Total Pageviews

Friday, September 28, 2012

Prasar Bharati's plans for DD and AIR to bridge fiscal deficit

Source:'s News Headlines
Date: 27th September 2012 7:52 pm

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati is striving to bridge the gap between its annual expenditure and revenue amid government pressures to lean less on it for financial support.

While the government has made it clear that it will only fund the capex requirements and expenses towards salaries, the pubcaster has settled on an operational expenditure capped at Rs 20 billion for the fiscal while its income hovers in the region of Rs 16 billion as it competes against private television and radio broadcasters.

So how does Prasar Bharati cut its financial coat to match the cloth that it has? The pubcaster, which has to look after Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), is banking on generating additional revenue of Rs 4 billion with aggressive marketing to promote its clutch of channels and radio stations.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

J-K school board employee suspended for working as DD producer

Source: Business Standard, Press Trust of India / Srinagar, September 26, 2012 15:05 IST

Date: 27th September, 2012, Thursday


A woman employee of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) has been suspended for allegedly violating the service rules by engaging as a private producer with Doordarshan.


Academic Officer (English) Naila Neelofar was placed under suspension after a preliminary inquiry into allegations revealed that she had taken up work as a private producer in Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar in violation of the service rules, according to an order passed by the BOSE yesterday.


BOSE chairman Sheikh Bashir said Neelofar had initially denied the allegations but admitted to taking up work as private producer before a two-member committee investigating the matter.



Prasar Bharati to leverage new assets to earn Rs. 400 cr. more a year

Source: The Hindu, News » National, Special Correspondent

Date: 26th September, 2012 23:37 IST


To move CCI against TAM's TV ratings system

With the Cabinet deciding to spare Prasar Bharati the crippling double burden of multiple loans and a huge salary bill, the public broadcaster is going all out on an aggressive marketing drive to leverage its newly transferred assets in order to rake in the needed additional revenue of Rs. 400 crore per year.

The Prasar Bharati board, which met on Wednesday, has also decided to approach the Competition Commission of India with a complaint against TAM India's television audience ratings. It complained that TAM — which has a monopoly in this field — does not give sufficient representation to Doordarshan's unmatched reach, especially in rural India. The resultant skew in ratings adversely affects its advertising revenue, it says.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved a proposal to restructure Prasar Bharati's finances. Loans, interests and fines to the tune of Rs. 12,071-crore were waived or converted into grants.

The Centre also promised to meet all the salary expenses, while emphasising that the autonomous corporation would have to meet all other operating expenses from its own internal revenue.

"Since its inception, Prasar Bharati has been beset with financial issues due to loans and interests. This was adversely affecting its growth and efficient functioning as an autonomous organisation," said Prasar Bharati chief executive Jawhar Sircar. "Cabinet's decision has helped us clear our account book and allowed us to start on a clean slate."

The public broadcaster's annual operational budget could go up to Rs. 2000-crore, while current revenue is hovering around the Rs. 1600-crore mark. Accordingly, Rs. 400-crore per month needs to be generated through new revenue streams.

Since the Cabinet approved the transfer of numerous properties and infrastructure across the country — radio stations, television kendras, transmitters — to Prasar Bharati, the Prasar Bharati Board has decided to leverage these new assets to earn more money. Professional marketing executives will be hired at market salary levels in order to help the public broadcaster come up with innovative revenue generation plans.


Prasar Bharati plans aggressive marketing for Doordarshan and All India Radio

Source: Business Line (The Hindu)

Date: 27th September, 2012


New Delhi, Sept 26: Bolstered by a recent Cabinet decision providing it financial relief of Rs 12,000 crore, national broadcaster Prasar Bharati today decided to work on aggressive marketing plans for turning Doordarshan and All India Radio profitable.

"Marketing and revenue would be the two thrust areas for Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan and All India Radio and the Board has put special emphasis on different revenue streams and innovative methods for garnering additional income," Prasar Bharati said in a statement after its board meeting.

The Board was also unanimous in approving Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar's proposal to engage professionals from the open market in marketing and other areas, it said.

