Radio in India has its origins in pre-independence, British India. It was a club called the Madras Presidency Club Radio that is said to have pioneered radio broadcasting in India in 1924. Interestingly, in the same year, a private company – the Indian Broadcasting Company was given a license by the British government for radio stations in Bombay and Calcutta. As the company nearly went bankrupt a few years later in 1930, the government took away the two transmitters. Subsequently, the Department of Labour and Industries, under a new name – the Indian State Broadcasting Corporation, started operations on a trial basis. In 1936, this company was rechristened All India Radio – AIR – as the state-run radio service. In 1956, the broadcaster was renamed “Akashvani”.
Interestingly for a country with more than 250 FM radio stations that cover different cities in the country, news broadcast happens only on the public service broadcaster – All India Radio (AIR). Private players are not allowed to broadcast news, although they can play AIR’s news bulletins on their stations. Therefore, the MOM database for Radio stations features 1 outlet – All India Radio.