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The Growth and Development of Radio in India

By S K Jamal

Introduction

India offers special opportunities for the development of broadcasting. Its distances and wide spaces alone make it a
promising field. In Indias remote villages there are many who, after the days work is done, find time hangs nearly enough
upon their hands, and there must be many officials and others whose duties carry them into out-of-the-way places where they
crave for the company of their friends and the solace of human companionship. There are of course, too, in many households,
those whom social custom debars from taking part in recreation outside their own homes. To all these and many more
broadcasting will be a blessing and a boon of real value. Both for entertainment and for education its possibilities are great,
and yet we perhaps scarcely realise how great they are. Broadcasting in India is today in its infancy, but I have little doubt
that before many years are past, the numbers of its audience will have increased tenfold, and that this new application of
science will have its devotees in every part of India.

As the electricity crackled through the capacitors and amplifiers of the Indian Broadcasting Companys (IBCs)
Bombay transmitter station on 23rd July 1927. the collective achievement of almost a decade of experimental
broadcasting in India was brought to a spectacular and momentous resolution. The Viceroy Lord Irwin
addressing the gathered crowds and an expectant wireless audience, heralded this new application of science
as a blessing and a boon of real value to the far-flung populations who would be brought within earshot of the
IBCs output. Whether for education or entertainment, companionship or culture, Irwin anticipated a rapidly
developing listenership and that before long such were the special geographical opportunities provided by
the subcontinents scale and open spaces broadcasting would attract devotees in every part of India.

The inauguration of the Bombay station denoted a recognition and acknowledgment within the colonial
administration that radio broadcasting could act as a potential salve to Indias internal political divisions. After
all, broadcasting experiences from Europe and the imperial metropole were already appearing to show the way
in this regard, and it was surely just a matter of time before India followed suit.

Monopolistic control of information strengthens the authority of those in power, and one would expect a
colonial state [i.e. British India] to make the most of this device. In the 1920s the Indian scene was characterised
by social unrest and political agitation. Europe showed that the broadcasting medium could be used by Fascist
Italy to manufacture an illusion of political consensus and by the Soviet Union to broadcast revolutionary
messages through the length and breadth of the former Tsarist Empire. In Britain itself radio came to the aid of
the ruling circles during the nine-day General Strike in May 1926.

In colonial India the political opportunities for this new wireless medium were unquestionably considerable, if
not always immediately obvious, to the key decision makers in London and New Delhi. As a result, the early
adventure of Indian broadcasting was, in reality, rather less straightforward than any such international lessons
might suggest. Even the vision of wireless future put forward in the Viceroys speech would prove somewhat
wide of the eventual mark. Indeed, looking back to the advent of the wireless broadcasting medium in India
(and its reception by the public and the Imperial authorities) we are confronted with a distinctly turbulent early
history; filled with moments of great technological promise and geopolitical opportunity followed by long
periods of political and financial neglect, widespread mistrust (and misunderstanding), and an undercurrent of
official scepticism.
The early history and the emergence of the IBC
The ceremonial inauguration of Indian Broadcasting Corporation is generally considered to mark the
beginning of organised broadcasting in India. But the radio enthusiasts in India had been energetically testing
wireless technologies since the early 1920s at a time when dedicated radio engineers in the UK were
themselves still grappling with designing and building the most rudimentary of transmission systems.This early
interest in radio was being driven largely by the Radio Clubs that had formed in the large urban centres of
Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, through which educated and enthusiastic amateurs backed by the financial
instincts of both indigenous Indian and European entrepreneurs sought a rather more collective approach to
the design and application of broadcasting technologies. The Bombay Presidency Radio Club was an early
leader in this field thanks in large part to the efforts of Giachand Motwane, one of the Clubs founding
members, who is widely credited with having made the first recorded radio transmission in India, during 1920.
This was soon followed by commercially funded broadcasting experiments by the Times of India newspaper
and Bombays Post & Telegraph (P&T) Office during the summer of 1921 In West Bengal, meanwhile,
Britains Marconi Company, Ltd. had started transmitter trials and experimental broadcasts from sites across
Calcutta. The Madras Residency Club did a miraculous performance as its broadcasting could be heard over a
distance of five miles. Up in the north, the Young MensChristian Association of Lahore set up a miniature
radio station for the edification and entertainment of its members.Further experimental systems were made in
Bangalore, Hyderabad and, again, in Bombay where several rival stations were established, but these were
fairly rapidly closed during the early-1920s. The situation of Indian broadcasting by the mid-1920s was
beginning to look rather haphazard, and was provoking murmurs of dissatisfaction in London broadcasting
circles. John Reith, the first Director General of British Broadcasting Company, lobbied the India Office in
London and the government of India on the issue as early as March 1924 by advocating the potential benefits of
the burgeoning British model in transforming the Indian subcontinent: The foundation of broadcasting
stations would provide a connecting link between all parts of the Indian Empire, bringing the most remote
outlying districts into close touch with principal cities.While there was the tacit acknowledgement within the
Govt of India for the need to formalise the systems and structures of broadcasting, Reiths call for a public
service model was criticized. In its place, the government in New Delhi settled on a less interventionist
approach to the broadcasting question, proposing instead to support an application for a commercial
broadcasting licence (on a monopoly basis) by the recently-formed Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC).

