Sunday, June 9, 2013

A report on the meeting by CEO Prasar Bharati with Recognised Associations

Dear Comrades,

The Presidents & General Secretaries of the 10 Recognised Associations had a meeting with the CEO, Prasar Bharati in the conference Hall of the Prasar Bharati Secretariat at 13.30 Hrs on 06.06.2013. Brig (Retd) Shri. VAM Hussain, Member (P), Shri. B.B.Pandit, Member (Finance), Shri. L.D. Mondloi, DG:AIR, Shri. Tripurari Sharan, DG:DD, Shri. R.K.Sinha, E-in-C (DD), Shri. Yuvraj Bajaj, E-in-C (AIR) and almost all senior officers of PB, AIR &DD were present in the meeting. Shri. Umesh Mishra, President & Shri. Sukanta Sengupta, General Secretary represented ADP3.

While welcoming the Associations, Shri. Jawhar Sircar, CEO Prasar Bharati stated that the biggest faltering obstruction is the misleading and ambiguous autonomy of PB where PB is not getting proper support from Ministry. He informed that PB succeeded in getting the approval of Home Ministry for the use of National Emblem for it. He informed that necessary instructions will be issued to include the National Emblem in the Identity Cards of the employees.

He informed about recent initiatives taken by Prasar Bharati and was pleased to tell that DD has improved its ratings as per recently released comparison by various marketing survey agencies. A paper containing such information was also distributed to all Associations. He also informed that PB won the case against ESPN for getting feed of Cricket matches without any advertisements and accordingly now the Cricket matches without any break for advertisements will be played in National Channel of Doordarshan. He pointed that the immediate need for welfare of the employees in Prasar Bharati is Recruitments of employees, promotion for existing employees & financial consolidation. He assured to call Consultative meetings under his chairmanship in every six months with Presidents/ General Secretaries. The four hour long meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere in which the following issues were discussed:

Cadre Review :
We have demanded immediate implementation of Cadre Review for all the employees of DD Programme Wing. CEO directed officials to immediately work on this issue. It is also pointed out that the issues attained finality by Apex Courts is being delayed for implementation. Annual Subscriptions: Associations pointed that inspite of the assurance in the meeting with M(P) necessary instruction are still to be issued the DDOs for sending the details of the subscription to the Associations concerned. It is demanded to make annual subscriptions of members of every Association in place of monthly subscription to ease the workload on Associations as well as on office. We have demanded PB to issue strict instructions to all DDOs to send the details of the membership to the Associations concerned. CEO directed the official to issue the order in this regard.

Facilities to Associations:
It was pointed out that rooms are not allotted to the Recognised Associations despite the assurance in the meeting with M(P). It was demanded that Associations be provided room for it’s office for smooth functioning. 

Promotion to the Programme Cadre:
In situ promotion to Programme cadres, creation of Presentation Wing of AIR & DD to take care of Announcers, comperers etc, reviving of the cadres like Lighting Assistants, Scenic Designer which were declared dying cadres some time ago, etc also raised in the meeting.In this reference, CEO confirmed that 1400 staff are going to be promoted in the cadre of Programme Executive. though there was a demand to declare seniors of other wings as Head of a Kendra, DG:DD, DG:AIR and CEO himself confirmed that Head of a Kendra shall be only from Programme in both AIR and DD to ensure survival of the two media. The present case of declaring seniors of other wings is a temporary arrangement and has been taken due to extreme shortage of senior officers in Programme Wing.

ADP3 had submitted a different angle to deal with the issue.
It was expressed that Doordarshan is not to be compared with other Channels, because of its Structure, Working Pattern, Contents of Programmes and the range of target viewers dealt with. Ideally, Doordarshan presents the cultural-mosaic of the whole Nation, each and every region, religions and communities. Doordarshan is for all whether it is the richest of the rich or poorest of the poor citizens of the Country. To develop the situation, we have to understand Doordarshan as it is. ADP3 requested all the brothers and sisters of other associations and also to the seniors of the department not to be carried away with the allegation that Doordarshan cannot produce programmes with professional quality. If we search for professionalism only in the field of entertainment, we shall cease to be a Public Service Broadcaster. Actually, what people mean to say about professionalism can only be found just in media business. In a country like India where 33 % of the world's poorest people live in, even though the country's poverty rate is half as high as it was in last three decades, Doordarshan, the National Channel in true sense, cannot do only business forgetting its first and foremost duties.

Actual problems lie with the scarcity of Key Staff in the Programme Wing of Doordarshan, vacancy in the upper hierarchy, administrative failure and pin pointing the actual fault in the system.

Initially, following measures were suggested:
a.       Immediate promotion to the stagnating cadres of Programme Wing. e.g. Programme Executive, Production Assistant, Cameraman, Editors, Floor Manager, Property Assistant, Floor Assistant, Carpenter, Painter, Tailor, Make Up Assistant, Graphic Artist etc.
b.      Filling up of vacancies arises due to promotion and Recruitment of Film / Video Editors.
c.       Filling up of vacancies in the upper hierarchies to strengthen the pyramidal structure.
d.      Formation of one committee in the Prasar Bharati to monitor the activities of development in close liaison with the representatives of Associations.
e.       To revive the essential posts of Doordarshan like scenic designer, Lighting Assistant etc., Graphic Designer, Post Production Assistant, which were declared as dying without considering the impact of it.
f.        Generation of some new posts like NLE - Compositing - Special Effects Editors.
g.       Creation of new posts as per requirement to cope up with the new media technologies.

Lastly, on behalf of all members of ADP3, the President confirmed that we all are ready to work together with the authority and assured that members of ADP3 shall not leave any stone unturned to regain the lost glory of our beloved Doordarshan.

Minutes of the meeting are awaited.