Television

Prasar Bharati to expand employee base

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati Corporation (PBC) wants to add more flab to its 40,000 plus employee base.

Reason: there are not enough programming and technical staff to man predominantly Doordarshans expansion which has been unleashed to cover 100 per cent of the population.

"The Corporation has made its intent known that it wants to go in for fresh recruitment in certain areas," a senior official of the information and broadcasting ministry told indiantelevision.com.

Though Prasar Bharati, overseeing the working of pubcasters All India Radio and DD, is an autonomous body, on certain issues like fresh recruitment of personnel, it has to go back to the ministry to seek permission.

The ministry official pointed out that some presentations on opening up the avenues for more recruitment has been made by PBC and the issue "is being studied at the moment."

"We understand that the Corporation has more than 40,000 employees on its payrolls and still it wants to recruit people. But there may be a some rationale as a major part of the employee base is dominated by engineering staff , while some other areas like programming, PBC says, dont have adequate staffers," the I&B ministry official added.

However, the ministry official added that the general attitude pervading amongst the staffers of the Prasar Bharati has to change to meet the challenges of a changing scenario where private broadcasters are making rapid strides.

"We understand that most employees of Prasar Bharati still act and function as government employees, while an autonomous body, specially a corporation like Prasar Bharati, ought to be more vigilant and efficient professionally," the ministry official admitted, hinting that even while retaining its pubcasters image both AIR and DD have to change to take on competition.

Critics are of the opinion that despite being an autonomous body most of the PBC employees still live in a time warp and behave as if they are government employees where `chalta hai (casual) attitude rules supreme.

It is another thing that a section in the Prasar Bharati feels that despite the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 being given effect on September 15, 1997, the Corporation has not been able to yet cut its umbilical cord from the government because of the indirect influence of the I&B ministry on the Corporation.

Doordarshan originates about 1300 hours of programmes every week on its various channels through 40 programme production centres all over India and in recent times there is a push to increase in in-house quality programming.

DD also has 800-odd transmitters and a multitude of satellite transponders and has both terrestrial as well as satellite transmission facilities with its signals reaching about 86 percent of India's population.

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