The Company to which a monopoly was been given for five years, intended to do business with the English
speaking population, that is to say Europeans and the educated Indians of the cities. Their installations at
Bombay and Calcutta, each with a radius of 1,000 miles, could hardly touch the northern part of the Punjab or
any part of the Frontier Province. Under its terms of agreement with the Government of India which were
concluded on 13 September 1926 the company undertook to be and remain a genuine Indian company, install
and work within nine months, efficient broadcasting stations in Bombay and Calcutta, expand the service, if
commercially practicable, and allow any bona fide importer of wireless apparatus to be a member of the
company. In return, the government gave it a five-year monopoly and promised to pay it 80% of all licence fees
received on account of wireless stations in British India (excluding Burma) from the date the broadcasting
service started.

. The reign of Indias amateur Radio Clubs was brought to a resounding end as the IBC, buoyed by the
prospect of revenue generated from the sale of radio licences exercised the rights and privileges (and authority)
granted to it under the terms of its five-year broadcasting agreement.To make matters worse, by the years-end
of 1927 only 3594 radio licences had been issued. Indias physical geography, too, considered by Irwin to be
the basis of broadcastings special opportunities in the subcontinent worked against the IBCs commercial
development. Geographical distances in India were vast, while enormous swathes of the countrys interior,
although supporting a large net population, could only do so at very low density. Even in the villages and towns
technological limitations proved daunting for potential subscribers and listeners. Broadcasting Company in
Britain which operated under a commercial monopoly agreement between 1922-1926 expanded much more
rapidly across the UK during its early infancy. Within 4 years, the BBC had built transmitting and relay stations
to cover every major urban area in the country and had secured 2.5 million annual subscribers. By comparison,
in January 1930 almost 3 years into its broadcasting agreement the IBC had opened only two small
transmitting stations (each with a radius of c. 30 miles) and had registered fewer than 8,000 licence holders.
The IBCs broadcasts suffered both in terms of range and reach. While the costs of expanding wireless
networks beyond the urban centres of Bombay and Calcutta was prohibitively expensive, the root of the
problem lay in the IBCs failure to achieve and consolidate sustainable audiences (i.e. an ample reach) in
those spaces where their transmissions were already audible. By 1930, the IBCs pioneering effort to launch
privately owned radio ran into trouble because of a lack of revenues. Broadcasting from their two stations,
located in Bombay and Calcutta, they catered to the small European community and Westernised Indians while
ignoring the masses. This neglect was to prove a costly (if not unforeseen) error of judgement. By February
1930 the IBCs finances had reached crisis-point, forcing the company into liquidation on 1st March 1930.
Indian broadcasting, after less than four years of centralised operation, was officially bankrupt.

In a notable, and rather uncharacteristic, turn of speed, the Govt of India agreed to meet the costs of the
liquidation process. Even more noteworthy was the announcement almost one month later that the GoI had
decided to purchase the assets of the IBC, which were to be placed under the control of the Department of
Industry and Labour. This may simply have been a kind-hearted bailout plan for the affected shareholders, but
what is certain is that this represented a major and dramatic shift in government policy which, for almost a
decade, had been primarily concerned with reducing government expenditure. The Indian State Broadcasting
Service (ISBS) was inaugurated within the Department of Industry and Labour on 1st April 1930, and yet
despite this latest manoeuvre Indian broadcasting seemed to be stuck at the organisational starting block. The
government showed reluctance to sanction public money on musicm drama and similar irrelevances. But the
service continued as by now there was public insistence on continuance.

