Know about the History of Radio in India

Marconi invented radio broadcasting with the invention of the first wireless telegraph link in 1896. The first demonstration of radio transmission took ten years to construct, but it was challenging to separate words from music.

In 1908, another spectacular demonstration was held from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In 1916, on the occasion of the election of the US President, a New York station broadcasted the first radio news bulletin. By 1927, radio had established itself as a critical source of information. In 1923 and 1924, three radio clubs were created in Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, and radio broadcasting in India began as a private business.

In June 1923, the Radio Club broadcasted India’s first radio program. Music and discussions were the significant parts of the two- to three-hour daily broadcasts. However, due to a lack of financial support, these stations were forced to shut in 1927. It was followed by the establishment of a Broadcasting Service, which began broadcasting in India on a trial basis in Bombay in July 1927 and Calcutta a month later under an arrangement between the Government of India and the Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd.

In response to substantial public protest over the IBC’s closing, the government purchased the station’s assets and established the Indian Broadcasting Service under the Department of Labour and Industries. Broadcasting in India has been under government control since then. A radio station was set up in Delhi in 1936. The Indian Broadcasting Service was renamed All India Radio (AIR) that same year, and a new trademark melody was introduced. The Delhi station became the epicentre of national broadcasting. Since June 1936, All India Radio has gone a long way.

When India gained independence, the AIR network had just six stations with 18 transmitters – six on medium wave and the rest on the short wave – in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow, and Tiruchirapalli. Radio transmission on the medium wave was limited to the urban elite of these cities. With the beginning of World War II, radio transmission became increasingly important.

By 1939, a short-wave communication had reached every corner of the country, and the programming structure had been altered to accommodate wartime needs. News and political commentaries were offered at this time, and special broadcasts for individuals living near the necessary northeastern and northwest borders.

With 198 broadcasting centres, including 74 local radio stations, serving more than 97.3 % of the country’s population, the broadcasting sector has radically evolved since independence. It now transmits programs in a variety of languages 24 hours a day. All India Radio’s role is unique where it is one of the news organizations that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and never stops.

Broadcasting centres are often full-fledged stations with a medium wave, short wave, and FM transmissions network. Furthermore, AIR’s external services division links to other parts of the world through its programs, broadcast in up to 24 languages and run for around 24 hours a day.