FAQ on Amateur Radio

Can I operate a two-way radio (Wireless transceiver/walkie talkie ) in India without a license?

Yes,  a few bands are delicensed with some restrictions. For license regulations see WPC website

I am planning to buy/already own a walkie talkie for ____ use, do I need a license?

In India, owning and operating a radio without a valid license in the frequencies other than the delicenced is illegal. Commercial radio licenses are issued by the WPC and can be applied for if the intended use is commercial.

What is amateur radio? Is it similar to FM/AM radio?

Amateur radio is purely a hobby pursued by enthusiasts all around the world in their leisure time . Unlike Commercial FM and AM radio stations, which broadcast news,music,etc,. amateur radio is for one on one personal communication with like minded radio operators .

Can I make money out of amateur radio?

It is not a business, nor offer any chance or scope for employment. You cannot use an amateur radio license to link up your home to your place of work, use it for public broadcasting or any other purpose besides practice it as a hobby.

What do I get out of amateur radio?

Being involved in amateur radio is beneficial for you in many ways.

It is a great platform for self study and personal development. You will, for example, learn about electronics and radio propagation; expand your knowledge of geography and enhance your personal communication skills. An interest in amateur radio gives you curiosity to learn and that will help you succeed in academics and in life. It often kindles an interest in maths and science, which can then lead to a successful career in science or engineering.

In addition to technical skills, you will also learn social skills. In making contacts with other amateur radio operators, your will make friends with other hams around the country and around the world.These Social Contacts can help you to a greater extent in your life and Career.

We live in the internet age, does a radio really have that much use?

Amateur radio is not just for communication alone, it is just like you go for hobby fishing when fish is available at market. Fishing teaches preparation and patience, likewise, amateur radio is a platform for learning and developing skills. Moreover amateur radio operators are always equipped and skilled to handle emergency communication which are deployed when regular modes like Cellular and Landline services are down. Now you decide if you want to be stuck in an emergency with no contact with the outside world or to help yourself and others around you when help is needed!

Is amateur radio only about emergency communication?

Absolutely Not! Amateur radio operators involve themselves in a wide variety of activity including, but not limited to, building their own radios, talk using satellites, contest in various radio competitions, bounce signals off the moon, operate mobile radios from remote places and chase weak signals from the distant ends of the globe.

Who can be a radio amateur? I am a ______ by profession and not from the Engineer, is that fine!

In India, any Indian citizen above the age of 12 can become a radio amateur. Although a knowledge in electronics is helpful, it is not an absolute must! There are amateur radio operators from all walks of life; they are simply bound by their common passion, Radio Communication.

Is Amateur radio a costly hobby?

Yes and No! While Commercial, name-brand radios can be bought off the shelf, It is not quite hard to put together a radio by yourself at a fraction of the cost!

I am interested in getting licensed, what do I do now?

It is always helpful to get in touch with a local amateur radio operator as they can offer you a practical demonstration of the hobby, answer your doubts and can help you find resources locally that may be hard to find.

I now have a fair idea about the hobby, now how do I apply for my license?

You can apply online for the exam, see this link to prepare your online application 

When will the be next exam? 

Policies regarding the exam, dates, syllabus, etc. are subjected to the decision of Wireless Planning and Coordination(WPC), a body which comes under the Department of Communications and IT, Government of India.

So far, there is no fixed schedule for exams. An aspirant can apply anytime in an year. Normally, once they get a minimum number of applications, they schedule an exam in the nearest date. 

What is the exam like? Is it difficult?

The exam is a multiple choice questionnaire test and a Morse code test. School kids and Retired folks have obtained their licenses in the past, you be the judge!

What are the expenses involved in licensing?

Other than the fees to be paid to the government for the exam and the license, there are no extra costs involved in getting licensed.