National Broadcasting Day 2021: India’s first-ever radio broadcast went on air on this day in 1927

Aninda Das – Times Now
July 23, 2021

When the country attained Independence from the British Raj, there were six radio stations  – Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Tiruchirapalli, and Lucknow.

Key Highlights


  • Radio broadcasting began in India under British rule in 1922 with programs by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club.
  • Later in 1927, the Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) was made a private entity and granted permission to operate two radio stations.
  • IBC went into liquidation on 1 March 1930, following which the government took over the broadcasting facilities and started the  Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 on an experimental basis for two years.

National Broadcasting Day is observed annually in India on 23 July to commemorate the first-ever radio broadcast in the country that went on air from the Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company in 1927.

History of National Broadcasting Day

Radio broadcasting began in India under British rule in 1922 with programs by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club.  Later in 1927, the Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) was made a private entity and granted permission to operate two radio stations.

IBC went into liquidation on 1 March 1930, following which the government took over the broadcasting facilities and started the  Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 on an experimental basis for two years. Then in June 1936, it went on to become All India Radio.

When the country attained Independence from the British Raj, there were six radio stations  – Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Tiruchirapalli, and Lucknow. However, FM broadcasting began almost 30 years later on  23 July 1977 in Chennai.

Present Scenario

All India Radio (AIR) has been officially known since 1956 as ‘Akashvani’. It has the largest radio network in the world, and one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the number of languages broadcast.

AIR now comprises 420 stations across the country, reaching nearly 92% of the area and 99% of the total population, according to reports.

AIR is owned by Prasar Bharti, which is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of parliament and compromises the Doordarshan Television Network.

Private radio began in India in 1993 with a daily two-hour slot on the FM channels in Delhi and Mumbai.

Almost 8 years later, the first phase of the private sector’s participation in the radio broadcasting industry began with the government conducting open auctions for radio licenses.

From the TimesNowNews.com website, July 23, 2021. This material remains © Bennett Coleman & Company Limited and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.

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