Prasar Bharti, the public broadcaster, has decided to replace references to its radio service as ‘All India Radio’ with ‘Akashvani,’ as required by law.
An internal order issued on Wednesday by Akashvani Director General Vasudha Gupta seeks “immediate compliance” with the statutory provision that changed the name of AIR (All India Radio) to Akashvani.
“This is a very old decision of the government, which was not operationalized earlier. We are now operationalizing it,” Gaurav Dwivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati said, according to a PTI report from New Delhi.
The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990, mentions that ‘Akashvani’ means the offices, stations, and other establishments, by whatever name called, which, immediately before the appointed day, formed part of or were under the Director-General, All India Radio of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Prasar Bharati Act came into force on November 15, 1997.
“The aforesaid statutory provision, which has replaced the name AIR to the ‘Akashvani’ may be brought to the notice of all so that names and titles get in tune with the provisions of the Prasar Bharati Act of 1990 passed by the Parliament,” the internal order said.
All India Radio was referred to as ‘Akashvani’ by renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore in a poem he had written for the inauguration of the Calcutta shortwave service in 1939.
The Prasar Bharati website states that a private radio station named Akashvani Mysore was set up on September 10, 1935.
Akashvani’s home service comprises 470 broadcasting centers located across the country and broadcasts in 23 languages and 179 dialects, covering 92 per cent of the country’s area and 99.19 per cent of the total population.