Thirukkural - 156

Improving the Amateur Radio service in India

Online responses suggesting the Amendment of
Indian Wireless Telegraph (Amateur Service)
Rules 1978


(Please refer to the detailed version of the online form available at:

% of hams/ham enthusiasts who supported this opinion

1. Ham Radio Licensing should be decentralized. At present the Wireless Monitoring Stations are empowered to conduct the licencing examination and declare the result. The Wireless Monitoring Stations (where the licencing examination is conducted) should also be empowered to issue licence just after the declaration of the examination result. 95.2%
2. The necessity of a “mobile permission” should be eliminated in case of amateur radio operation in HF, VHF & UHF bands. 100%
3. Amateur Licence should not be denied to law abiding citizens living in India’s North Eastern States (Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh etc.), Punjab & Jammu & Kashmir . 95.2%
4. Additional bands (in HF, VHF & UHF) should be released to the Indian hams. 100%
5. Issue life time licence. We support the suggestions made by ARSI in case of Rule 12. 92.85%
6. Allow Shifting of Club Stations for workshop/demo/training 96.42%
7. Allot at least one HF band (10m) to Grade-II (Restricted) licence holder. 88%
8. Minimize the Morse Code test speed to 5 WPM for all the grades 92.85%
9. Increase the legal power limit of amateur transmissions 97.6%
10. Legalise digital modes of communication 100%
11. Reduce the minimum age requirement for a licence to 10 years in case of Grade-II and 12 years in case of the other higher grades. 92.8%%

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Mr.Sandeep for his great effort in conducting the above opinion poll. And greetings to him for all his services to the ham community. To view more suggestions / opinions, please visit


The following texts are reproduced from a letter written by
Dr. Pradeep Bakshi
, VU2PCD, ([email protected]) to the WPC

  1. There needs to be a complete change in the way these Rules look at the Radio Amateur. The impression that I get upon reading them is that the Rules see Amateurs as a THREAT whereas, in actual practice, Amateurs are a GREAT ASSET to our Country. This has been proven time and again on several occasions, when Amateurs have given free, selfless service, right from “Morvi” in 1979 to the recent earthquake in Gujarat. 

  1. The Rules and the Act must be made under the assumption that those who want to use the radio spectrum for illegitimate purposes would never dare to seek a license from the Government of India. By seeking a license, we Amateurs actually identify ourselves uniquely by a call sign and subject our credentials to thorough verification by the authorities. The very fact, therefore, that Amateurs do, indeed, seek a license is in itself a testimony to their honesty. 

Therefore, the FUNDAMENTAL change needed is that all applicable rules should be based on the premises of TRUST rather than on REGULATION.  Therefore: 

  1. The age-old Log Book, in my opinion, is redundant. It should NOT be compulsory at all to maintain one, but should be left to the discretion of the individual Amateur whether he/she wants to maintain it or not.

  1. Mobile operations on all the authorized bands should be TOTALLY UNRESTRICTED. On HF, for instance, one can communicate around the world. So, in real life, the distance from international borders or restricted areas does not really matter. 

  1. Licensing procedures for all categories of licenses, including those for reciprocal licensing for foreign nationals, should be SIMPLE and FAST. To give you an example, my USA reciprocal license (call sign W4/VU2PCD) was delivered at my doorstep in India just by filling-up a half-page form on the internet!!! No exams, no fees, no visas, no documents, no delays. Why, in this age of information technology, can’t we do the same? 

  1. I am a great fan of CW telegraphy and operate that mode quite frequently. However, CW telegraphy is gone. Why would one need to pass an exam in the Morse Code at all? My suggestion is to completely eliminate the Morse Code test and replace it with a section on basic understanding of Digital Electronics and skills of Computers. 

  1. The following should be available on the Internet:

A)   All the latest Rules and the Act in full.

B)   Form for application for grant of license (for Indian and Foreign applicants).

C)   Form for license renewal.

D)  Form for issue of duplicate license.

E)   Form for issue of duplicate renewal slip.

F)    Syllabi for the ASOC Exam for each grade.


