Prasar Bharati

“India’s Public Service Broadcaster”



Wednesday, February 22, 2012



City of Residence THANE

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Post from Suratgarh - New Member


City of Residence SURATGARH

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Thanks for commentment for300 KW MW Tx at AIR Suratgarh completes 31 years of its glorious service to the Nation on 22.02.2012. I proud my station that gives me batter achivement of technical & social. We thanks all Akashwani Doordarshan Parivar administrative, engineering, programme and news persons who have worked tirelessly to bring the to this stage and those who are still working at the station and contributing their pie for upliftment of local masses.

Sh. Prem Chandra Gupta - Next instalment Down the memory lane

Lessons of life learnt at Shimla - Mr Shrivastav, whom our accountant a nice guy from hills, will always call Mr Vastav, told some of us who were very young at that time “YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERY THING, NOTHING IS FREE AND THIS IS APPLICABLE IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE”. Pease ponder over this philosophical quote. It was true then it is true today and will be for all time to come. It has given me great strength at time of crisis of any kind. I don’t forget to tell my youngsters even today.Shimla Radio station was working and two of my colleagues Mr M.N.Mehtani and Mr B.K.Anand were posted from the same batch at the studio center a glamorous place located at Council Chambers. Mr R.C.Puri was Programme assistant and Ms Pratima was the announcer. She became Mrs Pratima puri later on and also joined as first T.V. Announcer at Delhi when TV came into existence. A very polite graceful lady who became a house holds name and figure for decades.The Station used to relay most of the programmes from Delhi, including News in Hindi and English. Hence we from the receiving Centre used to keep the feeds from Delhi continuously on line. It used to be in the evening a rural programme which was originated from there. Evening 6pm was programme summary in English and at 6:05 pm it was in Hindi. From 6:15pm to 6:30 pm there was again relay from Delhi B . The frequencies for relay for Delhi and Radio Pakistan were adjoining and similar programme used to be on that channel as well. Once while working at Receiving Center at Mt Pleasant, I missed the Delhi frequency and fed Pak channel, it went on air for about five minutes when the announcement came YEH Radio Pakistan Karachi Hai. Immediately I changed the channel and gave the correct programme, but by then damage had been done. Mr Anand at studio also did not notice nor did the programme executive who was supposed to keep monitoring. I remember , our studio AE in-charge who was at the transmitter at that time told us to forget and not to log, thinking no body will notice, but it became a big issue next day in the programme meeting at the station and we were all reprimanded.NATIONAL PROGRAMME OF MUSIC AND TALKS.- Every Saturday at 21:30 hour’s National programme of music was being relayed from Delhi by all stations of A.I.R. It used to last one and half hour, being on duty I had to listen. Used to feel bored in the beginning, but later on thought, why not enjoy the music part, it reduced the tension and helped me balancing the artists for a programme, when I worked in Broadcasting House Delhi. To the extent some of the senior producers will ask Gupta ji please look after the balancing, and used to leave early, as otherwise they will miss the bus. I will come to it later.Similarly on Thursdays it used to be National Programme of Talks, a programme by eminent people. It used to last about 45 minutes. Shift used to end there after. The other broadcasts for monitoring will be taken by the men in the recording room directly. Shimla being the summer capital of India during British period had many shops on the mall and they had shops in Cannaught place Delhi as well. MR store and Ms Jankidas & Sons, are two names I still remember. NATIONALISM AND HINDI;- In 1957-58 Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri had announced in the Parliament that Hindi being National language, those who want to write in Hindi, be allowed. I immediately applied to our Director Monitoring Service that I wanted to change my signatures in the service book from English to Hindi. Every body laughed at me. Director who was fond of BBC and English told me to forget, however on my insistence he forwarded my application to AIR Head Quarters in Delhi. I started signing my attendance, in the log books and where ever possible, in Hindi.Later, when I was posted in Delhi Station of A.I.R. I came to know, that my case was sent to Ministry of I&B then to Ministry of Home etc and after approval a Circular was issued to all stations of A.I.R., “As desired by Mr Prem Chandra Shift Assistant, he is permitted to sign in Hindi and any other person desirous of doing so may be allowed”. I came to know of the circular from Late Mr M.P. Khosla, a senior colleague in P&D unit. I was called by the accounts branch and I changed my signatures in Hindi in 1960 or so. Some more on my Hindi love some time later.Taka Bench at the ridge;- There were some benches placed slightly at elevated hillock in front of the famous Church, this was on way to Jakku. Where from you could have a magnificent view of SUN SET. Mr S.N.Gupta could always been there whenever he was off duty. The place was enclosed and a guard used to be there. We had to pay 2 Paisas to enter, hence the name Taka Bench.SHOCK OF LIFE There was an audience programme of Dance & Music in the presence of invited audience, arranged by Shimla Radio Station, and for which we all from the station as well as the installation staff worked very hard, were not allowed to sit and view. I don’t remember except the ASE in-charge and his family there was any other technical staff. Of course those on duty in control room were there. It gave me a feeling of guilt, why I joined A.I.R which did not respect the sentiments of its own people. Another Instance at Delhi, I will describe later. I will not forget Agrawal hotel in the lower bazaar where we had our lunch and dinner. Some of us were bachelors, or became bachelors during winters when the families were away, there were others from P&T Department one of them Mr P.D.Garg later retired as DDG Telecom in HQ Delhi. This hotel/ Dhaba was costliest eating place @ Rs 22/- per month while others were charging only Rs18/-, reason, the food for his own family was from the hotel only, and you could ask him to cook vegetables of your choice, even the costliest ones. Even after some of us, getting married used to visit his place with our families. Working at Monitoring Service became memorable, as all the people working there loved each other, even the ones who were a bit hostile in the beginning gave me so much love and affection and stood for one another in time of need. I had a memorable posting at Shimla. I was transferred from Shimla to Broadcasting House Delhi some time in August 1959, after three years of stay.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Memoirs from Sh HK Bharani


