NEW DELHI: The role of the pubcaster is coming under review to give it a push in the wake of growth of private satellite television channels and the government‘s design to make it financially self-running. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has constituted a seven-member expert committee to review the institutional framework of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, including its relationship with the government.
Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, is the chairman of the expert committee.
The committee will have Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar as its convener. It will also examine the continuing role of the pubcaster and measures needed to ensure technical upgradation of the organisation.
The timing of the setting up of the committee coincides with the recent announcements of fresh financial packages to the pubcaster, and the government undertaking to pay salaries of employees who had been employed with the pubcaster as on 5 October 2007.
The committee will review the status of implementation of the recommendations made by various committees that have undertaken study of Prasar Bharati, namely, the Sengupta committee, the Bakshi Committee and the Narayanamurthy committee and suggest a road map for enhancing the reach and potential of the public broadcaster.
It can suggest measures to sustain, strengthen and amplify Prasar Bharati`s role as a public broadcaster with special reference to its relationship with government in the emerging context.
It will also suggest measures to digitise the archival material in the possession of Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) including material from independence movement era, and develop enabling infrastructure, in the form of data digitalisation systems, data centers and networks, etc.
The committee will suggest ways of using the new media to deliver digital content - both in broadcast mode (DTH) and in a demand-based mode (Free on social media like You-Tube, and on payment through IPTV).
It will work out a strategy for creating a network of domestic and overseas business partners for ensuring wider reach to a worldwide audience including creating an exclusive overseas service.
The members of the committee are retired IAS officer Asha Swaroop, who had earlier served as secretary in the I&B Ministry, B K Gairola (Mission Director e-Governance), Shekhar Kapur (a member of the National Innovation Council), Professor M P Gupta of IIT Delhi; and Jitendra Shankar Mathur, additional secretary and nominated member on the Prasar Bharati Board.