It really surprised me while in "G" land (The U.K.). I applied for my reciprocal Licence, within six working days I got it with my call [ M/VU2UKR ]

In case a  HF A licencee can opt for an Alternate Location of the station at the time of  application. so that he can operate his station his permanent location with his/her CALLSIGN
when operating from the Alternate Location,  the call can be his/her     CALLSIGN /A
when operating mobile the station could be identified as his/her     CALLSIGN /P  followed by the  "Location "
in case of VHF the handy should be permitted as mobile ...why is the govt. allowing the import of Handy's ...
when they don't serve the purpose  rather it is "Forced to act as a base station"
WPC should accept the fees in the form of Indian Postal Order as well as a DD of any nationalised bank  of India.
Different Prefixes should be alloted  region wise, which helps decentralising and efficient managment of licencing. Monitoring station in charge shoulds be authorised to give temporary permission to change of location for demonstrations. rather than a communication with WPC in Delhi  which may take years to respond. The DX'ers world around are looking for Andaman / laccadives, the ministry should give permission for at least the DX-Pedition teams to carry out their activity for a limited period atleast.
Digital modes, the fast changing trend should be taken care of, timely change of rules required in this fast changing world arround.
Special prefixes should be alloted to those apply it for the contest purpose IN TIME .
Packet Gateways / Internet Gateways should be allowed. Since most of  HAMs can access a CYBER CAFE .... [ for those who have no internet connection at HOME ] and the people who have no RIGs to Operate with ,  once you have your mutimedia PC connected to the Internet , you can get connected to the HAM repeaters in different countries then have your Dxing at a much lesser Expense ....
If a police verification is not  recvd in three months, take it for granted  as verification OK and issue a Temporary licence , till the clearence is over
Bringing HAM radio equipment from Abroad should be included in bagage rules. Duty to be excempted. Rules should allow the import of TNC / Modems / and gadgets for Digital modes.
Rather than giving all these suggestions  I may put forward a simple way to increase the HAM population in India is to SIMPLY CLEAR  THE BACKLOGS OF LICENCING PENDING IN WPC, our number will be more than Double I bet.

To do so the present manpower to write the Licence should be increased. The Licencing is still a MANUAL Task, in this DIGITAL age, the Communication ministry is still running the  PAPER workshop with a minimun of 3 to four files to update to create a single Licence, with the same entry being done. The ministry should at least go in for a computer network of monitoring station in differnt parts of India, a central control could be there from the Delhi, This may reduce the burden of people to come to the capital for the enquiry and other matters.
Name)  Sunil.U.K  [ handle U.K ] (Callsign)  VU2UKR


I have heard that ARSI once responded to a letter from the WPC with suggestions to incorporate during the possible amendment of the Indian Wireless Telegraph (Amateur Service) Rules 1978. We (Club: VU2NCT) were also in receipt of a similar letter from the WPC and responded with our suggestions (mostly complying to the suggestions made by ARSI). I think all the ham radio operators can individually write to WPC requesting for the amendment of the Indian Wireless Telegraph (Amateur Service) Rules 1978, which we can show to the world with proud. The forefront orgs like ARSI, NIAR, GIAR and U.P. Amateur Radio Society can also do a lot in this direction.

Our suggestion were:

1. Ham Radio Licensing should be decentralized.
At present the Wireless Monitoring Stations are empowered to conduct the licencing examination and declare the result. The Wireless Monitoring Stations (where the licencing examination is conducted) should also be empowered to issue licence just after the declaration of the examination result. The licence should be provisional, subject to cancellation if an adverse report is received from the security agencies. We think that in a vast country like ours, this type of decentralization and prompt issue of licence will generate a positive attitude amongst our younger generation towards this scientific hobby. Other advanced modes of communication (including wireless mobile telephones) being so readily available nowadays that the lengthy process of the issue of amateur wireless licence just tends to negate our idea of making India a technically advanced country.

If there are administrative/procedural problems in implementing the suggestion, the following alternative may be considered. At present the security clearance is being obtained through the ‘Intelligence Bureau’, who may not deal with ‘Regional Monitoring Headquarters’ located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Considering that cellular phones have a much larger accessibility (anywhere in the world) and do not need any security clearance, it is desirable that incase of ‘Amateur Licence’ the Security Clearance is obtained by the Regional Engineer-in-Charge from the local police, instead of IB. This procedure will be in line with the issue of passports, where, clearance from the local police is obtained by the Regional Passport Officers. Such information - the list of qualified candidates as well as the security clearance papers - be forwarded to WPC for issue of licence. This will save a lot of delay in the issue of licence.

Commercial licencees are allowed to operate mobile stations, without individual security clearances, and without any restriction in operational areas. In such cases, the Licensee company and the Director/Owner only are cleared by security agencies, and yet ANY employee of the company-driver included- is entitled to operate mobile stations. Radio amateurs, who have to qualify in an examination and who are cleared individually by security agencies, are denied permission to use their handheld equipment outside the licensed addresses. Most of the radio amateurs use hand-held sets either on LOS (Line-Of-Sight) basis or through repeater. It is illogical to insist that these be used as base stations. The necessity of a “mobile permission” should be eliminated in case of amateur radio operation.

