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Govt panel recommends effective freedom for Prasar Bharati

Prasar Bharati

The committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, suggested developing a funding mechanism for Prasar Bharati to address the need for autonomy with financial accountability

Prasar BharatiNew Delhi: Suggesting that Prasar Bharati is not really autonomous as it should be, a committee appointed by the government has recommended amendment to the Act of 1990 to give “effective” freedom to the public broadcaster with administrative and financial powers.

The committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, suggested developing a funding mechanism for Prasar Bharati to address the need for autonomy with financial accountability.

It also sought to give the organization the power to frame rules and regulations for its employees without requiring government approval as it recommended absorption of government employees as full-time staff of Prasar Bharati and hiring skilled professionals.

The report, presented to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari here today, recommended “amending the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 where necessary so as to impart genuine and effective autonomy to the organization.” In reply, Tewari said his ministry would “seriously, studiously and diligently” examine the recommendations.

“Enough discussions on these recommendations have taken place and I hope and we start implementing some of them if not all of them. We cannot wait for too long to start implementation,” Pitroda told reporters while releasing the report.

The committee will have a meeting with the Ministry next week to discuss the report and take it ahead, he said. In its report, the committee suggested complete transfer of ownership and management of assets and human resource to Prasar Bharati to make the organization administratively and financially autonomous of government.

Significantly, it recommended setting up of a regulatory body to ensure public accountability of the organization with respect to all content broadcast on its television and radio network. It should be a sub-committee of the Prasar Bharati board, the committee said.

The Pitroda committee was the fourth one set up by the government last February to review the institutional frame work of Prasar Bharati, its relationship with government and its continuing role as a public broadcaster.

PTI

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