City of Residence New Delh

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Dear friends,

On transfer from P&D Unit, DG, AIR, I joined AIR Leh (situated at about 11,500 feet altitude) in May, 1986. I stayed there for full tenure of two years, up to May 1988. Due to extreme cold weather and less content of oxygen in air, staff posted at Leh from outside has to face endless difficulties (being discussed later on) to live there. During my stay Shri S.P. Bhatikar, than E-in-Chief, G.S. Sahi, acting CE(C) and Shri Balgopal, Dy. Secretary of Ministry of I&B visited Leh in 1987. Most of the problems were explained to them. Matter was advocated for reduction of tenure to one year at par with tenure of Indian Airlines, Central School, Telephone Deptt, which was only one year.Shri Balgopal, Dy. Secretary of Ministry of I&B, in his report recommended for reduction of tenure to one year, to mitigate the problems being faced by staff at Leh. However no action was taken by DDA(E), DG, AIR. So I requested Shri I.L. Bhatia, DDA(Welfare), DG, AIR to take up the matter as welfare measure for staff at Leh. Subsequently, I had been pursuing Shri Bhatia for the same. Finally, order for reduction of tenure to one year at Leh was issued by DG, AIR in February, 1988. Because of extreme cold whether at Leh, working period is limited. Highway between Leh and Srinagar also remains closed from middle of November to middle of May. So everybody has to stock daily use items for six months. Alternatively, one has to buy daily use items at very high rates during six months. Further during this period vegetables are not available in market so you have to depend on pulses only. Without tomato, cooked pulses becomes tasteless and we are not able to relish meals. Few venders bring vegetables in flights and than sell at extremely high rates. I had to purchase tomatoes @ Rs. 40/- Kg in January, 1988 when tomatoes are available @ Rs. 2/- Kg in Delhi. Similarly, grounded wheat (atta) was not available in market and I had to manage with rice only. The temperature at Leh remains below subzero for at least three months from December to February. During this period, one has to arrange ‘Bukhari’ for heating his bed room at his own expanses. Further, hot water bottles are used to keep the bed warm before going to bed for sleep. You have to take hot water to toilet before going for natural call in the morning. Supply of LPG cylinders is restricted from middle of November till stock exhausts. Further supply of LPG cylinders is not available after February / March. Thus one has to use Kerosene oil stove and keep LPG cylinder as standby for emergency requirements. Oxygen content in air is also much less as compared to normal .i.e. 20% as usual. Because of less oxygen you can not walk fast even for small distance. Further oxygen content in air decreases during winter season i.e. from November to March. Trees are without leafs during this period. Weather is also dry. Everyone is advised to take vitamin ‘C’ daily and apply ‘Boroline cream’ to avoid dryness.Very heavy woolen cloths and bedding are required to safe guard yourself from extreme cold weather. Everybody has to use hand gloves and cap. You can’t afford to touch the metallic door handle without hand gloves. In case, you open the door (using metallic door handle) you will find that your hand skin is wrapped around the metallic door handle. There was no power supply connection to office and AIR colony from State Electricity Board. AIR office and colony has to depend on Diesel Generator’s supply. One 62.5 KVA DG set was available for feeding supply to AIR colony. However, whenever there was a problem in DG set meant for office, supply of colony was disconnected and 62.5 KVA DG set (meant for colony) used to feed power to office. Residents were not allowed to use heaters at home. Coal Bukharies are used for heating the office rooms. As already explained, one has to arrange ‘Bukhari’ for heating his bed room at his own expanses. In nutshell, difficulties are uncounted and we have to live with. In fact, life is a challenge you have fight with difficulties to achieve goals. It was a nice experience to stay at such high altitude (about 11,500 feet altitude).With regards,H.K. BharaniRetired Dy. Director General,From O/o ADG (E) (NZ)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