With the intensification of Gandhis Civil Disobedience movement during 1930 there seemed to be an
opportunity for the government to utilise the newly redesignated ISBS in the service of Indian state
consolidation and political unity. And yet, the increasingly apparent potentialities of the ISBS, Indian
broadcasting continued to languish in a state of subdued inactivity. The events of early- 1930 seem to have
dented the wiser public (i.e. British Indian) belief in wireless broadcasting as a sustainable medium a mood
reflected in the number of radio licences in force which declined for the first time since 1927. The quality of
programmesdeteriorated The Department of Industry and Labour also appeared to lose faith in the future of
broadcasting, announcing the ISBSs imminent closure.Indian broadcasting would have closed had not the
BBC at that critical moment started the Empire service on the short wave in 1932. The Europeans in India
rushed to buy radio sets and governments revenue earning increased. Whilst this was certainly no great
mandate for broadcastings future, the period seemed to consolidate the ISBSs position in the minds of
listeners and subscribersAs Lionel Fielden (1940) reported the event in his official account of the Progress of
Broadcasting in India:

In 1932-33there was a sudden improvement [in licensed listeners], the total at the end of 1933 being 10.872 and at the end
of 1934, 16179. During the period 1932-34 there was no appreciable difference in the output or quality of programmes
radiated by the Bombay and Calcutta Stations, nor was there any increase in their range. The sudden increase from 8,000 to
16,000 licences during this period must, therefore, be attributed to another factor, namely, the opening of the BBCs Empire
Service in 1932 (December 19th) and the consequent purchase of sets by a large number of Europeans in India. From 1934
onwards, when talk of further development of broadcasting accelerated still more; the total reaching 25,000 at the end of
1935, 38,000 at the end of 1936 and 50,000 at the end of 1937.

A separate office of the Controller of Broadcasting was created in March, 1935 and Lionel Fielden of BBC
assumed charge of as the first Cortroller of Broadcasting. The new station in Delhi came on air on the new
years day of 1936. The same year the name of Indian broadcasting was changed to All India Radio (AIR).

All India Radio


The development and growth of All India radio from 1936 were steady but slow. The basic structure for AIR
network as devised by Fielden and others was to set up medium wave radio stations at some principal centres
which would provide a good wave signal within a reasonable radius. The stations like Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta
and Madras would provide additional second level broadcast through short wave. Meanwhile, in the states
ruled by the Indian princes (called Princely states) stations were set up at Baroda, Mysore and Tivandrum,
Hyderabad and Aurangabad. (After Independence, the Government of India took over all these radio stations
and merged these with All India Radio)

In 1937, the central News Organisation (now known as News Services Division) came into existence. Between
1930 and 1936 AIRs Bombay and Calcutta stations and Delhi were broadcasting two daily news bulletins.
Now the news bulletins were regularly broadcast from all stations.The 2nd World War necessitated the growth
of a national and external service and the installation of high power transmitters for expanding the coverage.
Nazi propaganda had to be countered by the British and thus the practice of broadcasting central bulletins from
the central news room was established. During the War years, 27 news bulletins were broadcast daily.

By the years end of 1939, licence subscriptions totalled almost 74,000 a ten-fold increase over the 1932
figure. Listeners could hear programming redirected from transmitters located across the sub-continent; from
Peshawar and Lahore in the Northwest Provinces, through Delhi and Lucknow (United Provinces), to Calcutta
and Dacca in Bengal. Further south, shortwave (SW) and mediumwave (MW) transmissions from Bombay and
Madras broadcast out over large sections of central and southern India with a radio network that catered for both
urban and rural audience.

The world war II accelerated the growth of a national and an external service and the installation of high power
transmitters to expand coverage. Nazi propaganda was coming through loud and clear. And it needed to be
countered. Thus was established the practice of news bulletins being broadcast from one central newsroom.
During the war years 27 bulletins were broadcast each day. The External Services were set up. A Monitoring
Service were also set up as part of Military Intelligence Wing but was delinked when the war ended.