Officials said the Cabinet had recently approved waiver of loans and other concessions worth over Rs 12,000 crore which had taken a huge burden off Prasar Bharati.

"After the Union Cabinet decision, Prasar Bharati's annual operational expenditure would be in the range of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore whereas the annual revenue currently is around Rs 1,600 crore. Therefore, we need to generate additional revenue of Rs 350-400 crore and that's where our renewed emphasis on marketing is important," Sircar said.

The Prasar Bharati Board was also unanimous in passing a special resolution to thank I&B Minister Ambika Soni and Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the waiver of Rs 12,071 crores of loans, interest thereon and satellite charges that had accumulated over the years.

The waiver will assist Prasar Bharati address newer areas of concern, i.e., its Dish TV operations, (DD Direct Plus) Technology (including New Media) and its priceless archival treasures, the officials said.

Sircar informed the Prasar Bharati Board that the Cabinet decision will amount to a net impact of Rs 12,071.33 crore on organisation's balance sheet.


Dekh Bhai Dekh is back

Source: Times of India, Mohd Salman Khan, TNN

Date: 25th September, 2012, 12.01PM IST


(Dekh Bhai Dekh )
'Dekh Bhai Dekh', the popular comedy serial of the 90s, starring Shekhar Suman, Naveen Nischal and Fareeda Jalal, will soon be back, with a different cast. Tripurari Sharan, director general, Doordarshan, said, "If all goes well, you will see the show going on air within the next six months.

The concept will possibly be the same as the older version. We are in talks with the makers Anand Mahendroo and Liliput."



Prasar Bharati produces more tainted officers than quality programmes

Source: State Times, STATE TIMES NEWS

Date: 24th September, 2012

SRINAGAR: Entrusted with a task of winning over hearts and minds of people besides countering vicious Pakistani propaganda, the electronic media in Jammu and Kashmir, which thrived on special Government of India funding during the past over two decades of militancy in the State , has interestingly produced a long list of tainted officers than quality programmes!

The recent inclusion of outgoing Director Doordarshan Srinagar, Shami Shair into this list has raised many eyebrows given the fact that some elements in New Delhi were already aware that funds were being misused in Jammu and Kashmir by Doordarshan and All India Radio Staff all these years with impunity. Despite that, such a class of staff, was allowed to make hay, informed sources told STATE TIMES.
It was only three months ago when Prasar Bharati's recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, Jawhar Sircar himself found, during his visit to the State, that electronic media had become a hub of corruption in the militancy infested State.

By the time Sircar understood this hard reality which was ironically brushed under carpet by his predecessors, the list of tainted officers had already swelled.

The sources said the situation has now taken to such an alarming proposition that most of the Doordarshan and All India Radio Stations in Jammu and Kashmir are presently without Directors and are headed by Engineers who besides lacking programme sense, terribly fall short of administrative and public relations skills, so much so that an Engineering Assistant at Radio Kashmir Srinagar was presently calling shots and treating himself " not less than Director General of AIR" and threatening staff with his " high connections" in Akashwani Bhawan.

Ironically, on the other side, a number of Director level officials stand attached or suspended for their involvement in minting Government of India money, which was treated as a booty by one and all from Mandi House Delhi to twin complex of Doordarshan and Radio near Jhelum via Tali Morh Nallah, which houses Doordarshan Jammu complex.

While giving a long list of tainted officials, the sources recalled that Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar's former Director, Dr Rafiq Masoodi was suspended two months ago for his involvement in a mega scandal for which Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) has taken up investigation only last week. Masoodi was earlier also suspected for highlighting cause of a particular political party and shifted to Delhi but his political connections first made him Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and then Doordarshan Director Srinagar only to embarrass Prasar Bharati Secretariat.
Interestingly, when Masoodi was replaced by Shami Shair, everyone in New Delhi knew her involvement in programme production scandal but she was allowed to head the sensitive station for unknown reasons, the sources said. They recalled that only last year Shair was transferred to Doordarshan Dehradun but she cared two hoots for the order.