AIR will live for another century atleast

All India Radio will live for another century atleast. Witnessing over thousand keen listeners coming on foot from distant villages in the small town in North East, defeating chilling winter and cold waves, with their kids tied on their back reassures me of the statement, AIR still makes waves in the hearts of these poor (?) villagers, real masters of the democracy.

Where as many radio channels bring beautifully composed, popular, famous, english hindi film songs to the populace, it is All India Radio who carries the voice of these people on it's airwaves, thus making them not mere listeners but partners.

Here are some
photos of a concert organised at an village in meghalaya at Taxi/ Bus Stand on a market day, right among the people and was so encouraging and satisfying to see them sitting on treetops, above the buses/ sumos, on the railings...

I recalled Bapu, our father who always peeped through their eyes....




City of Residence jaipur

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Message i love all india radio


City of Residence Cochin

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City of Residence ALLAHABAD

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City of Residence Boudh

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Down Memory Lane …. Mahender Sundriyal

To me the earliest memory of AIR is of the signature tune during the student days. The day always began with the signature tune of AIR (which is now the caller tone on my cell phone) and it remained with me studying till its closure, late into night. By the time National Channel started I was an addict. Therefore, it was a natural progression to be associated with it. I still remember the signature tune of Hawa Mahal and 'Chandro Ki Amma'.

I was in college when I first ventured into AIR premises, Broadcasting House, and met Mrs. Joshi of the Yuvavani channel. Though a stern lady, surprisingly she had a soft corner for this thin, almost amanciated boy from the hills. Thus began my journey in Akashani. I still recall the Mehfil and Manbhavan programmes that I presented on Yuvavai. Then she cajoled me into going to the Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan armed with the heavy recorder. But then I was a star with that mike recorder selecting young beautiful girls for interviews etc. Many a friendships were forged thanks to the recorder.

By the time I completed my graduation from Delhi University, I was hooked. Though I was preparing for the Civil Services examination those days, I found time to be in Broadcasting House. This was the period Akashani had the ubiquitous glamour, even though television (Doordarshan) was making its presence felt slowly through Chitrahaars and Sunday films.

My initiation into Indian classical music was made in Studio No.1 where the National Orchestra (Vadyavrinda) used to rehearse in the evenings. Established and rising stars of classical music used to attend these and late into evenings concerts and recordings were held. Mr. Sharma, who retired as Deputy Director (from National Channel I think) was my guide alongwith another renowned musician Producer/PEX whose name I am unfortunately unable to remember at this moment. One particular concert I still remember and cherish was that of Pandit Gopal Mishra, the best Sarangi player of his time.

AIR Hyderabad completes 77 years

AIR Hyderabad completes 77 years of its glorious service to the Nation on 03.02.2012. The station has served all sections of society and has been catalyst for changes and development in the region transforming the lives of lacks of common folks.

