Ham Radio is a popular name for Amateur Radio. At the same time, it’s both a service and a hobby.
It is said that the radio operation of Ham is a hobby king. There are a lot of ham radio enthusiasts in India.
Here we are discussing ham radio, how to get a ham radio license in India, and its benefits.
What is Ham Radio?
It is an activity of self-learning, inter-communication, and technical investigation carried out for a personal reason, without any pecuniary interest between persons duly allowed to do so.
Such designated persons shall be referred to as Amateur Radio Operators or Ham Radio Operators.
Amateur radio operators use radio stations in two ways and communicate with similarly licensed stations using different methods of communication such as voice, morse code, and even more sophisticated forms of communication using computers, the internet, etc.
The things amateur radio operators do with their radios vary according to the knowledge that each of them has.
Advanced techniques for amateur radio communication include Automated Position Reporting Systems using GPS information, Internet connectivity of Repeater Stations, Web interface for email exchanges, images, etc., as well as visual communication modes.
There are more than 30 lakh people all over the world who are doing this operation in their spare time, and there are around 15,000 amateur radio operators in India.
The Importance of Ham Radio in This Age of the Internet
Some of us wonder how important Ham Radio is in the modern era of communication technology. Yet we should bear in mind that all modern forms of communication are based on third parties.
This means that there is a third party, such as the respective service provider, which can include a third party other than the sender and the receiver. In addition, we do not have any kind of control over this service provider.
If there is a malfunction or failure in these communication networks, it can only be fixed by the service provider. In the case of cell phones, landlines, and Internet connections, you might have encountered this challenge.
Most of us witness the lack of efficiency of conventional communication methods daily.
A wireless communication network via Amateur Radio is one of the most effective and alternative means of communication and can play an important role in providing reliable communications when other normal communications fail.
There is no such mediator between the transmitter and the receiver station. Thus, Ham radio communication is free from any kind of third-party system failure.
More surprisingly, the majority of Ham radio license holders are extremely versatile in radio technology. It is therefore not a daunting job to overcome unusual device bugs that can occur in their transmitting or receiving system.
The qualified amateur radio operator’s skills can be used in times of public service needs and emergencies.
Hams has provided very efficient amateur radio communication and humanitarian assistance under serious circumstances on several occasions, especially during natural/man-made calamities in the country.
Things That You Can Do with Amateur Radio
Amateur radio operators use their radio stations in their spare time, perform two-way communication, and exchange cultural, personal, and technical information with other amateurs not only in India but worldwide.
Their mode of operation may be via Voice, Morse Code, or Digital Mode. Some hams use satellites as well.
A ham radio operator can conduct the following operations.
- Hams can talk to any other ham in the world by using an HF radio as it has a wide range of accessibility.
- Local contact is possible with other hams in your locality using VHF / UHF transceivers.
- Ham Radio is an ancient social media network that helps you to make a lot of friends around the world, and not all of these friends are fake, unlike modern social media networks.
- It is a very difficult and fascinating job to render communication using homemade low-power transceivers (which are commonly known as QRPs).
- By using Modern Amateur Radio Technology, a ham radio operator can share video, text, and emails, and even make it easier to connect to the Internet.
Things that are not allowed in Ham radio communication
- Any business-related or commercial discussion
- Broadcast music or news
- Sending or receiving a message in the name of non-hams.
- Causing some form of interference with the ham band.
- Using any form of offensive language
In addition, advanced Ham will experience the following items as well.
- Amateur Television: It’s just like regular television because it broadcasts standard video and audio through the frequency of the ham.
- Slow Scan TV (SSTV)– Transmit and receive static images (colour or monochrome) around the world via a ham band at little to no expense.
- Contests & Awards-You will take part in various contests held by different ham radio clubs or associations.
- Homebrewing: The ham can make its transmitters, receivers, antennas, etc., and enjoy a hobby.
- Emergency and other volunteer services: When traditional communications fail, hams are ready to use their radios to provide emergency communication services to their communities.
- Fox Hunt – It’s a game of discovering secret transmitters that are normally run by several Ham radio clubs and associations.
- Satellite Communications: As mentioned above, hams are used by their satellites for worldwide communication by handheld or Base Stations.
Procedure for Obtaining a Ham Radio License in India
In India, anybody over the age of 12 can become an Amateur Radio Operator. He/she can apply for a ham radio license in India.
The application should be submitted in the format prescribed and should be accompanied by the necessary documents.
You can submit your application for the Ham radio license examination to the nearest Wireless Monitoring station through https://saralsanchar.gov.in/
The WPC/WMO/DoT will review the applications submitted by applicants on the SARAL Sanchar portal.
Following a review of the applicant’s documents, photographs, payments, fees, and so on, any required instructions on payment, correction, re-uploading of papers, and so on, will be sent to the applicant through email or SMS alerts.
Applicants can also monitor and download this on the SARAL Sanchar dashboard of the applicant’s login.
An applicant may contact the relevant WPC Nodal via the site and submit any additional or required documents. An applicant may also submit a helpdesk request using the portal.
When the application is accepted or rejected, the applicant is notified, and the certificates may be obtained from the portal by logging into the dashboard.
If the scrutiny is unsuccessful, the applicant must revise and resubmit the application.