The sources said the present Director of Doordarshan Srinagar, Qayoom Wadera, who was transferred to Leh only last year following his alleged involvement in corrupt practices, has again been posted head of the prestigious Station where he had tainted himself along with about a six producers and assistants.
Before Masoodi-Wadera-Shami trio, Doordarshan Srinagar's former Directors Siraj Qureshi and Shehzaadi Simon met the same fate. Simon was shifted to Radio Kashmir Jammu 15 days prior to her retirement but reportedly her pension remains still unsettled, the sources said.

Radio Kashmir Srinagar's former Director, Bashir Arif, who though not involved in corrupt practices, however, was transferred and attached with Directorate AIR New Delhi for the reason that he had tried to curb corrupt elements involving " Sheherbeen Programme" which had annoyed some staffers and it proved costly for him.

While further giving a list of tainted officers, the sources recalled that Doordarshan Srinagar's Senior Administrative Officer, A.S. Beg was suspended some days before his retirement last year following his involvement in a multi-crore scandal involving tapes and programme content. Similarly, Radio Kashmir Srinagar's former Administrative Officer, Hajra Khan figures in the list of tainted officers along with 23 other AIR Officials whose involvement in withdrawing travel claims illegally, was established by none other than CBI some months ago.

Even as Hajra Khan has been awarded major penalty as recommended by CBI, she continues to function as DDO at Radio Kashmir Jammu as some elements were trying to shield her while ignoring CBI recommendations, the sources said.

They also referred to involvement of former Director Doordarshan Jammu, M K Raina Ratnakar, who was ultimately attached with Mandi House. Similarly, a Production Assistant, M L Kharoo was booked by CBI in a corruption case.

The sources also referred to involvement of some other Jammu-based programme officials of Doordarshan Kendra Jammu and also some engineering officials against whom a number of complaints stand already piled up in Directorate, ranging from disproportionate assets to misuse of official position. Ironically, for some vested interests, the action was either being delayed or not taken at all against such elements who have brought disgrace to the organisation, the sources said.

They made a special mention of some clerical staff having worked on focal seats besides a lower-rung engineer who had a long stint of seven years at Kargil and was again willingly proceeding to the same area for ulterior motives after having managed to modify his transfer orders recently, the sources said.
'No serious effort is being made to investigate entire media units of Jammu and Kashmir to unearth the involvement of all those whosoever had duped Government exchequer by swindling funds under Office Expenses, PPS, METP, Minor works, J&K Special Package heads and also while installing transmitter towers at places which instead of boosting signals, stand up in shadow zones', said the source.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Doordarsha​n is in market & minds of people: Sharan

Source: the pioneer, by Shiwani Sharma, Ranchi, Saturday, 22 September, 2012 15:47

Date: 24thSeptember, 2012
There is perhaps no better person then Doordarshan's director 'Tripurai Sharan' to explain the positions of Doordarshan in the wake of digital revolution.

Doordarshan has been tough competition to retain its hold over viewers as hundreds of private news and entertainment channels have forayed Indian market.

Talking to The Pioneer Sharan said: "Doordarshan having largest coverage area caters the need of viewers from entertainment to information."

Q. Is Doordarshan still in the race with other private channels in wake of the media boom?

A. It is still the first preference of the people when many other channels are mushrooming. Doordarshan as a whole telecasts 21 channels and two all India Channels across the country with specific programmes and choice of languages. It is the most widely available terrestrial channel in India. And maximum population in India watches Doordarshan.

Q Is 'Chitrahar' still popular among viewers?

A Yes, This one of the oldest musical programmes is on the top on the list of Doordarshan and viewers. It is a musical sensation in the rural areas. Doordarshan receives many letters of admiration for it and it has a lot of fans all over India.

Q. What are your views on Doordarshan and the other entertainment channels?

A. Every channel has its own idea and concept .Private channels are also good but Doordarshan is the face of Indian television considered to be one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of studio and transmission development. It does not lag behind. It also commands the highest channel share compared to private networks attracting a far greater number of viewers. Amongst the 50 best programmes in India, 35 are from Doordarshan.

