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Deccan Herald » Metro Life - Mon » Detailed Story
Bangalore - Back & Forth
Idhu Akashvani, Bengalooru!
MP
Akashvani Bangalore is a treasure house of voices of eminent personalities. The archives contain more than 1,300 precious recordings of music and spoken word broadcast in the last 50 years. It has contributed for the release of CDs of great maestros like Mysore Anantaswamy, P Kalinga Rao, T Chowdiah, etc.
 
Old timers in Bangalore will remember that 50 years ago there were waves of excitement when Neelamma Kadambi voice reverberated on the radio for the first time on November 2, 1955 from the studios of Akashvani, Bangalore, the primary channel of All India Radio (AIR). The golden jubilee was celebrated with great fanfare recently.

Initially the primary channel transmission was on a 50 KW MW transmitter, broadcast to a limited area. On September 18, 1989 it was replaced with 2x100 KW transmitter for a wider coverage. Over the years different units were added to the station such as Industrial (1958), Audience Research (1960), Farm and Home (1966), Family Planning (1967), Yuvavani (1971), Urdu (1973), Science (1976) among others.

In the last five decades, the station has passed through five distinctive phases. In the first phase, it played the role of an educator, informer and entertainer patronising classical music. Prominent personalities like Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, G P Rajaratnam, V Sitaramaiah, Sriranga, V Dorewamy Iyengar entertained the audience with their literary, drama and music programmes.

In the second phase the focus was issues such as rural development, green revolution, population control, science and technology and women’s empowerment. The third phase was the challenge Akashvani faced from television. It retained its audience with a variety of interactive and innovative broadcasts retaining its position in the media environment. The fourth phase saw new vigour in media planning.

The fifth phase was the entry of new channels to capture more audiences with non-stop infotainment - Commissioning of Akashvani FM channels.

The flagship broadcast is of course, news, with 42 news bulletins everyday on three channels. The local, regional and national Kannada news bulletins are popular.

Akashvani Bangalore is a treasure house of voices of eminent personalities. The archives contain more than 1,300 precious recordings of music and spoken word broadcast in the last 50 years. It has contributed for the release of CDs of great maestros like Mysore Anantaswamy, P Kalinga Rao, T Chowdiah, etc.

Crisis manager

The Bangalore station has played its role as crisis manager. It was hailed for its role in easing public tension and providing a live link to Kannada matinee idol Raj Kumar, when he was abducted by Veerappan.

Over the years the station has evolved. FM Rainbow (2001), a multi-lingual music channel and Amruthavarshini (2004), a Carnatic classical channel started service from Bangalore. It broadcasts Srigandha, a Kannada programme on its external service for overseas Kannada listeners. Kannada programmes are being broadcast on Direct-to-Home service for Kannadigas in all part of India.

History

The word “Akashvani” was first used by late Dr M V Gopalaswamy, a professor of philosophy, Mysore in 1936. The power of private transmitter was 50 watts and was installed at “Vithal Vihar”, Prof Gopalaswamy residence in Vontikoppal. Mysore City Corporation took it over and was later merged with AIR. N Kasturi was the first station supervisor (as the station head was called then) of Akashvani, Mysore.
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