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Radio-the lost treasure of the 21st century modern India

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

The beginning of the 21st century has welcomed the advances in the new technologies which has replaced the traditional medium of communication which was through radio transmission. Gone are the days when people used to gather around and listen to Community radio program and get all their daily updates on news and current affairs, now it's all just one click away on the mobile phones and even television which have paved the way for a faster, quicker and a more accessible mode for communication for all. Nonetheless, we shouldn't forget our roots and subdue the importance and the stellar role played by the radio which has helped our country to be on the right track of development. Radio was first pioneered in India by the Madras presidency club radio in the year 1924, since then there have many various technological advancements and developments in the radio broadcasting.

In 1957 All India radio popularly known as AIR or Akash Vani was established as the national public radio broadcaster of India which was also a division of Prasar Bharti. The main function of the all-India radio is to plan, produce and broadcast programs to listeners. These broadcasts include a good deal of entertainment, information and education programs intended to aid development alongside news and current affairs. One of the most popular programs loved by all the people of our country was Vividh Bharathi which consisted of various evergreen Bollywood songs which provided the people with soulful music for their leisure activities.

At present AIR comprises of 420 stations across the country nearly 92% of the country's area and 99% of the total population. AIR originates programming in 23 languages and 179 dialects.

Radio happens to be extremely relevant in today's scenario, even though the world has adapted to a digital medium, the radio is not dead. Even today during calamities like floods or earthquake, the role of radio cannot be understated.

The role of community radio in disseminating the crucial information during the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic cannot ignored as it was the radio programs which helped the most vulnerable sections of the society by educating them on the topic Covid 19, it's signs and symptoms and how it spreads along with the adequate precautions required in local vernacular languages and dialects and how they could protect themselves against it. The community radio also acted as a bridge between the district administration and the community members.

All the relevant and important information and messages were passed on through community radio reporters. The community radio consists of an array of programs ranging from topics like health awareness, youth related programs, motivation, yoga, fitness, parenting, nutrition, programs for children and even home makers. The community radio received a lot of feedback through live phone in programs and even messages from public which was duly shared with the administration and the solution of the problems were communicated to the public. Three concerns were often related to people with various disabilities, elderly citizens and economically and socially backward section of the society.


In this age of television, Radio still strikes to be a popular medium which reaches a staggering 95% of Indian population including both urban and rural areas. Rural areas especially, relies on it overwhelmingly for information. It also remains the most inexpensive and portable medium which makes it cheaper than television as well. Since the radio enables the programs in an audio form, it easily surmounts barriers linked to literacy which easily allows the illiterate people to comprehend and absorb news and information. Radio has also helped flourish the music industry of the nation, as it helps to create a special connection between the Radio jockeys and their audience and plays a huge role in music discovery especially for the youth of the nation as well as playing the old evergreen songs for the older generation to enjoy. Community radio continues to be a medium for the transmission and revitalization of Indigenous languages, cultures and worldviews, it also continues to be a primary medium to inform and communicate issues that affect and interest the constituency it serves, especially for rural communities where reliable internet access is lacking.

especially Indigenous radio stations, by distributing small grants, training, advocacy, and research, So the overall impact is that radio broadcasting is quite significant to the socio-cultural landscape of communities in India.


Radio has also been the last man standing in times of calamity and disaster. During situations like the 2004 tsunami, and the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, radio played a stellar role in conveying information on relief work, aid and recovery efforts. Radio has been the medium of choice for activists and people's movements as it provides an effective platform for human rights and education to those most in need. The international World Radio Day is observed Every year on 13 February. This was introduced by the UNESCO which advocates radio by youth for the youth. Furthermore, listening to the daily morning news along with fun entertainment radio talk shows and programs remains one of the most widely reported habits across the globe. The accessibility of the radio and the economy of the medium have led to a proliferation of local Radio stations that can cater to the niche population in limited geographies, despite the recent technological developments Radio has still maintained the number one slot in terms of media consumption. Radio proves to be a medium for the future. It has a a duty to include the youth population of the country not just as listeners but also as active producers and creators of content.

By our Member - Anusha Mangalvedhe (Get membership and feature your article. Check here)




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