Legacy and Full Meaning of AIR
AIR full form means All India Radio and is also known as Akashvani since 1956. It is the national public broadcaster of India and is under Prasar Bharati. It is headquartered in Delhi in the year 1936.
It is considered the largest radio network in the world and the most comprehensive in terms of language broadcasts. It is comprised of 420 stations and reaches around 99% of the population. It generates programs in 23 languages in 179 dialects.
History of AIR
The first broadcast was started in 1923 with the help of two private stations, Radio Club of Bombay and Calcutta Radio Club. The first controller of broadcasting in India was Lionel Fielden and spend five years at the helm.
The signature for AIR was composed by Walter Kaufmann, director of music at AIR. There were 6 radio stations at the time of Indian Independence. These were in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Tiruchirapalli, and Lucknow. Sardar Vallavbhai Patel was the first minister of Information & Broadcasting in India.
The Vividha Bharati service was launched in 1957 to broadcast popular movie songs. It was done to counter the popularity of Radio Ceylon.
Phenomenal Rise of AIR
Through the ’60s and up to the ’80s, AIR saw tremendous due to the absence of other forms of entertainment. During the 60's India had nothing except the cinema and radio. Today, AIR has a phenomenal reach of 92% with 415 dedicated channels with broadcast in 23 languages.
The News Service Division of AIR peaches in around 647 bulletins daily for a total rise of 56 hours in about 90 dialects. AIR also operates around 18 FM channels called AIR FM Rainbow that target the urban audience with fresh content every day.
Success and Future of AIR
As you all know, AIR stands for All India Radio and is a national broadcast division of Prasar Bharati owned by the Government of India. AIR has played a decisive role in reaching out to every corner of our vast country. AIR has registered its footprint even in places where newspapers have failed to reach. It has been a news aggregator and a social engineering tool to shape mass opinion in India.
AIR is slowly adopting modern technology and is digitizing its entire content. It is also switching from Analog to Digital signaling in a phased manner.
In India, news over the radio is not available to private players, and AIR is cashing in on this phenomenon. The entire radio story of India is shifting on a higher growth path, and despite the growing television presence and satellite penetration, the radio will continue to follow an unprecedented growth path.
Interesting facts about AIR
Let's look at these five interesting facts about AIR:
Harmonium, a form of musical instrument, was banned on AIR between 1940-1971. The instrument was dubbed un-Indian and considered incapable of handling higher notes
Commercials were launched for the first time on November 1st, 1967
Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by AIR for a job
Doordarshan separated from AIR on April 1, 1976
In 2012, Bangladesh recognized Akashvani for its contribution to the war in 1971
1. What was the original name of All India Radio?
All India Radio (AIR acronym) has been known as Akashvani from 1956. It is a national public broadcasting service and is a division of Prasar Bharati.
2. How many radio stations are there in India?
There are more than 350 operation private radio stations in India as of 2018. It’s spread over 101 cities and towns of India. The government-owned AIR has about 450 FM radio stations covering 39% of broadcasting networks
3. What do you know about Yuvavani?
It is a part of Akashvani that was started in 1973 as a youth outreach platform. It emphasized education, skills, employment, music, and arts focussing on the young population.
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