B Singh to be director general of AIR

NEW DELHI: A bureaucrat is all set to take over at the helm of country's radio pubcaster All India Radio (AIR), while sibling Doordarshan remains firmly under control of the government through another bureaucrat.

According to Prasar Bharati sources, B. Singh, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, is all set to take over as the director-general of AIR.

The board of Prasar Bharati, which oversees the functioning of AIR and DD, selected Singh from 20-odd candidates, including some from the corporate world, who had given a shot for the DGs post at AIR.

The top post at AIR had been lying vacant for the past few years in the absence of any full-fledged DG being appointed. At present, Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma doubles up as the top honcho of AIR too.

AIR, which crossed the Rs 1000 million revenue mark for the first time last financial year ended 31 March 2003, is being positioned as an organisation that would contribute substantial revenue to the Prasar Bharati kitty.

Singhs candidature has not yet been announced as the government green signal is awaited.

Meanwhile, Navin Kumar, a joint secretary in the department of heavy industries, will be taking over as the DG of Doordarshan.

DD has not been as unfortunate as AIR in the sense that it had a full-fledged DG - S Y Quraishi, albeit for a short period of time - who was shunted out. Reason: reported misunderstanding and differences with the information and broadcasting ministry.

Both Kumar and Singhs candidatures were finalised recently by the Prasar Bharati after a series of interviews.

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