Q. Does Doordarshan run after TRP?

A. Like other channels run for TRP Doordarshan never does. Despite of all, one thing that is best about Doordarshan when compared to other news channels is it doesn't delve on the euphoria or sensation created by a particular piece of news.

Q. Is DD on a makeover?

A Now, Doordarshan is digitalised. It has high definition studios with an improved sound and picture quality. Doordarshan telecasts every kind of programmes relating all the aspect of development.


Doordarshan to telecast semi-finals and final of Fed Cup live

Source:, Siliguri | Friday, Sep 21 2012 IST

Date: 24th September, 2012 11:41:59 AM


State-owned Doordarshan has finally come to the rescue of All India Football Federation (AIFF), deciding to telecast three matches live from semifinals onward of the ongoing 34th Federation Cup football tournament, the AIFF said today. The AIFF, India's football governing body, drew flak when its marketing partner IMG-Reliance failed to telecast the Federation Cup football matches, the second most important football tournament after I-League, being held simultaneously at Jamshedpur, in Jharkhand and Silguri in West Bengal. Doordarshan comes after AIFF's efforts to get an international TV channel and later local TV channels to telecast the matches failed. Doordarshan Sports (DD SPORTS) will telecast two semi-final matches to be held in Siliguri on September 27 and 28 and the final on September 30. UNI PC TBA AS2203 NNNN



I&B ministry makes quiet debut on YouTube

Source: Time Of India| News| Tech, TNN Sep 22, 2012, 03.20AM IST
Date: 24th September, 2012, Monday

Tags: YouTube| Information and Broadcasting

NEW DELHI: The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has made a quiet debut on YouTube garnering 2,378 hits in a matter of a few days. Videos, including bulletins churned out by Doordarshan and All India Radio, briefings given after the meetings of the GoM on media have already been uploaded, besides informative clips on the government's plans and programmes.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

'Ye Zindagi hai Gulshan’ commercially important for Doordarshan

'Ye Zindagi hai Gulshan’ commercially important for Doordarshan

New Delhi: After a long hiatus, Suhaib Ilyasi, who anchored a one time famous crime show ‘India’s Most Wanted’, is presenting yet another gripping tale to its viewers ‘Ye Zindagi Hai Gulshan’ co-produced by filmmaker Mushtaq Bala. The serial, which airs on Doordarshan every Saturday and Sunday at 8:30pm, is not a crime serial but a love story of a progressive Muslim girl and is a first one of its kind Muslim social television serial.

A special press conference to promote this one of its kind programme was addressed by DG Doordarshan, Mr. Tripurari Sharan along with the producer Suhaib Ilyasi at India Islamic Cultural Center, Lodhi road. In the past Doordarshan has never promoted and marketed any serial. However, this is for the very first time that Doordarshan is following an aggressive marketing campaign to promote a serial.

The concept of the serial ‘Ye Zindagi hai Gulshan’ is based on ‘Shariah’ which has given equal rights to women to peruse their development. The serial has a powerful story to promote education among girls and self awareness of their rights. It is a story of two families, Mirza and Vivek Lalvani.

DG Doordarshan, Mr. Tripurari Sharan claimed that Doordarshan has not marketed any serial before like other channels have been doing. According to him, TAM does not consider the reach of Doordarshan across India, which he considers totally unfair. “There should be other parameters too to assess public reach. The Serial ‘Ye Zindagi Hai Gulshan’ is a commercially important programme for us. By promoting this serial we are setting a new trend in Doordarshan. Such programs should always be encouraged for providing strong social message.” said Mr.Tripurari Sharan.

The serial is a joint production of Mr. Bala’s Debonair Film and Video Communications and Firstrate Creations, owned by Suhaib Ilyasi (of India’s Most Wanted fame). The cast include, Zarina Wahab, Raza Murad, Pankaj Dheer among others. Damini Joshi is playing the lead role as Safiya Mirza in the serial.

