National Broadcasting Day is celebrated every year in India on 23 July to mark the first-ever radio broadcast in India that went on air from the Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company in 1927. To celebrate the event, All India Radio (AIR) organised a symposium on Creation of New India and Broadcasting Medium in New Delhi. Radio broadcasting services started in India during the British rule in 1923 under the initiative of the Radio Club of Bombay.
Radio broadcasting started in India under British rule in 1922 which consisted of programmes by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club. Later in 1927, the Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) was declared a private entity and was granted permission to operate two radio stations.
IBC dissolved its operations on 1 March 1930 after which the government took over the broadcasting operations and started the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 on an experimental basis for two years. Eventually in June 1936, it became All India Radio.
At the time of independence from the British Raj, there were a total of six radio stations - Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Tiruchirapalli, and Lucknow. FM broadcasting started later, almost 30 years later on 23 July 1977 in Chennai.
What is the present scenario of All India Radio?
Today, All India Radio (AIR) is the largest radio network in the world with 479 stations across India. The network reaches over 92 per cent of the area in India and is accessible to 99.19 percent of the population of the country.
The aim of AIR is ‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’ and has the purpose of educating, informing and entertaining the masses. It broadcasts programmes in 23 languages and 179 dialects. Since 1956, AIR is officially called Akashvani and is owned by Prasar Bharati, India’s largest public broadcasting agency.