Public Broadcaster and Profit maker
Millions of Cricket fans, especially those residing in the rural and remote areas, must be reasonably happy for more than one reason. Besides rejoicing over the final outcome of the Indo-Pak series, they were able to watch the event on Doordarshan. Thanks to some last minute efforts and Supreme Court's verdict, Doordarshan, the National Public Broadcaster, was allowed to telecast the cricket matches live. On the flip side, it was all done at a huge cost.
            But we see a ray of hope for this prestigious media and its employees in this entire episode. The Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that 'The Public Broadcaster should not go for profit making only as they have definite social responsibilities too'. It is widely accepted globally by the democratic countries that it should be the responsibility of democratic governments to ensure smooth functioning of public broadcast services, as it is an integral part of democracy. But we are in a peculiar position, AIR and DD are considered a public property when profit making is given a priority, yet when extension of certain benefits and facilities is requested, we're informed (again and again) that we are part of a Corporation. It is a bitter truth that in the name of Corporation, what we get to know is a CEO, a Prasar Bharti Board of some elderly gentlemen (and gentlewomen) who converge in Delhi once or twice a month, enjoy a five-star hospitality, discuss something, which is never made public, and that's it. The staff side (who incidentally is supposed to have two members on the PB Board) is never allowed to have a say or know about all such 'top classified' discussions. Our sustenance is fully dependent on the annual grant-in-aid. The amount of grant-in-aid of Prasar Bharati is being reduced every year; when the amount should be increased to meet ever expanding activities, not withstanding the cost escalations. Is it a sin on our part to seek Government support like in case of the Supreme Court and Election Commission.
            This is indeed high time that AIR and DD need to pull up the socks as far as presentation skills, software contents and quality of broadcasts are concerned. We can no longer take the listener or viewer for granted as he has a number of options available. We are made to understand that there have been adequate efforts in this direction, but have these efforts borne fruits? This needs serious introspection. Some of our suggestions are;

i. There should be detailed enquiry by a national agency on all the major projects/assignments/programmes of the last ten years. Corrupt officers if identified, should be booked and punished. Putting a stop on corruption itself will save crores of rupees.
ii. For earning revenue we have to seriously think of entering in Cable network field in those places where private operators have not established it. Even though we are late, we can penetrate in the majority of Rural India through our LPTVs where we have the down link facility of satellite signals.
iii. Further, Local advertisements (in the form of scrolling ads etc - like cable operators) have to be encouraged in maximum possible LPTVs (TVRC), HPTVs and LRSs.
iv. Marketing talents from all the disciplines including Engineering and Administration should be posted in the Marketing wing, in addition to regular appointment of some professionals.

Sincere efforts on all these fronts can only help this prestigious media, from further deterioration.


· West Bengal State Convention is beig organized at Siliguri on 4th and 5th September 2004
· Kindly go through our Wesite, for latest updates.
· Contact Nos. of Sh. Anilkumar S. (General Sec): 011-30989495 and 9818759192