At the time of independence, AIR had yet to have a truly national network. There were 9 AIR stations of which
Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Lucknow and Trichiwere in India while Lahore, Peshwar and Dacca stations
were in Pakistan. With 6 radio stations AIR had 6 medium wave and 5 short wave transmitters.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru heralded the new India with his remarkable speech over AIR on the day of
Independence and Gandhiji made his only radio broadcast over AIR on 12 November, 1947. In 1957, AIR was
also named as Akashvani.

Development of Indian Broadcasting under 5-Year Plans


Planned development of broadcasting was taken up only after Independence through successive 5-year plans
starting with First 5-Year Plan in 1951. It was felt by government that broadcasting could be used as a tool for
the social development awareness of the people and their involvement in it. The plans and programmes of the
government were expected to be highlighted by radio so as to make people aware of all these plans.
Expansion of radio was brought under the Plan with an allocation of 40 million rupees. During this 5-year plan
period, 6 new radio stations came up and a number of low power transmitters were upgraded. During this
period, in 1952, the broadcast of National Programme of Music was introduced. The National Orchestra of AIR
was set up under the conductorship of the eminent musician Ravi Shankar.
At the end of First 5-Year Plan in 1956, AIR had 26 stations with 29 MW and 17 SW transmitters. They
covered 46 per cent of the population and 31 per cent of the geographical area of the country.
During the Second 5-Year Plan (1956-61) the plan outlay in broadcasting was 80 million rupees. The most
important event during this period was the setting up of VividhBharati in 1957. The programmes of Vividh
Bharat were radiated from two 100 kilowatt SW transmitters located at Bombay and Madras. In 1959, Radio
Rural Forum was introduced to provide agricultural information to the farmers through community listening-
cum- discussion groups.
During this second Plan, 10 MW transmitters were added to AIR network- providing MW service to 55 per cent
of the population and 37 per cent of the area.
The Third 5-Year Plan (1961-66) saw what was known as the MW expansion plan through a number of
auxiliary centres provided in the transmitters. At the end of Third Plan, AIR network had 54 stations with 82
MW and 28 SW transmitters. They covered 70 per cent of the population and 52 per cent of the area of the
country. 140 million rupees were allocated out of which 76.4 million rupees were spent.
During 4th Plan (1969-74) two 25 kilowatt SW transmitters were installed- one at Aligarh and another at Leh
(in Ladakh). These transmitters were commissioned in 1973. But the Fourth Plan suffered for inadequate
allocation of resources. Moreover, AIRs allocation of fund had to be spent on television transmitters during this
time. Most of the schemes taken up for AIR were carried over to the Fifth and Sixth 5-year Plans.
Television broadcast had started in India as a part of All India Radio. On 1st April, 1976, television was
formally separated from AIR.
The Sixth Plan at its end planned to 1) complete Fourth and Fifth Plans spill-over schemes 2) strengthen
regional and local service 3) develop a National Channel 4) set up 6 LRSs and 5) provide provision of an
integral SW service for North-East India.
During the Sixth Plan (1980-85) AIR has seen a rapid growth of Local Radio Stations (LRS) with a view to
catering to the needs of the local population indulging in local culture. These stations highlighted upon the
need-based and participatory programmes for the local people. The transmission would be area-specific and
local people would participate in the broadcast. The target was to turn broadcasting into narrowcasting. The first
LRS in India was set up at Nagercoil in Tamilnadu in1984. In West Bengal, we have two Local Radio stationsm
one is at Murshidabad and another is at Santiniketan.
National Channel was introduced in 1988 through 1000 kilowatt transmitter at Nagpur that could reach 70 per
cent of countrys population. Having the whole of India as its operational zone it draws the best available talent
in the country. The programme complexion of the channel has been designed to make it a representative of the
cultural mosaic and ethos of the nation as a whole.
PrasarBharati
The PrasarBharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) was constituted by an Act in 1990 and AIR and
Doordarshan were brought under its control. The purpose was to allow AIR and Doordarshan as autonomous
bodies. The Act however came into effect on 23 November, 1997.
The Prasar Bharati functions as a corporate with a Board ofDirectors headed by the Chairman. The Chief
Executive Officer functions as the executive head of Prasar Bharati. The Board shall consist of :-

a) a Chairman
b) one Executive Member
c) one Member (Finance)
d) one Member (Personnel)
e) six Part-time Members
f) Director-General (Akashvani), ex-officio
g) Director-General (Doordarshan), ex-officio
h) one representative of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to be nominated by that
Ministry; and
i) two representatives of the employees of the Corporation, of whom one shall be elected by the
engineering staff from amongst themselves and one shall be elected by the other employee from amongst
themselves.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall have primary duty of the Corporation to organiseand
conduct public service broadcasting toinform, educate and entertain the public and toensure a balanced
development ofbroadcasting on radio and television. The PrasarBharati will have the following
objectives :