See More at

Prasar Bharati loan waiver may be `11,500 cr - Livemint

Prasar Bharati loan waiver may be `11,500 cr 

New Delhi: The impact of the financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corp. of India) cleared by the Cabinet last week may be to the tune of Rs.11,500 crore, more than eight times the sum that had been reported by the media.
“The Rs.1,349 crore that has been waived is just the accumulated arrears of space segment and spectrum charges accrued up to March 31, 2011,” said Jawahar Sircar, chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati. “The total financial restructuring package would run into thousands of crores as loans have been converted into grant-in-aid. The internal calculation at Prasar Bharati is currently on and we suspect the impact will be of around Rs.11,500 crore.”
The government’s move will help the public service broadcasting corporation to break with the past and begin on a clean slate.
“Our books looked dirty and we were looked upon as a loss-making organization. The legacy and stigma of loans and non-payment finally leaves us, for which we are very grateful to the information and broadcasting minister and the secretary for personally piloting the effort in the last three years,” Sircar said.
The financial restructuring proposal was based on the recommendations of the group of ministers (GoM) on Prasar Bharati, constituted under the chairmanship of the home minister, to examine various issues pertaining to the functioning of the broadcaster.
More at 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Radio production units now in medical colleges

Source: Times Of India | Kochi,

ALAPPUZHA: The state government is all set to start radio production units in government medical colleges and schools to disseminate information and health tips on public health issues.

The programme will be executed by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) through its 'radio health project' with the help of the departments of education and the local self governments, and the state's IT Mission.

Various programmes on topics ranging from personal hygiene to lifestyle diseases will be aired on the radio. NRHM-trained students, teachers and selected parents will record these programmes.

They will be provided recording devices, computers and mikes.

The recorded programmes will be sent through email or courier to the studio in the NRHM directorate for the final production.

And these programmes anchored by the students themselves will be broadcast on all 9 FM and AM stations of the All India Radio.

The first unit will be set up in Government Medical College, Kozhikode.

School health clubs will produce radio programmes on health issues on a regular basis. In the first phase, radio units will be set up in five schools in Thiruvananthapuram.

NRHM state mission director M Beena said the 'radio health project', launched in 2008, was one of its unique ventures in Kerala.

"Its objective is to spread the messages of the NRHM, especially among the youth and women, through FM radio to promote health literacy. The 'radio health project' is being independently produced and broadcast through All India Radio since 2008. However, it's from this year that we decided to set up radio programme production units in schools and government medical colleges. We will make students the agents of change and disseminators of information. We will sensitize them on health issues and train them in media production. The central government has approved our project and allocated funds for it," Beena said.

The IT Mission will monitor the content produced by the students through dedicated websites or through the websites of the NRHM and the grama panchayats concerned.


Prasar Bharati to sue TAM next week

Decision comes in the wake of NDTV's legal action against TAM early this month

Sounak Mitra / New Delhi September 17, 2012, 0:26 IST



Source: Business Standard

Date: 21 September, 2012, Friday

Government-owned Prasar Bharati, the country's largest broadcaster, had decided to sue the Television Audience Measurement (TAM) agency, citing an alleged inaccurate representation of data on Doordarshan's coverage, said an official. The legal suit would be filed in India within a week, the official added.


The decision came in the wake of New Delhi Television (NDTV)'s legal action against TAM early this month. The private broadcaster had sued TAM in a New York court over the agency's rating methods. TAM is a joint venture between Nielsen and Kantar Media Research. A spokesperson at TAM declined to comment on the issue.
The ministry of information and broadcasting recently wrote to TAM for a report on the measures taken to improve the ratings system, by increasing the coverage and third-party audit. It also asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to recommend guidelines to set the benchmark for other rating agencies.
In a recent statement, Prasar Bharati had said its board of directors had given in-principle approval to collate facts, seek legal opinion and hold consultations with the I&B ministry on the issue of alleged misrepresentation and under-reporting of data for Doordarshan by TAM.
Doordarshan has 37 channels, including DD Bharati and DD National, besides four allied channels such as Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV. With its 1,415 transmitters, Doordarshan covers 92 per cent of the country through its terrestrial network. It is estimated that these would constitute a viewership of about 25 million.
Prasar Bharati also has DD Direct Plus, with a little more than 10 mn subscribers, amounting to at least 35 mn viewers.

