Four new part-time members in Prasar Bharati board

NEW DELHI: The government has started the process of re-constituting the Prasar Bharati board that had nine of its 13 positions vacant for the last few months.

On Monday, names of four new members – music composer Salim Merchant, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC, Dainik Jagran editor-in-chief Sanjay Gupta and media professional Alok Agwarwal who has worked in companies such as Network 18 and Zee news, were approved as part-time members of the board.

Senior journalist Ashok Kumar Tandon who was former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s media adviser has also made it to the new board. Tandon is the only former member of the board to make it to the new one. His tenure got over last year.

Merchant was among the celebrities who were invited for PM Narendra Modi’s swearing ceremony in May 2019. His song, Mera Desh hi Dharam, composed with his brother Suleiman in 2017 was also praised by the PM on social media. Among the existing members, only actor Kajol is still on the board.

Prasar Bharati, a statutory autonomous body under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting was set up to oversee the functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio.The board decides all matters related to general administration of the broadcaster, and is headed by the chairman who is picked by a committee headed by the Vice President, and comprising I&B secretary and Press Council of India chairman.

The position of the chairman has been vacant since former chairman A Surya Prakash retired in February last year after finishing two terms. On Monday, a meeting was also held to look at probable contenders for the post, official sources said.

Last week, the Prasar bharati recruitment board was set up to look into manpower requirements, rationalising resources, staffing, hiring processes at the national broadcaster. Jagdish Upasane, who is director of Bharat Prakashan that brings out both Organiser and Panchjanya, has been appointed the chairperson of the six-member board.

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