Transcription & Programme Exchange Service
The Transcription Service was started on 3rd April 1954 and entrusted with the main function of preparing transcription of speeches of all dignitaries with special focus on the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the country.
This office has the following functional units –
a. Central Archives
b. Programme Exchange Unit
c. Transcription unit
d. Refurbishing Unit
e. Digital Sound Archives
f. Commercial Release & Marketing
(a) CENTRAL ARCHIVES
The Sound Archives of All India Radio can be called as the National Audio Archive of the nation as it is the treasure house of precious recordings of more than 17,000 hours containing music and spoken word recordings in different categories. It is the largest library of Indian Music recordings.
The library preserves a separate collection of Mahatma Gandhi’s speeches including the first and the last prayer speeches of Mahatma Gandhi recorded on 11th May 1947 at Sodepur Ashram, Calcutta and 29th January 1948 at Birla House, Delhi respectively. The only broadcast by Gandhiji from AIR Delhi on 12th November 1947 is also preserved. The library contains recordings of speeches of all the Presidents and Prime Ministers of India.
Other important voice recordings of eminent personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Sarojini Naidu etc. have also been preserved. Apart from this, award-winning radio dramas, features, documentaries etc. and memorial lectures are available in the library.
AIR Archives is the repository of Radio Autobiographies. These are long duration recordings of eminent personalities from different walks of life. Such personalities are identified and recorded by AIR stations. The recordings are forwarded to Central Archives for preservation and posterity.
(b) PROGRAMME EXCHANGE UNIT (PEU)
The main purpose of this unit is to exchange good quality programmes among the stations as per their requirements. The PEU library has approximately 8000 tapes containing recordings of music and spoken word programmes preserved for this purpose.
The library has also preserved the Language Lessons broadcasts in Bangla, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.
(c) TRANSCRIPTION UNIT
It is obligatory on the part of AIR stations to record all the speeches delivered in public functions by the President and Prime Minister. Tapes containing recording of speeches are received from various concerned AIR stations. One of the main functions of this unit is to transcribe these recordings and preserve them in the form of bound volumes in chronological order.
(d) REFURBISHING UNIT
The old recordings preserved in Archives become noisy with passage of time. The noise is removed by refurbishing the tapes. To refurbish the vintage music recordings in Archives, the unit was set up some years back with the assistance from the United Nations Development Programme. Hundreds of hours of recording of music, voice of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru etc. were refurbished here. The unit takes care of the audio quality of the archival recordings being released by AIR.
(e) DIGITAL SOUND ARCHIVES
A special project was launched to digitize all Archival recordings in 2001. By this time Akashvani has become one of the major digital libraries in the broadcasting network with modern tape numbering system in tune with the internationally accepted norms.
(f) COMMERCIAL RELEASE & MARKETING
Since April 2003 All India Radio Central Archive has been releasing music albums under the banner of ‘Akashvani Sangeet”. 66 albums released are listed below. Marketing of these releases is primarily in-house by AIR stations.