1) Free and objective broadcast of all matters of publicinterest, national or international, and presenting a
fairand balanced flow of information including contrastingviews without advocating any opinion or
ideology ofits own.
2) Paying special attention to the fields of educationand spread of literacy, agriculture, rural
development,environment, health and family welfare as well asscience and technology.
3) Providing adequate coverage to the diversecultures and languages of the various regions ofthe country
by broadcasting appropriateprogrammes.
4) Providing adequate coverage to sports andgames so as to encourage healthy competitionand the spirit of
sportsmanship.
5) Providing appropriate programmes keeping inview the special needs of the youth.
6) Making specific programs for and about women,tribals, children, handicapped, aged and
vulnerablesections of society.
7) Promoting social justice and combatingexploitation, inequality and such evils asuntouchability and
advancing the welfare of theweaker sections of the society.
8) Promoting national integration bybroadcasting in a manner that facilitatescommunication in the
languages in India; andfacilitating the distribution of regionalbroadcasting services in every State in
thelanguages of that State.
9) Providing comprehensive broadcast coveragethrough the choice of appropriate technology and thebest
utilisation of the broadcast frequencies availableand ensuring high quality reception.
10) Promoting research and developmentactivities in order to ensure that radio andtelevision broadcast
technology are constantlyupdated.

FM Radio
FM Radio was first introduced by All India Radio in 1972 at Madras with a 10 kilowatt transmitter. Another
three transmitters of same capacity were installed at Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta between 1977 and 1984.
Initially AIR could not create separate programme content for FM transmitters and therefore they relayed
programmes of the main AM stations.History changed its course. In 1993, the Government allowed private FM
operators to 'buy' blocks (chunks) on All India Radio FM, prepare programming content, book commercials
from advertisers and broadcast the whole lot. Within 4 years, (1997-98), the FM Radio advertising and
sponsorship business grew to Rs. 93 crores with Times of India's Times FM & Mid-Day Group's Radio Mid-
Day becoming the main players. Then, in June 1998 the Government, through its electronic media regulatory
body Prasar Bharati, decided not to renew contracts of private FM operators. Not surprisingly, the advertising
revenue fell by 50% within a year!

This time, the Government gave the green light to privatize radio in India.
The first phase of expansion of FM Radio through direct private participation was launched in the year 1999, by
the ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The objective behind privatization was to
supplement broadcasts of All India Radio (AIR) and attract talent in the private domain not only to innovative
content creation but also in packaging it in novel ways to bring back listeners to their radio sets. During this
phase 108 FM channels were offered in 40 cities. However, lack of understanding of this new opportunity by
the infant radio industry and overestimation of revenues from this business led to many setbacks. Many of the
broadcasters who had bid for the channels at exorbitant prices, ultimately shied away and this resulted in
operationalisation of only 22 channels in the first phase. The companies which got themselves involved in FM
broadcasting were Bennett and Coleman (Times FM),Living Media (TV Today), UTV, Malayalam Manoram
and others. However, though not all channels that were offered were operationalised, it rejuvenated radio
listening. AIR lost lit monopoly in broadcasting. Considering the constraints of the private operators,
Government constituted an working group to go in to various aspects of FM broadcasting and the group
recommended to the governmentnecessary measures for improving the fate of the FM-industry. While all this
was happening, people in cities where the private FM broadcasts were launched, started enjoying the popular
music dished out by the Private FM-stations and also started discovering the operational FM stations of AIR,
especially in their cars, driving to-and-from work.

The Government, considering the experience of the broadcasters and enthusiasm of the public for FM, in July
2005, notified a policy for the introduction of 337 private FM stations in 91 cities. Today, as many as 263
private FM channels are operational in 87 Cities. Most of the demands made by the FM industry were accepted
by the Government and it also introduced several new clauses in the policy document and ensured that
speculative and non-serious players were discouraged. Encouraged by the response to the private channels, AIR
too spruced-up and steadily improved their content and technical quality of their transmission. Today AIR FM
Channels like FM Rainbow and FM Gold are quite popular and serving a large group of listeners, including
niche listeners. Radio broadcasting, due to its versatility, is still an effective medium of information,
entertainment and education. FM radio is now emerging as a strong medium of entertainment, information and
education, and private FM stations have played an important role in this development.

