Friday, February 14, 2014
World Radio Day: Remembering Akashvani
An Article by Jawhar Sircar : CEO, Prasar Bharati
Few people may be aware that the U.N. has declared the 13th of February as World Radio Day, because the resolution is just two years old. It was on this day in 1946 that the United Nations Radio was established, and though belated, the humble radio has finally been given its pride of place. It helped connect billions through very affordable receivers and can, therefore, claim to be prime ‘democratiser’ of infotainment in the modern world. What began in the early part of the nineteenth century with physicists like Faraday and Maxwell working on exciting theories and experiments in electro-magnetic waves reached its peak when Hertz (remember ‘mega-hertz’?), Branly, Tesla, de Mousa, Braun and other pioneers demonstrated that ‘wireless telegraphy’ was actually feasible. In November 1894, our own Jagadish Chandra Bose literally ‘rang a bell’ in Calcutta without any connecting wire, while six months later, on 7th of May 1895 (Russia’s ‘Radio Day’), Alexander Popov displayed the first ‘radio set’.
But it was Marconi who obtained the first patent in March 1897 and immediately set up his British Marconi Company and also the first radio station in the world, on the Isle of Wight. This Italian would move fast and far in life, and in 1909 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics, with Karl Braun. But it was San Jose, California, that showed the world that it was destined to become the ‘Silicon Valley’, when that very year, Charles Herrold constructed the first really operational radio station. As a farmer’s son, he was familiar with ‘broad-casting’, i.e., the scattering of seeds by hand, and he gave us this term to tele-communications. Radios would soon became the lifeline for ships out on the seas, more so during distress, and as expected, it was developed in the First World War to communicate with troops on the battle-front.
Copyright @ Jawhar Sircar.
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Posted by Raman Kumar at 3:43 AM