Navin Kumar, Director General, Doordarshan, has been selected as the Officiating CEO of Prasar Bharati. He replaces K S Sarma, who retired as Prasar Bharati CEO on June 30, 2006 after completing his six-year term. According to sources in the I&B Ministry, Kumar would be joining Prasar Bharati in the capacity of Acting CEO as the three-member Search Committee, headed by Vice-President of India, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, and comprising the Press Commission Chairman; Additional Secretary in the I&B Ministry, Pradeep Singh; and a member of the Prasar Bharati Board, had not completed the selection process for the regular full time CEO.
Kumar’s selection as the Officiating CEO of Prasar Bharati has baffled everyone as Pradeep Singh was widely expected to take over the reins of Prasar Bharati temporarily, holding dual charge in the I&B Ministry and Prasar Bharati. It wouldn’t have been for the first time that the Director General of a public broadcaster had been given temporary charge of Prasar Bharati CEO. Before Sarma took over as the CEO, O P Kejriwal, the then Director General of All India Radio, was given temporary charge of Prasar Bharati CEO.
However, Kumar will not be holding the dual charge of DG Doordarshan and CEO Prasar Bharati. According to reliable sources, L D Mandloi, Deputy Director General, Doordarshan, would be taking the place of Kumar. One of the reasons for not allowing Kumar to hold the dual charge is that his current term in Doordarshan is expiring on August 23, 2006, following which he will revert to his Bihar cadre.
Another reason for this move is that the I&B Ministry is not keen on having a person with dual charge. That is precisely the reason why Pradeep Singh has not been made the Officiating CEO of Prasar Bharati. It is also learnt that Singh himself was not inclined to take over as Acting CEO of Prasar Bharati.
exchange4media has learnt that three persons are in the race for the post of Prasar Bharati CEO, who will be selected by the Search Committee. These include Anil Baijal, Secretary, I&B Ministry; Vijay Singh, Secretary of Ayush in the Health Ministry; and Sudip Banerjee, Secretary, HRD Ministry.
Earlier, S Y Quraishi, former DG of Doordarshan and former Secretary of Sports and Youth Ministry, was in the forefront for the top job in Prasar Bharati. But he automatically went out of the race when he was made the Election Commissioner on June 29, 2006.