Once the application has been successfully reviewed, a hall ticket will be provided, and the applicant will be notified of the exam date and location through SMS.
The ham radio license in India is given based on an assessment (ASOC examination) performed by the Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India.
Those wishing to become an Amateur Radio Operator must apply for and receive a license to operate/own a Radio Station.
- As explained above, any individual over the age of 12 may become a ham in India after being qualified for the Amateur Station Operators Certificate Examination.
- The Officer-In-Charge, Wireless Monitoring Station, Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Communications, Government of India is the authority to carry out the examination even in the applicant’s town, provided that there is a sufficient number of applicants.
There are 2 grades of ham radio India licenses:
1. Restricted Grade – Allowed use of the Medium Power Transmitter. (1-hour exam)
2. General Grade – Allowing use of the Higher Power Transmitter. (2-hour exam)
Attend the exams (there will be a written test in electronics and a practical test in Morse code). The Morse code test is only for General Grades.
The ASOC exam results will be released soon, but the license will take a little longer since there are some verification processes required.
The test is divided into two sections: Part A: Basic Electronics and Part B: Radio Regulations.
The Restricted Grade test is one hour long and consists of 25 questions in Part A and 25 questions in Part B.
The General Grade Examination is two hours long and consists of 50 questions in Part A and Part B. Candidates for General Grade will also be required to complete a Morse Code Transmission and Reception test.
- The syllabus for this examination is based on the fundamental concepts of electronics and communication.
- If this objective form examination is passed, a restricted grade license will be given.
- But for General Grades, in addition to the written test, one must qualify for the Morse Code at 8 words per minute.
- Anyone interested in electronics will be able to pass these tests after a few weeks of training.
- Several study materials and Morse code practice tests are available on the internet. Principles of Electronics by V K Mehta (available on Amazon) is a good book to learn the fundamentals of electronics.
- Self-study – After collecting the study materials and learning the fundamentals, you will easily win the exams. As part of your self-study, ensure that you are proficient in fundamental electronics (with a particular emphasis on the radio receiver and transmitter-related circuits), communication modes, and so on. You may qualify for this section if you have a B.Tech in Electronics.
- Local clubs – A lot of local Amateur Radio Clubs are organizing study classes and conducting a test on their premises. It’s better to find a ham radio club in your area.
ASOC Examination and License Fees:
The ham radio exam (ASOC Exam) fee is Rs. 100 per grade.
The ham radio license India fee for 20 years is Rs.1000/- and Rs.2000/- for a lifetime.
Candidates who pass the ASOC examination are awarded Ham Radio Licenses.
The maximum mark for a Restricted Grade is 100, and the applicant must score at least 40% in each section and should have a total of 50% to pass.
A General Grade has a maximum mark of 100 as well. A candidate must obtain at least 60% of the total, and a pass requires 50% in each section. Also, a General Grade candidate must pass the simultaneous morse reception and sending test.
For the Amateur Radio License to be issued, a copy of the license fee payment receipt must be provided in PDF format via the NTRP Portal (Bharatkosh).
To make the payment, first, register at http://bharatkosh.gov.in under the Ministry “Telecommunications” and follow the on-screen instructions.
You will obtain the license within two months after successfully paying the licensing fee and submitting the application form.
Then, with the appropriate transceiver, you may begin a ham radio communication. There are several low-cost VHF transceivers available on Amazon, such as the Baofeng UV 5R.
It is preferable to begin actual ham radio communication after some ham radio station monitoring of other active hams.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ham Radio is synonymous with amateur radio. Intercommunication between people using radio transmitters who are authorized to do so. They can share their ideas, scientific experiments, etc. without any commercial concerns with anyone in the world with a ham license.
Ham radio operators are widely termed HAMs.
Yes. To use a ham radio in India, you require a license. Without a license, you can listen to and monitor ham radio signals, but to communicate legally on ham radio, you must have both a license and a callsign.
In India, of course, ham radio is legal. Anyone with a minimum age of 12 years can apply for a simple examination by the Government of India. If found to be successful in this assessment, they will be granted permission to build and operate their ham radio station.
Amateur radio is commonly called HAM radio because “HAM” was the name of the first Amateur wireless radio station. Some Harward Radio club amateurs, namely HYMAN, ALMY, and MURRAY, set up this first amateur radio station in 1908, making Amateur Radio famous in the first alphabet of their names.
If you are an Indian citizen with a minimum of 12 years of age, please apply to your nearest wireless monitoring station with the correct review documents.
You will then be invited to a clear assessment test and to apply again for a license with the required documents and the necessary fees.
Ham radio operation is as simple as using a Walky talkie. However, you must be licensed before using any ham radio equipment.
For getting the Restricted Grade license, there is no need to know the Morse code. But if you are looking for the General Grade license, you should know the Morse code.
The charge for the ham radio examination (ASOC exam) is Rs. 100 per grade. The ham radio license India expense is Rs.1000/- for 20 years and Rs.2000/- for a lifetime.
No. You cannot operate a ham radio station without a license. It is prohibited to use ham radio equipment without a license. However, you may receive and listen in on ham radio conversations. Once you get your ham radio license, you may communicate with other hams by establishing your ground or mobile station.
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