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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Expert Group on Operationalisation of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board Recommends Measures for Speedy Promotions and Free and Fair Recruitment

The expert group on operationalisation of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board has recommended several measures for ensuring speedy promotions of employees and free and fair recruitment through the proposed Recruitment Board.  The group has submitted its report to CEO Prasar Bharati, Sh.Jawhar Sircar. The group included Dr. S.P. Gaur, former Secretary UPSC and Sh. N.K. Raghupathy former Chairman Staff Selection Commission. In its report the group has recommended immediate constitution of the Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board as an essential prerequisite for giving effect to policy decisions of Prasar Bharati in Human Resources sphere. It has suggested that the proposed Board should have a chairperson and two full time members of the rank and status of Secretary to the Government of India.
The expert group further recommended that review of existing Recruitment Rules and notification of new Recruitment Regulations need urgent action in a time bound manner. The Group has suggested that after constitution of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board, the need for consultation with UPSC should be dispensed with to ensure that long pending promotions and direct recruitments are done on a priority basis in consultation with the Board. 
The panel also recommended that the current and tested technology consistent with the best industry practices should be used by Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board from its inception. Also only online applications should be invited for direct recruitment through open competitive examinations and selection method.  Some activities suggested by the Board include online registration of applications and processing and conduct of online examinations and skill tests in appropriate cases.
The Expert Group has suggested holding of 8 open examinations and 3 limited departmental examinations every year. It has recommended that for 32 direct recruitment posts there should be a selection method with screening test and/or skill test and personality test cum interview. Audition will also be prescribed for certain posts.
 It has also been recommended that the Guidelines made by the expert group should be reviewed and modified by the Recruitment Board periodically, once in every 5 years. The first such review should be 3 years after creation of the Board to take care of the initial gaps and shortcomings, if any."

The expert group held two rounds of discussions with field and HQs officers of AIR and Doordarshan to get their views while drafting the report.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Against all odds, Prasar Bharati continues to swim upstream

Against all odds, Prasar Bharati continues to swim upstream

Brigadier V A M Hussain, Member (Personnel), Prasar Bharati 

An institution that has been the chronicler and mirror of India's history is feeling crippled. With a tenacious CEO under a dynamic Minister of Information & Broadcasting, it isstriving to reinvent itself to meet the challenges of contemporary media scenario. Many new experiments are on to change the behemoth called Prasar Bharati that cost the exchequer a whopping Rs 150 crore every month. This public service media organisation is one of the oldest statutory bodies with a hoary past. It is under siege and calls for expeditious intervention to revive the glory of the old faithful that is All India Radio. Doordarshan, the audio-visual arm of Prasar Bharati is always in the public eye with viewers asking for more sumptuous and scintillating fare.

The Organisation is saddled with a disgruntled work force of about 50,000 who did not get a promotion for decades. To make matters worse, there was no attempt to infuse new blood in the system, either. An out-of-the-box solution is inescapable to break shackles of archaic regulation. The definition of autonomy needs to be revisited to meet the upheavals on the audio- visual landscape, in recent years. Section 33 of the Prasar Bharati Act directs prior government approval for all regulations governing conditions of service. Every employee appointed before October 2007 is considered a government servant on deemed deputation and their promotion is in government ambit. Instead of being a nimble, vibrant media organisation driven by merit, seniority and 'babudom’ rule the roost. Proposal for a Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board as mandated by the Act of Parliament vide Sections 9 and 10 of The Prasar Bharati Act 1990 is gathering dust in files while government persisted in stalling promotions and new recruitments for two decades now. In effect, Prasar Bharati is like a ship caught in the turbulent waters in the mid sea with none to care on the shore for the SOS of the ship-wrecked crew. Merit and flexible structures are essential for a dynamic and extremely competitive media sector. Meeting the content needs of 750 million people through regional and national infra structure and boosting DTH and terrestrial audience are complex challenges, CEO Jawhar Sircar faces, along with 'Sarkar', the real power.

A recent experiment showed how independence in Prasar Bharati can make an impact. A truly independent team with young professionals in DD News prime time has rattled the industry with ratings showing an upswing. Doordarshan launched a big advertising campaign for the revamped time bands of DD News, DD National and DD Urdu. This was the first such campaign in decades. A little more attention and circumspection are needed at AIR too which got maligned unfortunately by recent media reports of alleged harassment of its women Radio Jockeys. It is staring at a PIL now. FM Gold channel, with practically no permanent staff, earns substantial revenue for the entire AIR network while private FM channels are yearning for popularity with smart young professionals even in small towns and villages. The recently appointed Sam Pitroda Committee has set itself tasks suggesting visible changes for reviving Prasar Bharati. There is a wealth of data and content in archives that can propel AIR to the top of the charts. The expert groups are offering many practical suggestions and initiatives on many fronts including technology, content management, financial independence, government relations and human resources. Dr. Pitroda believes that generational change can be brought about by radical thinking instead of mere cosmetic changes.

