As India’s National Broadcaster and also the major Public Service Broadcaster, All India Radio (AIR) has been helping to inform, educate and entertain the masses since its inception, truly living up to its motto – ‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’. One of the biggest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the number of languages of broadcast, the spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves, AIR’s home service combined of 420 stations today located across the country, reaching nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19 % of the total population. All India Radio originates programming in 23 languages and 179 dialects.
Broadcasting in India actually started it about 13 years before AIR came into existence. In June 1923 the Radio Club of Bombay made the initial ever broadcast in the country. The Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) established into being on July 23, 1927, only to face liquidation in less than three years.
The phenomenal growth attained by All India Radio has made it one of the largest media organizations in the world. With a network of 262 radio stations, AIR today is accessible to almost the whole population of the country and nearly 92% of the total area. Broadcasting giant, AIR today broadcasts in 23 languages and 146 dialects catering to a big spectrum of socio-economically and culturally diverse populace.
The News Services Division, of AIR, broadcasts 647 bulletins daily for a total duration of nearly 56 hours in about 90 Languages/Dialects in Home, Regional, External and DTH Services. 314 news headlines on an hourly basis are also being mounted on FM mode from 41 AIR Stations. 44 Regional News Units originate 469 daily news bulletins in 75 languages. Add to this the daily news bulletins; the News Services Division also mounts a number of news-based programmes on topical subjects from Delhi and its Regional News Units
AIR functions at present 18 FM stereo channels, called AIR FM Rainbow, targeting the urban audience in a refreshing style of presentation. Four more FM channels called, AIR FM Gold, broadcast composite news and entertainment programmes from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai.
To give information, education, and entertainment, for promoting the welfare and happiness of the masses (Bahujana Hitaya Bahujana Sukhaya), All India Radio strives to:
a) Uphold the unity of India and the democratic values enshrined in the constitution.
b) Give a fair and balanced flow of information of national, regional, local and international interest, including contrasting views, without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own.
c) Advertise the interest and concerns of the entire nation, being mindful of the need for harmony and understanding within the country and ensuring that the programmes reflect the varied elements which make the composite culture of India.
d) Produce and transmit varied programmes designed to awaken, inform, enlighten, educate, entertain and enhance all sections of the people.
e) Produce and transmit programmes relating to developmental activities in all their facets covering extension work in agriculture, education, health, and family welfare and science & technology.
f) Helps the rural, illiterate and underprivileged population, keeping in the mind the special needs and interest of the young, social and cultural minorities, the tribal population and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas.
g) Promote social justice and combat exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and small parochial loyalties.
h) Help the rural population, minority communities, women, children, illiterate as well as other weaker and vulnerable sections of the society.
i) Encourage national integration.