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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

GoM comes to rescue of Prasar Bharati

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 31, 2013
First Published: 22:39 IST(31/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:42 IST(31/3/2013)

The government bid to restructure public broadcaster Prasar Bharati would result in filling of 3,452 posts at different levels in the next one year.

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The government has agreed to national broadcaster’s suggestion to set up Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board to fill the posts lying vacant since 1997 when the corporation was set up to independently run All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.

A Group of Ministers in 2009 had identified 3,452 critical posts to be filled up for smooth functioning of the two wings of Prasar Bharati. Now, the government has cleared hiring for 1,150 posts and the corporation expects clearance for remaining slots soon.

“We have submitted a proposal to department of expenditure for filling up remaining posts,” said a senior Prasar Bharati official, adding that the posts are at all levels including Group B and C levels.

Those already working with the public broadcaster would get some sort of preference with the corporation deciding to relax age for casual artists and assignees by the extent of approved service rendered in the relevant post.

The corporation has also decided to expedite departmental promotions for its 45,000 strong workforce through constitution of high power committees to scrutinise proposals before being referred to the government. Doordarshan has about 17,000 employees whereas and rest work for AIR.

“Efforts are also being made to reduce stagnation to the extent possible by giving in-situ promotions, ad-hoc promotions as well as current duty charge of higher posts,” the official said.

The corporation has also achieved success in financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati.

The earnings would be exempted from income tax, there would be waiver on interest on loan in perpetuity and waiver of accumulated arrears of space and spectrum charges till end of March 2011.

From next financial year, the corporation would get plan support as grant-in-aid instead of the earlier practice of loan.

The government will also provide full non-plan expenditure to meet salary and related expenses for the next five years. “These incentives would benefit Prasar Bharati to the tune of Rs. 12,071 crore in the

current financial year,” the corporation said in a statement.

The government has also set up an expert committee under National Innovation Council chairperson Sam Pitroda to suggest restructuring of Prasar Bharati to improve its look and make it a people’s broadcast platform.


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