The financial situation continues to be precarious for Prasar Bharati with complex legacies. An unprepared bureaucracy opted for accrual system of accounting and enforced income tax while loans in perpetuity and penal interests soared.The government rescued Prasar Bharati by writing off large sums due as segment hiring and space spectrum charges incurred in the course of broadcasting mandated content, non commercial in nature. Income tax claims stand withdrawn while local bodies continue levying the public broadcaster with huge taxes on property of Union of India but Prasar Bharati has just been permitted use of the government emblem. This is a paradox since 50,000 salaried employees of government are using these assets for functions statutorily assigned by an Act of Parliament. Welcome initiatives of the GOM relieved Prasar Bharati from its financial crystal maze for now by converting loans in perpetuity as grants.

Apprehensions often raised on the need for a government-funded national public broadcaster are ill-founded. We need an unbiased institution to bench mark initiatives on information, education and entertainment. At the same time, the government needs a media window to show case its policies, initiatives and views by running its own video and audio channels. Government staffing of DD News and AIR News Service Division through Indian Information Service is controlled by the Ministry. The easiest course would be to sever the current nebulous association with Prasar Bharati and declare them government channels on the lines of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TVs and leave Prasar Bharati to professionalise with autonomy.

The efforts of the government to empower through The Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007 get breached frequently. Private business houses that own broadcasting rights of World Cricket tours use pre-embedded feeds of commercials and cause losses in hundreds of crore to Doordarshan. Expeditious amendments would help Prasar Bharati and the government. Despite its huge work force, Prasar Bharati has inadequate structure of professionals managing its own security, assets, property, content, new media, revenue and marketing at the highest levels. The need of the hour is to professionalise Prasar Bharati with content-driven channels and professional-driven management owing total allegiance to Prasar Bharati to meaningfully accomplish objectives that were originally dreamt and scripted by the authors of an autonomous public service broadcaster. The dream is worth realising.

Will the Committee of Sam Pitroda be able to persuade the government to truly empower Prasar Bharati? On thoughts like this, we often remember Baba Amte’s saying "Faith is the promise of tomorrow" while the swimming upstream by Prasar Bharati continues.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Watch Doordarshan On Mobile, Tablet Or Laptop For Free | CrazyEngineers

Watch Doordarshan On Mobile, Tablet Or Laptop For Free | CrazyEngineers

If the constant bombarding of soaps and mindless reality shows make you want to go back to the 90s, Prasar Bharati is readying a solution for you. Soon, viewers in 10 cities across India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai & Kolkata will be able to watch Doordarshan along with other 19 channels offered by Prasar Bharti on their mobile phone, tablets or laptop computeres. And all the goodness will be delivered free to all users across India. the officials say that the national broadcaster has chalked an aggressive growth plan for the mobile TV services. The plan is to reach out to over 40 cities but the pilot will start with 10 cities by the end of 2013.

With Digital Video Broadcast - terrestrial aka DVB-T2 technology, high quality signal can be easily transmitted within a radius of about 90 kilometers. 


The government officials believe that the new launch of services on online and mobile platform would allow them to command a stronger grip over a new market segment. Prasar Bharti hopes to tap into the ever expanding video on mobile markets which has seen exponential growth in the last few months.

The biggest advantage of the DVB-T2 technology is that there won't be any buffering unlike traditional mobile video. The technology allows a high definition signal to be transmitted within the coverage area and the overal experience would be very much similar to watching a live TV. A dedicated engineering wing of Doordarshan is busy examining the kind of content that'd be suitable to be aired via the new technology. 

The organisation also expects other TV channels to use their platform to deliver their content. In the recent times, we saw All India Radio (AIR aka Aakashvani) stepping up the game by launching a dedicated Android App. We're not yet sure which cities apart from the Metros will be covered during the launch. Of course, we'll keep you updated with the happenings. 


Monday, June 3, 2013

Soon, you can watch Doordarshan on your smartphone

Source: Business Standard | Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  June 2, 2013 Last Updated at 17:33 IST
National broadcaster has charted out an aggressive plan to expand the range of its mobile TV services to at least 40 major cities

Viewers in 10 cities across the country including the four metros will soon be able to watch Doordarshan and nineteen other channels offered by Prasar Bharati on their smartphone, tablet or laptop for free.

Officials said that the national broadcaster has charted out an aggressive plan to expand the range of its mobile TV services to at least 40 major cities and the services are likely to start in the first ten cities before the end of year 2013.

"Prasar Bharati has in the past also experimented with Mobile....................

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Doordarshan, sister channels to be soon available on smartphone | Deccan Chronicle

New Delhi: Viewers in ten cities across the country including the four metros will soon be able to watch Doordarshan and nineteen other channels offered by Prasar Bharati on their smartphone, tablet or laptop for free.

Officials said that the national broadcaster has charted out an aggressive plan to expand the range of its mobile TV services to at least 40 major cities and the services are likely to start in the first ten cities before the end of year 2013.

"Prasar Bharati has in the past also experimented with Mobile TV service and in 2007 a pilot project had been set up in Delhi. However the technology used at that time only allowed signals to be transmitted in a radius of ten kilometre. The technology that will be used now would be Digital Video Broadcast - terrestrial (DVB-T2) which can take high quality signals in a radius of 90 kilometres," an official source said.

