The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has issued a draft on the Prasar Bharati Establishment of Recruitment Board Rules, 2020.
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Nearly three decades after it was set up as an autonomous body, India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati may finally manage to get its own recruitment board – a key step towards addressing the staffing needs of Doordarshan & All India Radio (AIR).
Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990, laid down the establishment of one or more recruitment boards, but it did not materialise because over the years the Union government and the public broadcaster were not on the same page over the modalities of setting up such a board.
Prasar Bharati is supposed to be an autonomous body, yet it does not have a mechanism to hire its employees. Consequently, government officers belonging to other services generally come to work in Prasar Bharati on deputation. Over decades, the Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board could never be set up because the I&B ministry and the public broadcaster often had differences over its structure.
Prasar Bharati had raised questions about an earlier draft. Therefore, the draft was revised by the ministry to address the concerns of the broadcaster. The matter was again discussed in a meeting of the Prasar Bharati earlier this week and there is a feeling that the notification could spur the creation of the much awaited board, the senior official added.
The creation of the Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board is mandated by the Act itself. The ministry has been working in this regard. Its creation would be a very welcome step.
There are around 40,000 employees who presently work with Prasar Bharati, including Doordarshan & All India Radio (AIR).
Former I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma said the creation of a Prasar Bharati Recritment Board (PBRB) is a long-overdue step.
When Prasar Bharati was set up, several government officials joined it on what is called deemed deputation. It was expected that over the years, the structure of the new body would come up and they would have their own rules, he said. However, the recruitment board was not set up and there was lack of clarity on a lot of issues.
Significantly, in the absence of a recruitment framework, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry had even brought in an amendment to the Prasar Bharati Act to resolve manpower related issues.