For some time now, the stalwarts of the industry have been brainstorming about the prospective successor of the erstwhile secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Uday Kumar Verma. On Friday, Bimal Julka, an Indian Administrative Services officer, was named the new secretary of the ministry. Verma's term was slated to end on June, 30.
Julka will have two immediate responsibilities to take care of. First, he has to complete the television digitisation drive that aims at covering 140 million cable and satellite homes in the country, within the pre-determined deadline of December, 2014.
Second, Julka has the task of materialising auction for FM radio players, thereby opening up the frequencies scheduled for Phase III of radio privatisation. This has been planned for the last two years and by conducting the auctions this year, there will be permissions floated for over 800 more private radio stations.
For the record, Verma was appointed as the secretary of the ministry in October, 2011 succeeding Raghu Menon.
Julka has an MA in psychology from Delhi University. He has been in various ministries in different capacities. He was director, Ministry of Industrial Development from 1989 to 1994; then, private secretary to the union minister for human resource development from 1995 to 1996. Between 1996 and 1998, Julka was director for Ministry of Civil Aviation; followed by a stint as commissioner of Gwalior division from 2000 to 2003. Thereon, he became the secretary (G/Air) of Ministry of Defence from December 2004 to 2009 and then, resident commissioner at Government of Madhya Pradesh from 2009 to 2010. Julka served as director at Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India. He also served as a non executive director of IDFC from November 8, 2010 to May 8, 2012 and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation from April 4, 2012 to August 28, 2012.