Prajjal Saha

Prasar Bharati to increase its staff strength by 6,000 people

The maximum recruitment would happen for subordinate engineering services and transmission executives

"The activities at Prasar Bharati has increased by 900 times but the staff strength has increased by only 10 per cent," says K S Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati, while announcing that Prasar Bharati will be recruiting 6,000 people. The current staff strength of Prasar Bharati, including Doordarshan and All India Radio, is 45,000.

The maximum recruitment will happen for subordinate engineering service and transmission executives. Sarma says that as many as 55 transmitters are running without staffers, at present.

Prasar Bharati has a total of 300 radio transmitters, 1,400 television transmitters, 213 radio stations and 59 Doordarshan kendras across the country.

The recruitments will take place in spite of the fact Prasar Bharati incurs a loss of Rs 1,300 crore every year. The government-owned organisation earns a revenue of Rs 600 crore, while its total expenses is Rs 1,900 crore.

Sarma also mentioned that there has been growth in terms of revenue for both All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD). In fiscal 2002-03, AIR earned a revenue of Rs 80 crore; that grew by 75 per cent to Rs 140 crore in the last fiscal 2003-04.

Likewise, DD which had earned a revenue of Rs 38 crore in the first quarter of 2003-04, saw its first quarter 2004-05 revenue growing to Rs 75 crore.

This year's revenue target for Prasar Bharati is Rs 790 crore. Out of which, Rs 600 crore is from DD, and Rs 190 crore is from AIR.

Talking about the telecast rights of cricket matches, a senior official at Prasar Bharati said that the revenue sharing between DD and the sports channel (which bags the telecast rights) is in the ratio of 20: 80. As per the deal, the sports channel sells all the advertising slots on DD and shares 20 per cent of the total revenue earned with DD. Additionally, the private channel also pays a fixed minimum amount to DD, which ranges between Rs 75 lakh and Rs one crore.

This is in accordance with the government's uplinking policy, wherein it is mandatory that telecast rights of sporting events of national importance be made available to the national broadcaster (read DD).

Talking about AIR's plan to provide news 'round the clock, Brijeshwar Singh, director general, AIR, said that a number of news channels will be launched across regions. "Emphasis needs to be given to regional content and regional dialect, although Hindi and English would be the backbone."

For instance, the channel in Patna would have more than 80 per cent of the news in Hindi, where as the one in Kolkata would have a mix of Bengali, Hindi and English.

He clarified that some areas and cities of our country have interesting demographics. "As per a research report, only 37 per cent of Kolkata's population is Bengali-speaking. Likewise, only 50 per cent of Bangalore's population speaks Kannada. One also needs to keep it in mind that 26 per cent of radio listeners are illiterates."

Singh also said that AIR would extensively cover the Olympics and cricket matches. "It's after 30 years that AIR's regular channels have covered international sports events like the Indo-Pak cricket series and the recent Asia Cup cricket tournament. This will be extended to FM stations soon because of its better sound quality." Singh added.

DD also announced that it has got an international award - Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Awards for Engineering Excellence for 2004. The other countries which were nominated for the awards were Australia and last year's winner Japan. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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