Two new persons, Retd Major General Utpal Chattopadhayay and journalist Sunil Dang, have been inducted as part time members on the Prasar Bharati Board on October 16. They have come in place of Chitra Mudgil and ML Mehta.
The selection of these two part time members was done by a committee comprising Vice-President of India, Chairman of Press Council of India and I&B Secretary. These posts have been lying vacant for nearly a year since the departure of Mudgil and Mehta. The other part time members on the Board are RN Bisaria, Sunil Kapoor (who was given an extension), George Verghese and Mamata Shanker.
Following these appointments, the Prasar Bharati Board with A Bhatnagar as its Chairman, has been fully constituted, though its two ex-officio members are only there in their acting capacity. The Board has AK Jain as Member Finance and V Shivakumar as Member Personnel. UK Verma, Additional Secretary, I&B Ministry, is the Ministry’s representative on the Board. Acting DG Doordarshan, Noreen Naqvi, and Acting DG AIR, G Jiyalal, are the ex-officio members on the Board.
Notwithstanding these appointments, Prasar Bharati has its task cut out to have two regular ex-officio members on the Board in the form of full time DG Doordarshan and full time DG AIR. These two key posts have been lying vacant for a long time. There has been no regular DG for Doordarshan ever since former DG Naveen Kumar completed his tenure about two years back. After his departure, LD Mandloi, DDG Doordarshan, was given temporary charge of DG Doordarshan. However, a couple of months back after he was shifted to AIR, Noreen Naqvi, DDG AIR, took over as Acting DG Doordarshan. The post of DG AIR has also been lying vacant for over two years after the departure of Brajeshwar Singh. Currently, Jiya Lal is holding the temporary charge of DG AIR since last month. Prior to that, Prasar Bharati CEO, BS Lalli, was holding the additional charge of DG AIR.
The day-to-day functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio has been badly hit in the absence of full time DGs. Not just that even the media division is headless. Ever since Prasar Bharati’s Media Head (General Manager PR), Manish Desai, got transferred to the Press Information Bureau, Mumbai, a year back, the crucial post has been lying vacant. And now, there is a void in Doordarshan’s media division, too, after its Head, Surat Misra, (Deputy Director PR) left on superannuation last month after serving for over two decades.