The Indian Broadcasting Company with stations at Bombay and Calcutta was started in 1927. After its failure in 1930, the Government of India took over broadcasting in 1932. A separate department called the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) was opened. It was this service that was later designated as All India Radio (AIR). Further in the year 1957, AIR was renamed to Akashvani and controlled by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Since radio is a means of broadcasting that didn’t require one to be literate, it was highly popular among the citizens including rural denizens. The programme pattern of Akashvani combined three main elements: national channel that provided programmes of countrywide interest, zonal service from each of the metropolitan centres (Delhi, Madras, Calcutta, Bombay) and regional stations catering to needs and interests of specific areas.
Principal ingredients of AIR’s programme production were primarily music, dramas, news and current affairs, commentaries, Vividh Bharati, and programme for special audiences. To enable Akashvani reach all sections of the Indian people, its programmes in the home service are broadcast in 23 principal languages. Currently Akashvani runs across 420 stations in the country.