Prasar Bharati officials hoped that the launch of the advanced mobile TV services would give them a strong grip over a new segment of market – the smart phone owning next generation- whose numbers which are substantial even now are growing at a very fast pace. Officials also said that presently watching television or video clips on mobile is not very convenient as buffering takes up a long time.

"One of the biggest advantages this service would offer is that there would be no buffering and the clarity would be high definition. It would be like watching normal high definition TV on the move," the official said.

Sources said while the technical aspects of the mobile TV project are being looked by the engineering wing of the Doordarshan, a separate team of officials was examining what kind of content the national broadcaster would put out on the Mobile TV channels.

"While the content produced by Doordarshan would be the mainstay, we are also open to the option of private television channels using this platform and showcasing their content," a senior official said.
The Public broadcaster had then increased the number of TV channels offered in the bouquet from 8 to 16.

Prasar Bharati to bring prime TV to your mobile - Hindustan Times

Prasar Bharati to bring prime TV to your mobile - Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times

The next big thing on smartphones would be your favourite television channels.

India's public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has decided to go for bigger and better free mobile television services by offering eight to 10 channels in one go initially at 40 locations including the
metros and state capitals.

Over the next three years depending on response, the services would be expanded to an additional 630 locations.

Mobile television has become possible with the success of the second version of digital video broadcast-terrestrial (DVB-T) technology, which allows streaming of a number of high-definition (HD) channels without compromising viewing quality.

The technology is already in use in 63 countries including the US and the UK.

Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar said the new, tested technology provides unique business opportunity to broadcasters as India has huge mobile penetration.

With around 113 million users out of 650 million mobile users in India already having video-enabled smartphones, television on mobile is the new market Doordarshan (DD) wants to tap.

Watching TV on mobiles will not be difficult. Those having a smartphone can buy an antenna, costing between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150 in Delhi, to watch television channels. One can also watch TV on their laptops through a dongle costing about Rs. 500.

"A chip in new smartphones can make mobiles television-enabled like FM radio is available on phones," said a DD engineer working on mobile television since 2007 when the public broadcaster launched its first pilot in Pitampura, north Delhi.

It got a tepid response because of low smartphone penetration and availability of only two DD channels.

"The viewing was good only during Commonwealth Games 2010 whose exclusive broadcast rights were with DD," the official said.

Taking cue from past experience, DD has now opted for course correction.

"We are working on whether private broadcasters such as Star, Sony or Colors would be interested in sharing content on our digital terrestrial platform," Sircar said.

"We are interested," a private television channel official, who was not willing to be quoted because negotiations were in initial stages, said.

"DVB T-2 provides host of opportunities as the future of television would be mobile. We will see how it works."

A senior DD official was hopeful of sealing an agreement with private television channels on content-sharing in the next few months and said the rollout of the first tranche of mobile TV in 40 locations would start within the next six months.

In European countries like The UK, where the technology was implemented in 2010, around 40% of television watched by youngsters is on mobiles.

"It is something for the generation on the move," Sircar added.

Doordarshan organised DVB T2 Seminar at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

DVB T2 ( Digital Video Broadcasting-Second Generation) Seminar was organised by Doordarshan at India Habitat Centre from 27 -28 May 2013. CEO Prasar Bharati, Mr Jawhar Sircar had inaugurated the seminar in the presence of Member (P), Member(F), Prasar Bharti,  DG(DD), E-in-C(DD) and several other dignitaries.
Mr Philip Laven, Chairman, DVB Project & Ex Controller of Engineering, BBC had presented the keynote presentation on DVB T2 technology. Mr R K Sinha, E-in-C, Doordarshan presented the Doordrashan plan about Digitalization of its terrestrial networks.

DD has proposed DTT transmitters to be set up at 630 locations throughout the country to provide equivalent coverage to that presently being provided by the 1415 analog T.V transmitters. Out of the above 630 locations, 230 locations will have HPTs and remaining 400 will have LPTs. Each of these digital transmitters shall be capable of providing 8-10 SDTV programme channels.

You Tube links for DVB T2 Receivers: 

Pictures of DVB T2 receivers displayed at seminar hall: 

Inline image 1 Inline image 3Inline image 4Inline image 2

Saturday, June 1, 2013

DDI airs ‘The Discovery of India’ to mark Nehru's death anniversary

DDI airs ‘The Discovery of India’ to mark Nehru's death anniversary
Courtesy : ABU Website 

To mark the death anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Nehru, who died on 27 May 1964, DD Bharati is telecasting his “The Discovery of India” series.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s “The Discovery of India”, which he wrote while he was in Ahmednagar Jail between 1942 and 1946, has become a major intellectual work on Indian history. The book has also been converted into a popular TV series.
Since its first audio-visual production in 1988, the 53-episode 'Discovery of India' (English) and 'Bharat Ek Khoj' (Hindi) directed by the well-known filmmaker Shyam Benegal have been telecast a number of times on different channels of Doordarshan and also on Lok Sabha TV.