In so far as mobile operation is concerned, certain restrictions may be introduced such as those mentioned by ARSI in their proposals.The licencee should be allowed to operate HF mobile from anywhere within the country (except areas which have been specifically declared by the Central Govt. from time to time, as “prohibited or sensitive”) but not (i) within 25 km from International land borders in the bands above 30 MHz and (ii) within 50 km from International land borders in the bands below 30 MHz

During the last few years, Amateur Station licences have not been issued to many of the amateur radio enthusiasts/experimenters who had passed the licencing examination from India’s North Eastern States like Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram (also in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir). Considering the fact that only a genuine radio enthusiast with a technical bend applies for such type of a licence, there should not be restriction in the issue of Amateur Station licences to the people living in these regions. A law abiding citizen with a technical bend should not be allowed to suffer just because of proximity to hostile neighboring countries. Instead, Amateur Radio can strengthen the feeling of national brotherhood and can act as a catalytic force in the national integration effort.

As regards to frequency spectrum availability, the Indian amateurs have miles to go. The following additional bands should be released to the Indian hams.
(1) 3700-3890 kHz
(2) 7100-7300 kHz or 6900-7000 kHz & 7100-7200 kHz (this however will subject to amendment by the ITU in the table of frequency allocation)
(3) 10100-10150 kHz
(4) 50.00-50.20 MHz

Make provision for issuing of lifetime licence. To reduce workload at W.P.C. and to eliminate deadwood from among amateurs who are not really interested in the hobby, a period of seven years is adequate to ensure that only genuine hobbyists get lifetime licence. We support the suggestions made by ARSI in case of Rule 12.

One of the purposes of an amateur radio club is to promote amateur radio activity. This necessitates the temporary shifting of the station to locations where awareness camps & trainings are organized. So denial of this shifting itself prevents the very purpose of such events and nips all efforts at the bud.

Many countries have the provisions to issue ‘No Code Licence’ to encourage amateur radio activity. In India also, we need to have provisions for ‘No Code Licence’ with power allocation of 50 watts in at least four amateur radio bands (40m, 20m, 15m and 10m). However, until the amendment in article S.25 is approved by the ITU, removing the mendatory requirement for the knowledge of Morse Code, the 10 metre band, shown as permitted for restricted Grade licence holders through oversight, in some copies of Gazette Notification, should be re-introduced. This is to provide limited access to long distance stations, mainly to generate interest in the licensees for their licence upgraded. It may, however, be curtailed to the band 28.300-28.500 MHz.

The speed requirement for the Morse Code Test should be reduced to 5 WPM for all the grades of licences. After the US, the European countries have also recently adopted this speed requirement. This would be the first step before this requirement is alltogether elimited from Amateur Service Rules.

At present, there is no provision for various digital modes of communication in the Indian Rules & Regultation. To legalise AMTOR, PACTOR, RTTY, PACKET, PSK31 and other digital modes employing new technologies, additional emissions need to be incorporated in the list of emissions of the Indian Rules and Regulations.

Thanks & Best 73s
de Sandeep, VU2MUE
(Club: VU2NCT)

Download in PDF Format

The following resolution was passed unanimously at the Hamfest 2002 in Chennai.

An Appeal from Indian Hams

We hams (Amateur Radio Operators) pursue a hobby that stimulates a scientific temperament, promotes communal harmony and inculcates a spirit of service to society especially in times of distress. Hams have contibuted immensely to the advancement of wireless commuication technologies and have provided the much needed communications support to relief work when natural calamities occur. In their own way, hams are paving the way to global peace through exchange of ideas and views that transcend the divisions caused by gender, caste, creed or nationality.

In recent times, the Indian HAMs have been facing several intrusions into their allotted spectrum from illegal transmissions. At the same time, they are unable to keep abreast of the international progress in the field because some newer radio transmission modes are yet to be licensed by the regulatory body.

We the Amateur Radio Operators of India, therefore appeal to the Government of India and the concerned authorities to protect and encourage this very useful hobby by:

1. Initiating action against illegal transmissions causing interference to the amateur radio bands, especially by:
a. Long-range cordless phones.
b. Cable TV transmissions in the VHF & UHF bands.

2. Modifying the regulations to:
a. Allow the use of 434-438 MHz UHF band as a dedicated amateur band without sharing.
b. Enlarge the spectrum allocation to include the 6-metre band.
c. Permit use of CTCSS in the VHF/UHF bands to avoid unintended trigerring of repeaters by stray transmissions.

3. Facilitate the hobby by:
a. Authorising renewal of amateur radio operators' licences by the regional headquarters.
b. Waiving all levies on the import of amateur radio equipments.
c. Extending the application of Member of Parliament's Local Area Development (MPLAD) Funds to include development of amateur radio through registered amateur radio societies and educational institutions.

A link to an article on Improving the Amateur Radio service in Europe, by Peter Vekinis, KC1QF

Go Back Go Top Go Home