Sunday, 31 July 2011

An exotic air

First published as part of "Long, Medium and Shortwave Broadcast Matters" in Radio User, PW Publishing, June 2011, 

If I have a summer evening indoors then I find a good way to relax is to tune to the General Overseas Service of All India Radio (AIR) at 2045 UTC (1945 BST).

I sit in my favourite chair sipping a cup of Darjeeling, and am transported to the very country where that tea originates from.

7550kHz is a good frequency which usually guarantees an all 4 or even all 5 SIO. The other frequencies at this time are 9445 and 11670kHz. You can also catch a two hour broadcast to Europe earlier in the evening at 1745 to 1945 UTC on 7550 and 11670kHz.

You can contact them by post at GOS AIR, Broadcasting House, Parliament Street, New Delhi, India. There is a reception report form you can complete online at  

A recent broadcast was typical, starting with a news summary then one of the station’s intelligent commentaries. This was on the challenges faced by India from the Somali pirates. A programme of Hindustani classical music followed, then a programme on Indian pop music.

Next a feature that I think had the unlikely title of “Persons spaces and things”. There was then an interview with an archaeologist before closing at 2230 UTC. An hour and three quarters of sheer shortwave quality.
I enjoy All India Radio due to its uniqueness- the ambience in the studio does not seem to have changed for as long as I have been listening (and that is more decades than I care to admit).

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