Going BBC way

Separately, Prasar Bharati has planned to replicate the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) model to boost its revenue stream, according to the official.
Following the government order that it would need to take care of its own operational expenses, which include administrative costs and software and programme related expenses, Prasar Bharati will need to increase its annual earnings. Spinning off the foreign channels and operating them as global broadcasters like BBC does could be a way forward, said the official.

However, any decision on this is yet to be finalised. "This will be discussed at the Prasar Bharati board meting next," added the official.

BBC primarily depends on advertising, sponsorship or subscription revenue. It is mainly funded by an annual television licence fee, charged from households for receiving and recording of television broadcasts, but the fee structure is set by the UK government under a multi-year agreement with the broadcaster. Spain's TVE and New Zealand's NZTV are completely dependent on revenue from advertisements. In America, where the Public Broadcasting Service plays a marginal role, the organisation is funded by government grants and private donations.
The source said Prasar Bharati's current annual earning were about Rs 1,300-1,500 crore and the operational cost estimated at Rs 1,500 crore. If the downtrend can be stopped, sustainability would not be an issue, said the official.
The government's decision to bear wages and augmentation costs is a great booster for Prasar Bharati, the official added.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DDK celebrates 53rd anniversary of Doordarshan

Source: Echo of Arunachal, First Newspaper From The State

Dated: 20th September, 2012, Thursday


ITANAGAR, Sep 15: Along with the rest of the country, DDK, Itanagar celebrated the 53rd anniversary of Doordarshan at the Kendra premises here today. Speaking as chief guest on the occasion, Agriculture & Horticulture Minister Setong Sena hailed Doordarshan's role in nation building and said the public broadcaster could play an important role in state's social upliftment.


He said though India is ahead of many neighbours as per as broadcasting technology is concerned, more needs to be done to reach out to the rural areas. Stating that directly or indirectly, DDK Itanagar played a big role in moulding local artists, Sena said the public broadcaster could help check urban migration by reaching out to villagers and convincing them that future development would take place in rural areas.
Art & Culture Director Mamta Riba, the guest of honour citing that Doordarshan continues to be one of the biggest institutions of social reformation said the public broadcaster has been able to bring both cities and villages to each other's doorsteps.
Pointing that Doordarshan reaches where no other channel could reach, she assured to go for joint endeavours with the department in future.


Director IPR, Leki Phuntso while expressing happiness on the upgradation of three very low power transmitters (VLPT) of Doordarshan to low power transmitters last year appealed for upgradation of the remaining 40 VLPTs in Arunachal Pradesh for the benefits of all.


Head of office, DDK Itanagar, R Venkatesh, in his speech, said Doordarshan has made tremendous progress in the last 53 years and the broadcaster is second to none in technical availability.


He informed that digitisation of DDK Itanagar is nearing completion. Doordarshan will continue to serve the people with its motto of providing education, information and entertainment to all, he added.


Head of Regional News Unit, DDK Sonikumar Konjengbam urged the dignitaries to continue their association with DDK while suggesting that better programmes could be brought out by undertaking joint ventures.


Noted social worker, Higio Aruni, who has been long associated with DDK Itanagar, also recalled her early years' association with Doordarshan.


A colourful cultural programme, including song and dance performances by local artists were the highlights of the celebration.


Tuki asks Centre to bolster DD, AIR in Arunachal

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki has urged the Centre to strengthen mass information mediums like Doordarshan and All India Radio in the state.

Tuki, who called on Union minister for information & broadcasting Ambika Soni in New Delhi on Tuesday, discussed various issues pertaining to strengthening the system of broadcasting and dissemination of information through government-owned mass media, officials said here on Wednesday.

Tuki was accompanied by Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering.

Reiterating his vision to have a strong broadcasting system in the state, Tuki suggested upgrading and systematizing communication mediums like DD and AIR that play an important role in bridging the gap between the government and citizens.

