Sunday, June 24, 2012

Prasar Bharati has 30% of posts unfilled

 All India Radio and Doordarshan have 30 per cent of their posts unfilled, according to a Parliamentary Committee report. The state-owned AIR and DD have a total staff strength of 33,800 against a total sanctioned strength of 48,022, leaving a gap of 14222 posts. The most critically affected areas are the Programme Wing and the News Services Division (AIR)/DD News.
The existing strength in the Programme Wing is just 6108 out of the total sanctioned strength of 10679, leaving the gap of 4571. Similarly, in NSD/News, there are 146 vacancies in the sanctioned strength of 379 with the present strength at 255.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has said that it has 'consistently been exhorting' the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to fill up the critical vacancies in DD and AIR. The Committee again exhorted the Department to settle the issues with various Ministries and fast track the recruitment rules and setting up of recruitment board.

The Committee during the course of the Study visits to various parts of the country were told about the difficulties encountered by various Regional Stations due to staff shortages. In spite of that, the Committee added, the situation had not been addressed in right earnest. The Ministry/Prasar Bharati had not been able to keep their promises made before the Committee to handle the situation, a report on the Demand for Grants for 2012-13 said.

Commitment to Committee belied

The Committee also regretted that Prasar Bharati had failed to live up to the assurance given by then Prasar Bharati CEO that the recruitment boards for Prasar Bharati would be set up by 31 March 2011. "Now, when full one year has elapsed since then, the issues have still not been settled resulting in further delay in filling up these vacancies," the Committee noted.

The Committee had been informed that the notification with regard to setting up of Recruitment Board is under inter-Ministerial consultation. The Committee was given to understand that there are still some issues to be resolved between the Ministry/Department of Expenditure and the Department of Personnel.

UPSC and SSC refuse to set up recruitment boards for Prasar Bharati

UPSC and SSC have both refused to select for a non-Governmental organisation, thus creating a new problem for the Ministry/Prasar Bharati.

While deploring the situation on finalisation of recruitment rules and setting up of Recruitment Board leading from worse to worst scenario, the Committee said it "fails to understand how DD and AIR can work effectively without filling the critical vacancies."

It wanted its concerns to be adequately conveyed to the respective Ministries. Meanwhile, the Ministry should also finalise the strategy to fill the vacancies on a fast track basis so that the recruitment process commences immediately when the Recruitment Board and Recruitment Rules are in place so as to enable Prasar Bharati to fill up the vacancies within the shortest possible timeframe.

Proposal on boards pending before dept of expenditure

The proposal for setting up a Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board was approved by Prasar Bharati Board on 21 July 2010 and discussed in the Ministry and a final proposal was referred to the Department of Personnel and Training on 15 February 2011.

DOP&T concurred with the proposal in June 2011 and the comments of the Department of Expenditure (DOE) were also received on 28 September last year. The DoE had requested that a separate proposal be formulated for creation of posts for the secretariat of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board and also requested for drafting of agreement containing terms and conditions of the members of the Board.

This had been done and the proposal sent to DoE in February 2012 and would then be sent to Law Ministry.

In its report in August last year, the Committee had urged Prasar Bharati to send a proposal for filling up 3452 essential categories of posts to the DoE, based on the report of the National Productivity Council giving full justification for such recruitment. The Ministry is now in the process of seeking cabinet approval, for which a cabinet note has already been circulated for inter-Ministerial consultation. After obtaining the approval of the Cabinet, Prasar Bharati shall undertake the process for filling up the essential category of posts. []