a daily basis in 57 transmissions within about 72 hours, covering over 108 countries in 27 languages, out of which 15 are foreign and 12 Indian. The foreign languages are Arabic, Baluchi, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, French, Indonesian, Persian, Pushtu, Russian, Sinhala, Swahili, Thai, Tibetan and English. The Indian languages are Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kokani, Kashmiri, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Other services of All India Radio are ‘Digital Radio Mondiale’, ‘News-on-phone service’, ‘Documentaries’, ‘Central Drama Unit’ and ‘Social Media Cell’. All India Radio launched news-on-phone service on 25th February 1998.
National Programmes of All India Radio
Health campaigns on Universal Immunisation (Mission ‘Indradhanush’), Polio, Thalesimia eye donation are aired widely in these programmes. Usual programmes of drug ill-treatment, tobacco consumption, illicit trafficking, acquired immune deficiency syndrome etc. are aired. Women related programmes of All India Radio covers subjects related to socio- financial development of women, health and family safety, food and nourishment, scientific home managing, women private enterprise, education including adult education, women empowerment, gender issues and so on.
Children programmes are based on plays, short stories, features, vocal singings, interviews and stories from epics are the part of these broadcasts. ‘Children’s Day’ is celebrated on November 14th as ‘Baal Diwas’ with the special children activities, stage shows and invited audience programmes. The ‘Trinity’ and ‘Vaggeyakara’ Music Festival and the ‘Tyagaraja Aradhana’ Music festival are famous broadcast from All India Radio for Carnatic Music lovers. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is an Indian radio programme hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Programme on current affairs is disseminated every Sunday. There are news programmes called "Samachar Prabhat" and "Morning News" in Hindi and English correspondingly. A mid day news of one hour is broadcasted from 2 p.m. and is also available on the Internet.
Awards of All India Radio
Akashvani yearly awards are given for exceptional radio plays, documentaries, musical productions, inventive programmes, programmes on family welfare and programmes on farm. Some of the awards of All India Radio are "Lassa Kaul Award" for programmes on National Integration, "The K. L. Sharma Award", and "Dr. Rajendra Kumar Talib Award" etc. Akashvani introduced a special award for the Best Marketing Division in 2002. Gandhian Philosophy and Public Service Broadcasting Awards were started in 2001. From the year 2005, four new categories of awards were instituted for the Best Trainer (Programme), Best Training Institute (Programme), Best Regional News Unit and Best News Editor of the Year. In the year 2008, award for Best Part Time Correspondent Award of the Year and in 2009, Award for the Best Women’s Programme were added.