While appreciating the enthusiasm of the chief minister, Soni assured to give top priority to strengthen the network and work efficiency of DD and AIR in Arunachal Pradesh. Besides upgrading equipment and the broadcasting system in the existing centers, she assured him of deploying adequate staff to man these centers, a source said.

She also accepted to strengthen the transmission reach of DD and AIR by opening new centers and viable locations in the state.

On Tuki's suggestion, the Union minister admitted the need to re-introduce installation and provision of Community Listening Sets in a state like Arunachal Pradesh, where the reach of mass media is still limited to countable towns. Soni also accepted in principle to establish an office of the Press Bureau of India in Itanagar.

Tuki, who expressed interest in constituting a film division of the state to promote documentation of the rich cultural heritage of various tribes inhabiting the state, sought cooperation from the Union ministry. Soni assured him of full support and cooperation in this connection and insisted on organizing national and regional level film festivals in Arunachal Pradesh. The Union minister appreciated the chief minister's thought to have a dedicated 24-hour satellite channel for the state and offered cooperation to initiate the proposal.

74% FDI in Broadcasting Service. - Including Prasar Bharati.



Posted On: 09-14-2012, 07:01 PM (This post was last modified: 09-15-2012 11:16 PM by rajbpl.)


Ambika Soni Annouced in Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Meeting for FDI policy for broadcasting services -

1. Broadcasting sector: Cabinet Apporve FDI policy for broadcasting services. FDI in 49% via automatic route, beyond 49% up to 74% through the FIPB route in the Broadcast Carriage Services.

2. Financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati approved. The proposal is of great importance, the cabinet has approved 100% expenses towards salary and salary-related expenses of Prasar Bharti for next 5 years.

3. In form of grants rather than loans.

4. Spectrum charges to be waived off.

5. Loan in perpetuity will now be converted to grants and aid.

6.Will help Prasar Bharti to move forward and fulfill role that it is supposed to.


The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has proposed that FDI limit in the broadcast carriage services providers, including Direct-to-Home, Head-end in the Sky (HITS) and cable TV must be uniform.

*HITS is a satellite multiplex service that provides TV channels for cable operations.

However, for TV news channels, FM radio and content providers, the FDI limit will stay at 26 per cent, as per the DIPP proposal.

Among different segments, 74 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) would be considered in mobile TV, which is an area of future growth.

Band-Aid for Prasar Bharati when it needs a surgery

Band-Aid for Prasar Bharati when it needs a surgery



Dated: 20 September, 2012


Cabinet move to write-off Rs.1,300 crore debt is a political one that won't meet operational costs, says Sevanti Ninan

By Sevanti Ninan

The core of the problem with Prasar Bharati is that employees are prioritized over the institution, and the institution is prioritized over the objective for which it was created. Photo: Hindustan Times

The core of the problem with Prasar Bharati is that employees are prioritized over the institution, and the institution is prioritized over the objective for which it was created. Photo: Hindustan Times


Last week, the cabinet approved financial restructuring for Prasar Bharati to write off `1,300 crore of debt. It agreed to meet 100% of its salary and salary-related costs for the next five years, but not its operational costs.


But, is the group of ministers (GoM) that recommended this decision the right forum to arrive at the surgical solutions needed for a sick institution like this one? Again, in 2010, it was a GoM that recommended amending the Prasar Bharati Act so that around 30,000 people could retain the benefits of being government employees—something they had been clamouring for. The amendment was passed in 2011.


The core of the problem with Prasar Bharati is that employees are prioritized over the institution, and the institution is prioritized over the objective for which it was created. The fundamental problem is that the government of India wants public service broadcasting for its huge population but does not have the conviction to foot the bill or create mechanisms to fund it.


The cabinet decision taken last week is a political one that won't meet operational costs, which include programming. The latter has to come from commercial earnings. The minute you say that, you undermine the purpose of a public service broadcaster.

The undermining began in 1991 when the government appointed the Mahalik Committee to recommend ways to increase Doordarshan's commercial revenue. Once competition set in the same year, it abandoned convictions on public service broadcasting and set out to compete with more commercial programming. From then on, it has been a broadcaster with a split personality.


