Casual Raj
In CPC/ DDK Delhi there are more casual and retired persons than permanent employees in a shift. There are casual producers, casual production assistants, casual news editors, casual video editors, casual cameraman, casual personal assistant, casual clerks, casual script writers, casual C G operators, casual resource persons, casual directors, casual anchors, casual news readers, casual announcers, casual voice-over artists, consultants, computer experts, casual water man and so on. DD has become a safe training school where you get free training and free access to any costly equipment, with monthly stipend ranging from Rs 4000 to 40000 and more. So many categories of casuals but no rule and regulation to appoint them or hire them. It is the sole discretion of the concerned official. While all the private channels hire people with experience and requisite qualification, DD in general hires them depending upon the nearness or any other beneficial link with the concerned official. The untrained persons join DD, gain enough of experience on the costly equipment, handling the machines in their own way, and then switch over to some private channel. Some enterprising ones keep working with DD as well as with the private channel. The bitter truth is, that very person who tries to perform his best during his assignment with the private channel, he'll do nothing like that in DD, because he knows he has a guarantee of getting his payments. Some of the casual newsreaders/ announcers are granted assignments in AIR as well. For example, some of the newsreaders grabbing assignments in AIR and DD are earning more than 60,000 rupees a month ! Highest official in our department the CEO is earning much less. Is it not a drain on our resources?

High Tech use of Toilets
On the one hand Prasar Bharati is asking for a budget of 130 crore and sanction for 800 persons to re-start the DD News channel, on the other hand DD offices are full of sophisticated equipment in abundance. So much so that we don't have enough space to store them. Therefore, some of the toilets and corridors of CPC have been converted into makeshift storerooms for these hi-tech equipment. It should be a matter of serious introspection for all of us that Prasar Bharati's bid to re-start the DD News channel is in jeopardy because of the refusal of Finance Ministry to grant sanction for 800 staff and 130 crore, while our costly equipment is lying unused. As for the manpower, the fact is, in the past we have managed DD News together with DD Metro and all other channels with the present staff strength only. Then why this blackmailing that to re-start the show once again (that too in place of the existing profit making DD Metro) a huge staff strength is asked for. Yes, we do need sanctioning of more staff strength, for those remote installations, which are being managed by one or two persons.

Autonomy: DD Style
The mool mantra to create Prasar Bharati, was autonomy to this media. To what extent it succeeded is a moot question. But we can say for sure that our bosses have gained enough of autonomy as far as purchase of equipment is concerned. Now they don't need to ascertain the need/ requirement/ usability of the product being purchased. They just go for it on two counts first, in the name of 'digital technology' and second 'some friendly supplier have impressed them enough through their marketing skills. There is absolutely no accountability, no technical audit or no committee to look into these dealings. Nobody bothers to ascertain whether the existing equipment is really obsolete or not. To justify the new purchases old equipment is mercilessly being thrown out into any corridor. Indeed we too love to work on the high-tech gadgets, as some of them are really user friendly and easy to handle. But more important for us is to ascertain whether these gadgets are fitting into our DD scheme of things or not. In some cases the new equipment becomes obsolete with lightening speed.

Whom we are fooling?
Recently when the hon'ble MIB asked our technocrats to improve quality of signal, a huge quantity of equipment was purchased for this purpose. Contrast this with our earlier experience. Australia's Channel 9 came to India with big dreams and approached DD for time slots. During their period not only was DD metro turned into an extremely profitable venture but the quality of signal was much improved. And how they did it? By simple adjustments and bypassing some of our existing equipment.

And The Loot Continues..
Some or our studios are lying unused for years together (e.g. Vigyan Bhawan studios), with workable strength of staff posted there. DD has started hiring the studios from outside. On the one hand we are being taught that expenditure needs to be curtailed (at our expense), while we are disbursing exchequers money in this manner. In Delhi, we do have two big studios in CPC, four studios in DDK Delhi, one studio in Vigyan Bhawan, number of well furnished OB & DSNG Vans and 6-8 newly constructed studios in Mandi House. Still we need the services of Private studios! On the other hand no private channel has got more than 2-3 compact studios at their disposal. We do have enough of digital editing equipment at our disposal, yet we hire the services of outside studios for editing purposes as well. Similarly, for news gathering, stingers are being hired on a routine basis without taking stock of our own unit. At times so happens that to cover an assignment two teams are there one from DD staff another stinger team hired by the News section. Are these not the cases of misappropriation of precious funds and infrastructure?

With profound grief we inform you of untimely death of Sh. Laxman Chaudhary (AE, AIR Hazaribagh, Jharkhand) on 21-06-2003 and Sh Shivshankar Prasad (Helper, DDK Varanasi, UP) on 07-08-2003. Both Sh Chaudhary and Sh Prasad were sincere workers of ARTEE. It is a great loss to ARTEE fraternity. We also inform with grief that Sh. Gurmail Singh ,SEA(Retired) expired after a grief illness on 24th September 2003. Sh. Gurmail Singh retired on in the month of June 03. We pray to almighty for peace to departed souls and give strength to the grief stricken families.