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Mann ka Radio 5 – Rise of the Hindi FM radio services in India

Radio Source: Getty

Amit Sarwal and Ashwini Tyagi, former broadcaster AIR and BBC, take you on a fantastic journey of the rise and popularity of Hindi FM radio broadcasting in India.

All India Radio (AIR), officially known since 1956 as Ākāshvāṇī, is India’s national public radio broadcaster.

Established in 1930, it is the sister service of Prasar Bharati's Doordarshan.

AIR covers almost 99% of the Indian population and is the largest radio network in the world.

FM broadcasting began on 23 July 1977 in Chennai (formerly Madras).

These services were expanded during the 1990s with four metro cities: Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai.

These were soon followed by stations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Lucknow.

Times FM (now Radio Mirchi) began operations in 1993 in Ahmedabad.

Until 1993, All India Radio or AIR, a government undertaking, was the only radio broadcaster in India.

The Indian government then sold airtime blocks on its FM channels to develop program content.

In 2000, the government announced the auction of 108 FM frequencies across India.

It is reported that by March 2017, the government was planning to set-up 86 more FM Radio in all parts of India.

Ashwini Tyagi
Ashwini Tyagi
SBS Hindi

To know more about the rise and popularity of Hindi FM broadcasting in India, listen to Amit Sarwal’s conversation with Ashwini Tyagi, former broadcaster AIR and BBC, in SBS Hindi’s ‘Mann ka Radio’ series.