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Disgruntled AIR, DD staff demand salary directly from MIB, not Prasar Bharati

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Disgruntled AIR, DD staff demand salary directly from MIB, not Prasar Bharati

In a letter to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, various associations of employees of All India Radio and Doordarshan have requested the government to explore the possibility of payment of salary to the employees directly from the Ministry.

“Kindly explore the possibility of payment of salary to the AR & DD employees directly from the Ministry or through the O/o both DG, AIR and DG, DD since the data of the employees are available under HRIS and the salaries are being paid through PFMS,” the letter read.

“Employees have no role in present crisis and they should not be penalised for none of their fault,” the letter further read.

The letter submitted jointly by the Association of Akashvani and DD Engineering Employees (AADEE), Audience Research Employees Association (AREA), AIR and Doordarshan Engineers’ Association (ADEA), Akashvani Announcers Association (AAA), Akashvani and Doordarshan Administrative Staff Association (ADASA) among others -- also accuse Prasar Bharati of paying huge salaries to consultants causing “serious drain of Exchequer’s money”.

It also mentions that the failure of these associations in understanding Prasar Bharati’s reluctance in submitting the details of expenditure sought by the MIB (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting).

“Employees are not interested in the fight between Ministry and PB, but we failed to understand the reason for reluctance by PB in submitting the details of expenditure sought by Ministry for release of funds for salary of the employees in time,” the letter read.

The associations, in the letter, claim that the regular non disbursement of salaries on time (since July 2017) and withdrawl/drastic reduction in the strength of security staff from the stations across the country “has created a lot of insecurity and instilled a sense of fear in the minds of the employees.”

Ever since the security staff was withdrawn, after February 28, 2018, incidents of “large scale theft of transmitter antenna and other materials” have been reported from Stations like AIR Aligarh, Khampur (Delhi) and other regions. The associations have also reminded in the letter that AIR & DD installations are protected under the Official Secrets Act 1923.

It should be mentioned that Prasar Bharati is India’s public broadcaster, created by an Act of Parliament. It is an autonomous body that runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.

Raising doubts over Prasar Bharati’s contribution in the last two decades, the letter claims since the formation of Prasar Bharati, the “image of Akashwani and Doordarshan gradually degraded with time.”

The various associations also wrote in the letter that under the direct control of the Government of India, “Nation can recall the glorious era of Akashwani and Doordarshan, when we presented popular programmes like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Humlog, Buniyad, and introduced latest technology of Broadcasting in India”.

However, in the name of autonomy, “no quality improvement of content or technical improvement was observed by masses. Prasar Bharati always halted the better technology adoption or improvement of quality of content” the letter read.

The letter comes at a time when there is an ongoing clash between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Prasar Bharati over the dispatching of funds for salaries.

Tags Prasar Bharti Doordarshan Smriti Irani Information and Broadcasting Ministry

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