Akashwani & Doordarshan Parivar is proud of hundreds of administrative, engineering, programme and news persons who have worked tirelessly to bring the station to this stage and those who are still working at the station and contributing their pie for upliftment of local masses.

It’s time to congratulate all of them who have been directly or indirectly associated with the station. We invite all our friends to post their comments to appreciate their efforts. We also request the employees/ex employees of the station to share their experiences and thoughts on this day by adding them in the comment or mailing to

Contact Nos of AIR Hyderabad (040) Engineering Head: 23234904 Program Head: 23232239 Control Room: 23230043, Duty Room: 23230094

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From Memory lane Prem chandra gupta  1st Feb 2012

I was transferred in August 1959 from Shimla to Office of Station Director Delhi.This had Two Centers; - A) Broadcasting House at Parliament Street and B) Transmitting Station at Mall Road. B H has a magnificent building with three circular blocks connected from the central hall. It has a dome on the central hall. A big clock is mounted on first floor facing Parliament Street; it was controlled from Master clock, located in control room and gave accurate time. People moving on Parliament Street would invariably check their watches for correct time.
BROADCASTING HOUSE had 17 studios, 12 in the main building and 5 in the annexie. Main control room was in the center of the cluster of the 12 studios. Biggest studio was St no 1. St 2, 3& 4 were Music Studios,  St 5, was mostly used for Drama, St 6& 7 for Western Music and Discussion, St 8 whose door was colored Red was a talk Studio and was known as VIP studio. St 9& 10 were used for News Broadcast although they had facilities for play back of disc, two turn tables for continuity and later on tape players were also added.  St 11 and 12 were used regularly for Transmission for Delhi A and B programmes. Delhi B carried English and western music while Delhi A carried all Hindi and local programmes.
VIP STUDIO; - Studio 8 was known as a VIP studio. Our late Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru used to broadcast to the Nation, live from this Studio many times. Dignitaries from other countries also came to record their message. I remember Hon. Col Nasser President of Egypt was one of them.
External Services programmes were broad cast from St 13& 14, St 15, a music studio St 16 a talk studio and St 17 again a general purpose one, equipped with Turn tables announcers microphones etc. All Music or drama studios were attached with a Control console and an announcer’s booth. There was a Central recording room in the cluster from 13 to 17. Recording facilities were available in the main Studio block as well. In the earlier days Disc recording was done in two booths adjoining St2 CR and St5 CR, one on each side of MCR. Later these disc recorders were replaced by NEC Tape Recorders.
BIGGEST STUDIO; - Studio 1 was the biggest studio in the complex. National programmes of music with audience limited to 30-40 persons were broad cast from here. It was used for AIR Orchestra, for its rehearsals and recordings or broadcasts. An announcer’s booth and small CR was attached to it. Shree Ravi Shanker ji (Sitar Player) and Shree T.K.Jairam Aiyer were big names who conducted the Akashvani National Orchestra. 
CENTRAL RECORDING ROOM;-In the cluster of these five studios 13 to 17 there was a Recording control room. It was connected to MCR by lines. Other Studios could be patched in. Most of the recordings for News reel and talks etc where editing was required, were done here. Ampex and later NEC Tape recorders were in service. I remember we had Disc cutting machines also to record feeds, broadcasts from out side the studios. For News reel, recording of cuts of events was done on Discs (Not CDs of today). Mr Melville Demelos’s programme covering the events of the day was popularly listened. It was on the Air at 20:30 hours for this programme extracts were recorded on two discs slightly spaced from one another and he will make a commentary on the events and play the effects recorded on the Discs from the OB site, whether it was extract of a speech or music or other effect. Mr Shiv sagar Misra did it with Hindi commentary.
