NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati has won a Full Member's seat at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Administrative Council after eight years.
The Administrative Council consists of 14 Full and Additional Full members, who are elected by the members of the annual General Assembly for a three-year term. Previous CEOs of Prasar Bharati had been Vice Presidents until former CEO B S Lalli refused to take the term as VP in Tokyo two years ago.
India's name was proposed by Japan's public service broadcaster (NHK).
"It is unfortunate that India did not even bid for a single seat last year, when the ABU General Assembly was held in Delhi, as the host country usually has a claim on the Administrative Council seat," the pubcaster said in a statement here.
The ABU, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, has more than 220 member broadcasters large from the region's 58 countries ranging from Turkey in the west to Samoa in the east and from Russia in the north to New Zealand in the south.
The ABU runs a daily Asiavision satellite TV news exchange, involving co-production and programme exchanges and technical, programming, legal and management consultancy services, as well as international frequency planning and coordination. It also negotiates rights for major sports events, organises coverage for the region, and provides rights-free content acquisition for developing countries.
The organisation promotes the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters and encourages regional and international co-operation between broadcasters. The ABU Secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is headed by a Secretary-General appointed by the General Assembly.
"The membership is another cap in the feather of the Prasar Bharati. Considering the competition from a number of countries, the unanimous support for Prasar Bharati was a major achievement. The membership gives India a direct say in matters as crucial as policy issues affecting broadcasters, negotiation of telecasting rights for major sporting events and ability to put across its point of view on the global flow of information," according to Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, who led a team of officers from various departments of Doordarshan and AIR to Seoul, South Korea, for the ABU General Assembly.
The Prasar Bharati team, which was camping in Seoul from 10th October, worked overtime to seek support from prominent members including founding member Japan's NHK, South Korea's KBS and Malaysia's RTM. The Prasar Bharati Secretariat worked in the background, sending emails to all the members of the General Assembly.
Elaborating on the strategy adopted for the vital election to the 14-member Council, Sircar said, "We were able to persuade Pakistan to step down in our favour and Japan's public service broadcaster (NHK) which is also a major financial contributor, to propose our name. Our team personally met with members of dozens of national public service broadcasters to present India's claim for candidature. After seeing such a huge support for India, other candidates withdrew their candidature and we were elected unanimously".