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MIB's new secy Amit Khare joins office

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NEW DELHI: In what could be termed as challenging times, Amit Khare (third from left in the pix) yesterday assumed charge as secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on superannuation of Narendra Kumar Sinha.

Khare is a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service officer and was posted at a senior level in the state of Jharkhand before he was nominated to take over from Sinha at MIB. Considered an upright civil servant, he is credited for unearthing the multi-million-dollar fodder scam two decades ago in Bihar for which some powerful politicians, including former Bihar chief minister Lallu Yadav, and senior officials have been handed jail sentences of varied time period.

Some of the issues that would need Khare’s immediate attention, as also his boss MIB minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, include putting in motion the process of quick decision-making at this important ministry, which is responsible for policy-making and their implementation for multi-billion dollar sectors of television, radio, films and advertising.

With the media and entertainment industry undergoing changes with the arrival of newer technologies, like online distribution of content of all types, MIB needs to keep pace without upsetting the ecosystem that has been reeling under the impact of a sluggish economy and after effects of several other financial policies taken over the last 24 months by the government.

To give some momentum, Khare would need to hit the road running working along with sector regulator TRAI that has made several recommendations relating to policies, which are yet to be acted upon by MIB, apart from working with the regulator on guidelines that could be in the offing, including uplink and downlink guidelines, DTH licencing norms, online content regulation, removal of bottlenecks in the film sector on opening up more screens and cajoling sister government organisations like Department of Space to have a more liberal approach. Not to mention soothe ruffled feathers at pubcaster Prasar Bharati.

Media reports have indicated that in the last nine months, inaction had come to such a head at MIB that inter-departmental power games stalled a decision on over 100 applications for new TV channels. It was only about 10 days back that some channel permissions were processed and conveyed to stakeholders.

During a career span of more than 33 years, Khare has held various field postings and worked at both the state and federal levels.

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