 St 9, 10, 11 &12 were controlled from consoles in the Main Control Room (MCR) and other studios had there own consoles and announcers booths. Each Studio, control booth announcer’s booth was equipped with Seconds clocks and before every transmission from the studio time in the clocks was checked and corrected as a ritual. All the clock system was controlled by a Master clock with a big pendulum and the master was checked every day at 16:30 Hours with pips time signal from BBC London. In case a slight variation of a second or so a small thin metallic weight used to be added or removed to and from the Pendulum ( a 6-8 inches metallic cylinder about 1 kg in wt). There was another Pendulum clock in the control room which controlled clocks in St 8, 9 & 10 and also in the Annexie studios.
St 9&10 were located on the outer ring and were nearest to the news room and hence were used for broadcast of News in English Hindi and different languages for relay by all other stations of A.I.R. There were two streams broadcast one for south side and the other towards east, covering the areas in the region similarly for the west and north. English and Hindi were compulsory for all stations of A.I.R.
Mr K.P.shanglu was Station Director Mr R. L. Suri was Sr Stn Engineer designated as SE-I and Mr C.R.Krishnamurthy was Station Engineer (SE-II). SE-I was admin. Head of all the engineering staff and was responsible for the Maintenance of the Equipment building etc., while SE-II was in-charge of all Technical operations in the Studios. Later Mr Suri was promoted and took charge as Planning Officer (Studio Design) in P&D Unit of AIR Head Quarters. Mr ------- (A South Indian Gentleman his exact name is forgotten) took over as SE-I. Mr Suri was an expert in his field and could tell the Reverberation Time of a Studio merely by clapping with his hands and then listening to the sound to die. We could never get it.
When I reported to SE-I to join, I was wearing Khaki Pant and off-white shirt, Stn Engineer Transmitters Mr Kohli was present there in, he immediately asked me to report at Mall road Transmitter, however, later in the day I was told to work in control room BH. That showed the demand of us due to shortage of technical staff in AIR at that time. That is how I started my work in BH. A few names I remember who were working in BH at that time was, Mr G.K.Garg and Mr P.C. Mathur, Dada Chatterjee Mr L.S.Kang (Sardar ji) AEs Mr G. Krishnamurthy,  Mr R. Rangachari, R.B.Lal TAs, Messrs V.K.Mehra, V.P.Mathur, Dalip Mittal, Singal, C.S.Chhatwal, R.L.Sethi, Sahni  etc. SAs and others.
DISC RECORDING AND PRODUCTION OF MUSIC AND SIGNATURE TUNE RECORDS BY A.I.R.;- Will the present day staff imagine that during that period, Gramophone discs for AIR signature tunes were manufactured in house and there was a regular plant for this? Apart from Signature tune some Music records were also produced.
MONGA’s CANTEEN; - We had a canteen run by Mr Monga a nice one where we could get breakfast snacks, etc. round the clock. This was also a meeting point with the artists, announcers, news readers etc.  Who so ever was on shift? I remember Mr Devki Nandan Pandey, Mr Ashok Bajpai and Mr Shiv sagar Mishra of Hindi News. Mr Mathur producer drama Mr Deena Nath, effects man later became producer will discuss so many things pertaining to broadcasts. Mr Deena Nath produced DHOL KI POL which was very popular.

Comments of R. Vidya Sagar. Retd E-in-C, AIR on Jagdalpur Post

It was my first inauguration in my career. I was working in the then Regional Engineer's Office (WZ) as DARE. I was there alongwith Shri S.R. Mate, the ARE. My specific task was to set up and maintain the STL for live coverage of the inaugural function. The STL was a 50 W VHF Transmitter with something like 25 vacuum tubes, almost the size of a full rack! The event passed off smoothly. I enjoyed the cultural show also. Prior to this, I had gathered acquaintance with Jagadalpur by travelling all the way by bus from Raipur (hardly 4 towns on the way), and taking food in very ordinary hotels (they were supposed to be the best then!) with dogs roaming around. I also visited Chitrakoot falls. Interestingly, Jagdalpur had rail connectivity. It was primarily to transport ore. There was one train a day in which a few passenger coaches were also there apart from Goods from Waltair. Waltair, now is Visakhapatnam! Much much later, (in 2001) I just had a chance to drive through Jagdalpur on my way to Delhi from Vizag. I could not really get down and refresh my memories, but I had wondered how Raipur had changed a lot.

And believe me, of all the places, I happened to meet a BE classmate of mine at jagadalpur!

R. Vidya Sagar.
Retd E-in-C, AIR.

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