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Educational Radio in India

By on Thu, 19 December 2013 at 18:23 IST
Educational Radio in India

Radio Technology was first developed during the late nineteenth century but became popular during the early twentieth century. According to studies conducted by UK Open University, the radio has great value for weak students, since they used Radio as supplimentay learning tool.

Educational use of Radio stated in 1930. And UK Open University was the first make its utilization effective.

In 1978, Jaminson and McAnany reported three main advantages of radio: improving educational quality and relevance; lowering educational costs; and improving access to educational inputs particularly to disadvantaged groups.

Radio has been used as an educational medium in developing countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Korea, Mali, Botswana, South Africa, Mexico, and lots more.

The Radio in India

The Radio Club of Bombay broadcasted the first radio programme in India in June 1923. Soon afterwards, an experimental Broadcasting Service was setup in Mumbai (then Bombay) and Kolkata. It was started by Government of India and Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd ( a private company).

As of today AIR network broadcasts nearly 2000 programme hours every day in 24 languages and 146 dialects. It reaches 97.1 per cent of the population, which includes substantial population in rural area, and covers 89.7 percent of the geographical area of the country.

School Broadcast Project:

School Broadcast Project was the first educational radio project. It was commissioned in 1937, and started from Delhi, Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. This program for for school students.

Adult education and community development project (Radio Forum):

This radoi project was started in 1956. With the help of UNESCO, this project was first tried on the Villagers of 144 villages in Pune. This was agriculture-based project, and was named as 'Radio forums Project'. This program was AIR's first successful educational program.

Farm and Home Broadcast Project:

This project was commenced in 1966 and was targeted at Farmers and villagers. The aim was to educate the farmers and provide them assistance in adopting innovative practices in their fields as per the local relevance.

University broadcast project:

This project was started in 1965 to target the higher education students. The Programme consisted of two types- 'General' & 'enrichment'. The general programmes included topics of public interest and enrichment programmes supported correspondence education offered by universities in their respective jurisdictions. School of Correspondence studies, University of Delhi and the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad is well known for preparation and broadcast of their programmes through AIR.

Language Learning Programme:

In 1979, AIR and Department of Education Government of Rajasthan joined hands to teach Hindi to 500 primary school students Jaipur & Ajmer districts. This project as called 'Radio Pilot project', since it was on experimental basis. The project was successul and was repeated in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.

IGNOU-AIR Broadcast:

AIR collborated with IGNOU to broadcast major IGNOU programmes in January 1992. Initially, the AIR stations of Mumbai, Hyderabad and Shillong started this service. This program still continues to be broadcasted in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

IGNOU-AIR Interactive Radio Counselling (IRC):

IGNOU in colloboration with AIR, Bhopal started Interactive Radio Counselling (IRC) in 1998. This program was mainly for students of Open / Conventional Universities. Soon after its huge success, AIR expanded to other cities: Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur, Shimla, Rohtak, Jalandhra, Delhi and Jammu. As of now, Interactive Radio counseling (IRC) is being provided on every Sunday for one hour (4:00 PM - 5:00 PM) from 186 radio stations of All India Radio.

Gyan-Vani (Educational FM Radio Channel of India):

Launched in 2001, to target the students of Open / Conventional Universities, is the only dedicated educational radio channel of India. Gyan literally means Knowledge and Vani means aerial broadcasting. Gyan Vani stations operate as media cooperatives, with day-to-day programmes contributed by different Educational Institutions, NGO's and national level institutions like IGNOU, NCERT, UGC, IIT, DEC etc. Each stations will have range of about 60-KM radius, covering the entire city /town plus the surrounding environs with extensive access.

Gyan Vani alsos deal with awareness programmes including the ones for Panchayati Raj Functionaries, Women Empowerment, Consumer Rights, Human Rights, the Rights of the Child, Health Education, Science Education, Continuing Education, Extension Education, Vocational Education, Teacher Education, Non-formal Education, Adult Education, Education for the handicapped, Education for the down trodden, education for the tribals and lots more.


Even though internet users in India are growing at a very rapid pace, various government agencies at the level of conventional and distance universities are making use of radio for broadcasting their educational content as a cheap local supplementary alternative.


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