Govt official tipped as interim CEO of Prasar Bharati

NEW DELHI: With the government yet to decide on a chief executive for pubcaster Prasar Bharati, an information and broadcasting ministry official is slated to take over the reins from the outgoing chief in the interim.

Additional secretary in the I&B ministry P Singh, a government representative on the board of Prasar Bharati, would be the interim chief of an organization that manages Doordarshan and All India Radio.

KS Sarma retires from the post of CEO on 30 June after an over four-year tenure, being the longest serving chief executive.Though it is unlikely that Singh would be a permanent appointee, the lack of urgency on the part of the I&B ministry to find a replacement for Sarma could see the government official at the helm of affairs for a longer duration than generally expected.

Some of the names doing the rounds in the corridors of power as likely candidates to succeed Sarma include former I&B ministry official Vijay Singh and a human resources development ministry official who’s said to be close to I&B minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.Another candidate, SY Querishi, whose name was being bandied round as a likely CEO of Prasar Bharati, was named by the government on Thursday to go to the Election Commission.

Querishi had served as the director general of Doordarshan during Sushma Swaraj’s tenure as I&B minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in the early 2000s.

Considering that the post of CEO of Prasar Bharati --- still regarded as an extension of the government propaganda division despite autonomy granted to it some years back --- would prove to be both sensitive and crucial for New Delhi with elections scheduled in some states next year, it’s unlikely that Dasmunsi and company will decide in a hurry on a successor to Sarma.

As the CEO, Sarma has had his ups and downs, but managed to retain his post despite changes in the ministry and the government.


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