Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Dear colleagues,
                   As you are aware, Prasar Bharati has been facing problems on the administrative front. Against the sanctioned strength of approximately 48,000 posts, about 15,000 posts are estimated to be vacant. This is due to various factors, such as non-setting up of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board, non-finalization of Recruitment Regulations for the various cadres (more than 125), not holding of DPCs for promotions on regular basis; etc.
2. The position is so acute that in some of the cases persons have retired without getting any promotion at all. Such large number of vacancies and delayed promotions have had highly demoralizing effect on the work force. Many claim that nothing substantial had been done on these fronts for the last 15 years. These factors have contributed in the morale of the employees going down. However, required attention is now being paid to these aspects and efforts are being made, with the support of Min. of I & B, to salvage the position to the extent possible by finding solutions to the problems neglected for years.
3. Some of the measures on which work is in an advanced stage are:
i) Setting up of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board (Final Note is to go to the Cabinet soon);
ii) Recruitment of posts with Grade Pay upto Rs. 4600, through Staff Selection Commission;
iii) Finalization of Recruitment Regulations;
iv) Merger of the posts of Sr. Engineering Assistants and Engineering Assistants ensuring protection of the interests of the existing incumbents in receipt of upgraded pay scale;
v) Expediting DPCs, by setting up High Power Committee of Experts;
vi) Giving Current Duty Charge of the higher posts and in situ promotions in various cadres;
vii) Tackling the vexed problem of regularization of casual artistes and Temporary Status Workers;
viii) Giving help to casual assignees (including in Jammu and Kashmir) inter alia, by granting age relaxation in direct recruitment;
ix) Engaging retired persons and other experts on contract etc. for manning large number of vacancies.
4. Very recently, 1150 critical posts (out of 3452) which had lapsed due to non-filling up for a long time, have since been revived, with the approval of Ministry of Finance. For the remaining posts, Department of Expenditure had advised to re-submit the proposal in March, 2013. The same has since been sent Ministry of I&B for taking up the matter with Department of Expenditure.
5. Pending revival of all the 3452 posts, we have requisitioned for 2872 posts with SSC. Requisition for other live vacancies of less than one year and anticipated vacancies (as well as back-log for SC/ST vacancies where applicable) have been included in the requisition placed with SSC. The advertisements for filling up the said posts are being published in issues dated 23/2/2013 and 23/3/2013 of Employment News. This is the first recruitment in 16 or 17 years.
6. The organization has also been facing large number of court cases by employees relating to seniority, promotions, transfers etc. It is proposed to put in place a mechanism whereby the matter could be settled out of court through mutual consultations with the employees so that their grievances are removed to the extent possible and the number of court cases is reduced to a minimal level.
7. Other problems encountered by Prasar Bharati have been the neglected programme content which reflected in poor quality of programmes. In spite of huge infrastructure and experienced production staff, the in-house production had been minimal leading to out-sourcing of programme production to a large extent. There have been other controversies as well such as in the commissioning of Urdu programmes. With suitable measures having been taken in recent past, these aberrations have been tackled to a large extent as the systems have been made transparent.
8. To meet the challenge of private channels, following initiatives are proposed:
i. Expansion of DTH ;
ii. Digitalization for better picture quality;
iii. Better reach to Cable and Satellite homes through monitoring of violation of cable Act;
iv. Rebranding of Prime Time DD News asNews Night and revamping it by engaging professionals of eminence as Special Assignees;
v. Increasing transmission network capacity through digitalization
vi. Mobile TV through terrestrial networks;
vii. Thrust on number of FM transmitters in 12th Plan having connectivity through mobile phones; and
viii. Border area coverage to be increased to cover Pakistan, Nepal and Middle East Countries.
9. After many years, the Prasar Bharati Board meetings are now held in a congenial atmosphere and the focus of the entire Board is towards giving an impetus to the various programmes and policies of the organization resulting in forward movement.
10. I thought I should keep you informed.

Jawhar Sircar
Prasar Bharati

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