Jawhar Sircar, until now secretary in the culture ministry, is to be the new chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati.
Sircar's name was cleared after a three-member selection panel headed by Vice-President Hamid Ansari with Press Council of India chairman Justice Markanday Katju and Information and Broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma as members recommended his name for the position. The appointment of the CEO is done by the President on the recommendation of the selection panel.
Indiantelevision.com had earlier reported that Sircar was tipped to be the CEO.
Sircar is due to retire from his present job next month, and will take over from acting CEO Rajiv Takru, the Additional Secretary in I&B ministry and its representative on the Prasar Bharati board.
Takru had been asked to hold additional charge of CEO in January last year after the suspension of then CEO B S Lalli, following a series of corruption charges established by the Central Vigilance Commission.
However, the search for a successor could begin only after Lalli retired in December. It is learnt that a panel of 11 members was sent to the three-member committee.
Sircar belongs to the 1975 batch of Indian Administrative Service from West Bengal. After the retirement of I&B secretary Raghu Menon in September last year, Sircar had been asked to hold additional charge of this ministry in addition to the culture ministry, until the appointment of Uday Kumar Varma.
Sircar holds two post-graduate degrees in Ancient Indian History and Culture and in Sociology with Social Anthropology. He has served as additional (later special secretary) secretary and development commissioner for micro, small and medium enterprises in the centre, prior to which he held the posts of higher education secretary and principal secretary of commerce and industries in West Bengal.
Sircar has been actively associated with several cultural and academic bodies like the Asiatic Society, the Victoria Memorial, the Centre for Archaeological Studies, the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art and the Indian Anthropological Society. He took the lead in establishing the annual Kolkata Film Festival as an international event. He has published several articles and research papers on history, culture and society. In the last decade, he has focussed his research on specific aspects of popular culture, folk religion and on the development of socio-religious identities.
"NAction was taken against Lalli after the Shunglu committee report indicted him for irregularities in the broadcast contract of the Commonwealth Games. A Central Bureau of Investigation probe is underway in this connection. Meanwhile, a Supreme Court has been asked to probe the four charges of corruption established by the CVC.
The five allegations established by Central Vigilance Commission relate to contracts for management of advertisement revenue arising from the telecast of cricket matches on Doordarshan during 2007; the non-telecast by Doordarshan of T-20 cricket World Cup matches held in South Africa in September 2007; engagement of legal entities to represent Prasar Bharati; purchase of radio broadcasting rights for 13 cricket series held during 2007-09; and hiring of transport and accommodation for the conduct of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008. (Indiantelevision.com 17/2)