The sensible thing to do, if the idea of an Indian public service broadcaster is to have a future, is to drastically prune and re-energize. You might want to meet some needs of your population which are related to agriculture, education, health, employment and culture. But do you need 37 channels to do that? Even if you need one for each major language, less than half the number of the existing channels would do nicely. Rather than a GoM, what Prasar Bharati needs is an unsentimental management exercise to restructure it.


Before you meet 100% salary costs, reassess workforce needs. The programming staff is decimated, though programming presumably is what a broadcaster's raison d'etre should be. The majority of employees are in the engineering force necessitated by a terrestrial network. But a few years down the line, how many people are going to be watching Doordarshan's terrestrial network? Once digitized, it will need a set-top box for access. If people want to watch other channels too, you will need integrated set-top boxes. Or will future TV sets come with digital decoders? Has the government taken a hard look at the prospects for terrestrial digital?


If it did, its own engineers and audience research people would tell the government that the numbers of those without cable connections in the villages of India are dwindling every day. There is rural growth not just in cable, but in direct-to-home (DTH) television. In Chhattisgarh, for instance, there is noticeable growth in rural DTH, and antenna households are diminishing in number. Doordarshan is better off investing much more seriously in its DTH broadcaster DD Direct than in a digital terrrestrial network which is currently going forward at a massive cost. The entire network of low power transmitters and high power transmitters has to be digitized by 2017. When India is already 75% on cable and satellite in 2012, does anybody in the Planning Commission ask questions that should be asked?


DD Direct, meanwhile, is treated like a cash cow, charging an impressive carriage fee for private channels. So smaller private regional channels simply cannot get on it. That makes DD's bouquet less attractive than that of a private sector DTH competitor.

Wandering around some of its kendras in the country over the last few months has been educative. Doordarshan's narrowcasting programmes are being rebroadcast on the satellite channel in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa because the audience for terrestrial TV is dwindling. This is surely a very unique approach to narrowcasting?


Even as Doordarshan is being aggressive about TAM (television audience measurement) and threatening to sue on grounds that the ratings do not reflect its audience, the broadcaster's own audience measurement system in a large state like Andhra Pradesh has about the same sample size (500 households) that TAM does! The difference being that all of Doordarshan's diaries are in the rural areas, and most of TAM's people meters are in urban or semi-urban households.


Its own audience research feedback is illuminating. In Andhra Pradesh, Doordarshan's Telugu channel is the fourth most watched in cable households. But the programme that gets those ratings is the weekly film. The top sellers are film-based programmes and news.


When was the last time someone did a serious audit of what Doordarshan's channels show? What public service programming translates into in practice is programming on government schemes such as the rural jobs programme, Indira Awaas Yojna, Saksharta Abhiyan, and so on. They also do awareness creation on issues, carry news, and cultural fare. But on Doordarshan National, for instance, all of this, including classical music, dance, added up to around 50% of programme time for the month of August, when measured. The remaining 50%? Commercial entertainment of the kind general entertainment channels (GECs) do—serials, reality shows, film music. Sure, people want to watch that. But 50% of the total telecast time? (The percentage is usually higher—entertainment made way for Olympics highlights.) Is that necessitated by the policy decision that Doordarshan must raise its own resources?


In Orissa, on Doordarshan's Oriya satellite channel, you get several slots of teleshopping during the day. The North East channel has tribal dances of the Republic Day tableau kind. In the morning, at 8.30, and in the evening at eight, and probably in between. People in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have both problems and aspirations; they surely don't want to tune in to watch tribal dances all the time?


India desperately needs a quality public service broadcaster. Even if the demoralized, cadre-obsessed individuals who provide Doordarshan's programming were to rise to the task, the budgets provided are miserable. So much of the agriculture programming, for instance, is studio-based.


What's been done for Prasar Bharati last week is no more than applying an adhesive bandage to stop bleeding. But what it needs is reconstructive surgery, with the government footing the bill if it has some real conviction about what kind of broadcasting a still-developing nation needs.


Sevanti Ninan is a media critic, author and editor of the media watch website She examines the larger issues related to the media in a fortnightly column.