The time is now ripe for the introduction of the third phase of private FM stations. The groundwork and
experience gained during the first two phases of expansion will help the private FM players in further
expanding to smaller cities with population of over one lakh. The government has recently accepted
applications for providing permission to more private operators for opening new FM stations.

Although the expansion of FM had led to general satisfaction among the public, the broadcasters have some
genuine and real grievances, which needs to be addressed. Payment of royalty to professional agencies like PPL
and IPRS had been a contagious issue right from very beginning. While the broadcasters are complaining of
high royalty for music play on the FM stations, the gramophone companies and associations of performing
artistes, on the other hand, are clamoring still higher royalties. Even the community radio stations are not being
spared.

Due to the excessive royalty paid by the broadcasters combined with the depressed market conditions, the
revenue of private FM stations has virtually flattened and the return on investment has almost been reduced to
zero. The request for the extension of licensing period of the FM stations from 10 years to 15 years, thus, seems
to be most logical step if the industry has to survive and flourish. If the license period is extended by the
government, it would help the private FM broadcasting industry in recovering their accumulated losses.

Among the many issues facing the industry, the availability of spectrum for the third phase of private FM
expansion a critical one. The quest for the introduction of 3G services in India has encountered many problems,
including the non-availability of adequate spectrum. Fortunately, for the third phase of private FM station
expansion, spectrum is not going to pose a real hurdle. The following table shows the broad allocation of
spectrum among various users.

During phase one and phase two of the Private FM expansion, a separation of 800 KHz between channels was
adopted. For most of the broadcasters, a single frequency allocation scheme was adopted. Single frequency
allocation to the broadcasters been advantageous to the broadcasters in marketing their radio stations, and has
also reduced the demand on spectrum. It has also given an opportunity for the planning of radio stations in
medium and small cities, where stations with 400 KHz separation from existing stations could be set up. Cities,
which are very close to the existing stations, may not be considered during this phase. Any further expansion of
private FM broadcasts would require vacation of spectrum from existing non-broadcast users in the 87-108
MHz band.

Presently news and current affairs programmes are not allowed to be broadcast on private FM Radio, but the
demand for such programme is very high. Most of the FM broadcasters today are forced to broadcast news in
one guise or the other, especially in the form of infotainment. It is quite logical for the FM broadcasters to
demand that they be permitted to broadcast news and current affairs on their stations. The government has
argued that the logic behind disallowing news and current affairs on FM radio was that it news was considered
too sensitive a content to left to the whims of the private players as any misinformation or inaccurate
information could lead to serious and unfortunate situations, given the reach of radio. While there is an element
of truth in the government's anxiety, we must understand that it is only a well-informed society that can
withstand and counter the effects of misinformation. More the citizens know, the less likely that they will be
misled or influenced by wrong or motivated news. Therefore, there is a very real case to open this gate of
information, albeit in a steady and measured manner.

The growth in telecommunication has resulted in unprecedented changes in FM radio listenership. The largest
mobile-phone company has become largest seller of radio sets. The way the telecom revolution is evolving, it is
no wonder that a day will come when virtually everyone will carry a FM-receiver within their mobile phone. It
is beyond doubt that the FM radio is going to be all pervasive. It is up to the entrepreneurs to exploit this
medium optimally through structuring efficient business plans and through a proper understanding of the
dynamics of the business. It is felt by many that it is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get into private FM
business at the present. The entire available spectrum is likely to be allotted during this phase and for any
further expansion of private FM shall require vacation of spectrum in the 87-108 MHz band from non-broadcast
users, which may not be easy at all. However, there is no question that FM will succeed.

The government has been very responsive to private FM Radio. Right from the beginning, the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting has been very accommodative and has been receptive to change the rules and
procedures to enable to industry to grow and succeed. From phase one to phase two, the FM expansion has seen
many changes and more are expected during phase three. During phase two, a transparent bidding system was
adopted by the Government and whole process of granting license was well planned and executed. It is hoped
that during phase three also, the Government will adopt similar processes and procedures.