Akashvani will be the new name for All India Radio (AIR)

The Centre has directed that the public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) be referred to solely as Akashvani in all broadcasts and programmes.

All India Radio: Throughout Time

  • In India, radio broadcasting began in 1923 with the first commercial transmission carried out by the Radio Club of Bombay.
  • The Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) was founded in 1927, while the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) was founded in 1930.
  • ISBS was renamed All India Radio (AIR) in 1936.
  • At the time of independence, AIR covered barely 2% of India’s land area and reached only 11% of the people.
  • AIR now has a network of over 262 radio stations that covers 92% of India’s land area and virtually all of its people.
  • It transmits in 23 languages and 146 dialects, and it also has an External Services Division that broadcasts in 11 Indian and 16 foreign languages to over 100 countries.
  • The AIR News Services Division broadcasts 647 bulletins per day for a total of roughly 56 hours.
  • FM broadcasting began in Chennai in 1977, and AIR now has 18 FM stereo stations.

What is the significance of the name change?

  • The decision to refer to AIR just as Akashvani is consistent with the provisions of the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990, which was established by Parliament.
  • Listeners have a stronger connection with Akashvani, and the name change is in accordance with the 1997 statute.

The significance of AIR

  • Prior to the emergence of television or digital media, AIR played an important role in communicating significant events in India’s recent history.
  • Among other things, AIR’s participation in broadcasting Jawaharlal Nehru’s classic “Tryst with Destiny” speech in 1947 and Kapil Dev’s mythical 175-run knock in 1983 established its place in history.
  • For many Indians, the Akashvani melody invokes nostalgia and memories of a bygone period when they awoke at the crack of dawn to the sounds of the jingle and began their day with AIR programming.
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