National Broadcasting Day is observed on July 23 across the country every year. The Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) started organising radio broadcasting from Bombay station on this day in 1927. To mark the event, All India Radio (AIR) conducted a symposium on Creation of New India and Broadcasting Medium in New Delhi. Radio broadcasting services began in India during the British rule in 1923 under the initiative of the Radio Club of Bombay.
British Government took over radio broadcasting in 1930 and started the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS). The government took over the broadcasting facilities on April 1, 1930, on an experimental basis for two years. IBC was a private entity and was granted permission by the British Government to operate two radio stations in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and Mumbai (then Bombay).
It was permanently renamed as Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) in May 1932. Later, it was changed to All India Radio (AIR) on June 8, 1936 and became Akashwani in 1957. Since then, it gained popularity and changed the socio-economic life of people.
India’s largest public broadcasting agency, Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body established by an Act of Parliament and accords to the Doordarshan Television Network, which previously was media unit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Today, AIR’s home service comprises 414 stations located across India, reaching approximately 92 per cent of the entire country’s area and nearly 99.19 per cent of the total population.
AIR derives programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects. Currently, AIR is one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of the number of languages of broadcast, the spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves.