Television

MIB amends order; DD News DG to report to Prasar Bharati

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NEW DELHI: In partial modification of its earlier order, the Government said today that Veena Jain, who has been asked to take over as director general (News) in Doordarshan, will report to Prasar Bharati “for all operational purposes.”

As was reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, the order issued on 29 May had said that the 1984 Indian Information Service officer who will also hold charge as Officer on Special Duty for New Media Wing and Social Media Cell “will report to the Ministry for all purposes.”

A modification posted on the website of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) now says that she will report to the Ministry only in her capacity as OSD. Jain was until now posted as additional director general in the News Services Division of All India Radio.

The announcement had led to a furore in the pubcaster and the media, which alleged that the Government was taking over DD News.

A Ministry official told Indiantelevision.com that it was merely a typographical error and there should be no attempt to read meanings into this.

However, a Prasar Bharati source had told this correspondent last week that DD News had always been under the control of the Ministry as all its officials were appointed by the Ministry without consulting the pubcaster Board or CEO.

In fact, the order of the Ministry was not even marked as a copy to PrasarBharati CEO Jawhar Sircar.

All India Radio has 45 news units while DD has 30 news units around the country, and all are headed by Indian Information Service officers posted by the Ministry.

While pointing out that Prasar Bharati had never been consulted on these postings, Senior Prasar Bharati Advisor Brig. V A M Hussain told this website that Section 11(A)(2) of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 was clear that the Ministry was to prescribe the terms and conditions of service in the pubcaster of officers and employees of the Indian Information Service, the Central Secretariat Service or any other service borne on any cadre outside Akashvani or Doordarshan. However, he said this had never been done.

Under the Act, Prasar Bharati was made into an autonomous organization.

Answering a question, he said DD has 24 channels and DD News is the only one where the Indian Information Service officers who are directly answerable to the Ministry is posted without any consultation with the pubcaster.

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