All India Radio


Radio broadcasting began in India in the early 1920's.The first programme was broadcasted in 1923 by the Radio Club of Bombay. This was followed by the setting up of a Broadcasting Service that began broadcasting on 23rd July, 1927 on an experimental basis in Bombay and Calcutta, under an agreement between the then 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. The Indian State Broadcasting Service was renamed as All India Radio in January 1936.

When India attained independence in 1947,AIR had a network of six stations and 18 transmitters. The coverage was 2.5 % of the area and just 11% of the population. AIR today has 222 radio stations and 356 transmitters and its coverage extends to 91.42% by area and 99.13 % by population. Operating in a multi-cultural, multi-linguistic country like India, AIR broadcasts in 24 languages and 146 dilects.

In External Services, it covers 27 languages including 16 foreign languages. AIR operates its broadcasting services on Medium Wave, Short Wave and FM. The FM Service uses a larger bandwidth to provide a programme service of high fidelity. AIR is still the most popular media, considering the fact that it is assessible even in the remotest parts of our country where any other media like TV or newspapers cannot reach.


Programme objectives

In its programming and other activities, AIR is guided by its motto "Bahujana Hitaya; Bahujana Sukhaya" i.e. to promote the happiness and welfare of the masses through information, education and entertainment. To realize its objectives,AIR has evolved a three tier system of broadcasting - national, regional and local.

It caters to the mass communication needs of the people through its various stations spread across the country. They provide music, spoken word, news and other programmes. Local stations meet the area specific needs of the listeners.


AIR Programmes and Programme formats

News, music and spoken word programmes constitute the three major pillars of AIR's programme composition. Talks, discussions, interviews are regularly arranged to provide a forum for all shades of opinion on imp'ortant national and international issues. Radio drama is another important ingredient of AIR's programme as are Radio features and documentaries, which employ the entire range of audio formats in a single programme, e.g. narration, music, drama,interviews, poetry, sound effects, etc.

Educational programmes ofAIR cover awide spectrum of primary, secondary, tertiary and university levels. Farm & Home programmes, directed at rural audience are designed to provide information about different aspects of agriculture, introduce new techniques of farming and also create awareness about the ways and means of improving quality of farmers' lives.

The afternoon programming chunk is usually reserved for broadcasting programmes of women's interest. Major topics covered include socio-economic development of women, health & family welfare, food &nutrition, scientific home management, women entrepreneurship, education, including adult education, gender issues etc.

All India Radio and children of Indian hinterland share a special bond since a very long time. AIR regularly broadcasts programmes which involve active participation of children. A visit to the AIR studio and talking into the microphone is amemory these children cherish for their life. Every primary station of AIR broadcasts programmes for children in different age groups, beginning with tiny-tots to adolescents and young adults.

Every second Sunday of December, AIR mounts special programmes to commemorate the International Day of Children Broadcasting, in association with UNICEF.


Broadcasts on All India Radio by individuals will not permit:

1. Criticism of friendly countries;

2. Attack on religion or communities;

3. Anything obscene or defamatory;

4. Incitement to violence or anything against maintenance of law and order;

5. Anything amounting to contempt of court;

6. Aspersions against the integrity of the President, Governors and Judiciary;

7. Attack on political party by name;

8. Hostile criticism of any State or the Centre;

9. Anything showing disrespect to the Constitution or advocating change in the Constitution by violence.

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