The world of amateur radio witnessed a remarkable milestone as Hamfest India 2023 kicked off at Vigyan Bhawan, Science City, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This two-day national convention, held on November 25, 2023, brought together over 1000 amateur radio operators, known as HAMs, to celebrate the advancements and innovations in this fascinating field.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications Shri Devusinh Chauhan graced the event with his inaugural address, highlighting the crucial role of HAMs in maintaining communication during times of crisis. He acknowledged the significant reforms undertaken by the WPC Wing within the Ministry under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnav ji, streamlining the processes of HAM Radio examination, certification, and regulations. The launch of the Saral Sanchar Portal has facilitated prompt issuance of licenses, receiving an overwhelming response from the HAM community.
The Minister envisioned a future where HAM Radio reaches every corner of the country, stating, “I believe there should be a HAM in every village, just like in some of the other countries, where there are more than 1 lakh HAMs. HAM should proliferate to every village in India.”
Emphasizing the critical role of HAM technology in emergency response scenarios, Minister Chauhan advocated for its widespread adoption to better serve the nation’s interests. He urged the integration of HAM education into primary and secondary schools, fostering a new generation of HAMs equipped to handle disaster response challenges across the country.
Concluding his address, the Minister applauded the efforts of the HAM team, encouraging them to continue their remarkable work in advancing the field of amateur radio.
Highlights of Hamfest India 2023
Hamfest India 2023 served as a hub for amateur radio enthusiasts, showcasing the latest innovations, communication techniques, and technological advancements. Over 10 technical workshops and 5 stalls highlighting designs and innovations provided a comprehensive platform for participants to explore and engage with the latest developments in the field.
The event fostered a vibrant space for HAMs to connect, network, and share knowledge. A trade show, flea market, and an array of activities tailored to the interests of amateur radio operators further enriched the experience.
Eyeball QSO: A Unique Feature of Hamfest India
A unique highlight of Hamfest India is the opportunity for HAMs to engage in Eyeball QSO (Face-to-Face Meetings), a rare occurrence during regular radio interactions. These face-to-face encounters strengthen bonds within the HAM community and create lasting memories.
Seminars, License Examinations, and Radio Equipment Displays
The event encompassed seminars on technical, operational, and legal aspects of amateur radio, providing participants with valuable insights and knowledge. License examination sessions were also conducted, offering aspiring HAMs an opportunity to obtain their licenses and join the community.
Commercial vendors and individual HAMs showcased a wide range of radio equipment, allowing participants to explore and purchase the latest gadgets and accessories.
Cultural Programs and Photo Sessions
Complementing the technical engagements, Hamfest India 2023 integrated cultural programs and photo sessions, creating a well-rounded and memorable experience for all participants.
A Legacy of Innovation and Community Building
Hamfest India 2023 stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of amateur radio, uniting enthusiasts, fostering innovation, and celebrating the advancements in the field. As the largest gathering of Indian HAMs, this event signifies the vibrant and prosperous community of amateur radio operators in India.
The Journey of Amateur Radio in India
The roots of amateur radio in India can be traced back to the 1920s when Signal Corps officers ignited the passion for this captivating hobby. Amarendra Chandra Gooptu and Mukul Bose were among the pioneers of amateur radio operations in India, and the community has steadily grown since then despite occasional interruptions, including during the freedom struggle.
Post-independence, the establishment of the Amateur Radio Club of India in 1948 marked a new chapter in India’s amateur radio narrative. Over the decades, Hamfest India has played a pivotal role in fostering innovation, community building, and service