Means of communication can be put into two broad classes:

  1. Personal Communication Network
  2. Mass Communication Network

Personal Communication

It helps in communicating information and ideas from one person to another person. It is made through postal network and telecom supported by computers. This modern communication technology has proved to be extremely helpful in rapid development of India’s economy and society. This network through Internet and e-mail provides access to information from all over the world at a comparatively low cost. Even transfer of documents over a computer network is the cheapest and the fastest method.

Mass Communication

It is meant for communicating information and ideas to the masses. Print media (newspapers and periodicals) and electronic media (radio and television) are important means of mass communication. In a vast and developing country like India, mass communication is very essential to spread awareness about the national policies and programmes and to educate the masses. Development and regulation of information and broadcasting is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Prasar Bharati is the autonomous Broadcasting Corporation of India, with All India Radio and Doordarshan as its two constituents. It was constituted on 23 November 1997. It controls the electronic media of the country.

Radio In the present-day world, radio is a very cheap medium of communication. Even a poor slumdweller can buy and enjoy a radio set. All sorts of news, information and entertainment programmes are broadcast from the radio station. Radio broadcasting began in India in early 1920s. The first programme was broadcast in 1923 by Radio Club of Bombay. This was followed by setting up of a Broadcasting Service in 1927 on experimental basis in Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata). The government took over the transmitters and began operating them under the name Indian Broadcasting Service. It was changed to All India Radio (AIR) in 1936. Currently it is also known as Akashwani.

At the time of independence AIR had a small network of six stations and 18 transmitters. The coverage was only 2.5 per cent of the area and 11 per cent of the population. At present, the All India Radio has 208 stations and 327 transmitting centres. These stations and transmitting centres provide services to 99 per cent of the population and 90 per cent of the area of the country. Private broadcasters also have set up about 100 FM radio stations.

All India Radio broadcasts a variety of programmes related to information, education and entertainment. Information is broadcast in different forms. The news service of AIR broadcasts news and comments to listeners in India and abroad. Special news bulletins are also broadcast at specific occasions such as sessions of Parliament and state legislatures, election results etc. The External Services Division of AIR has been projecting the Indian point of view on matters of national and international importance through its various programmes.

All India Radio has introduced commercial programmes like Vividh Bharati also. In addition to Vividh Bharati, other channels and local stations also provide commercial services. For rural audiences, several programmes are regularly transmitted. Similarly, programmes on family welfare and healthcare are broadcast everyday. Music and drama are major components of the schedule of broadcasting. All India Radio commissioned the National Channel in 1988, which is essentially a night service airing, evening to morning broadcast.

Television (TV) Television has emerged as a very powerful and effective medium of communication in today’s age of electronics. India has one of the largest television networks in the world. It has changed the socio-cultural life in rural and urban areas. The first telecast in India originated from a makesh i studio in the Akashwani Bhawan, New Delhi on 15 September, 1959. The regular service with a news bulletin became operational in 1965. After seven years, the second television commenced service in Mumbai. By 1975, TV service was available in Kolkata, Chennai, Srinagar, Amritsar and Lucknow.

The first experiment with satellite technology in India was conducted in 1975-76 under the programme Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE). Colour transmission was introduced during the Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982. Doordarshan has a three-tier primary programmes service-national, regional and local. In the national programmes focus is on the events and issues of national interest. Regional programmes originate from the state capitals and are relayed by all transmitters in the respective stages. Local programmes are area-based and cover local issues featuring local people.

Doodarshan telecasts a large variety of programmes. The main programmes include news, current affairs, science, cultural magazines, documentaries, music, dance, drama, serials and feature firms. Government policies, development programmes, and current affairs are broadcast regularly. Doordarshan brings to its viewers all the major programmes of national and international importance through live telecast. It also transmits educational programmes for schools and universities. There are different channels for different kinds of programmes.

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