|Formed||23 November 1997|
|Jurisdiction||Republic of India|
Prasar Bharati is India's largest public broadcasting agency. It is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Parliament of India passed the Prasar Bharati Act to grant this autonomy in 1990, but it was not enacted until 15 September 1997.
Dr A. Surya Prakash is the current chairperson of Prasar Bharati (he succeeded Dr Mrinal Pandey). Shashi Shekhar Vempati is the CEO of Prasar Bharati (he succeeded Jawhar Sircar who was the CEO until November 2016).
The Prasar Bharati Act provides for the establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation, to be known as Prasar Bharati, and define its composition, functions, and powers. The Act grants autonomy to All India Radio and to Doordarshan, both of which were previously under government control. The Act received the assent of the President of India on 12 September 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. It was finally implemented in November 1997. By the Prasar Bharati Act, all property, assets, debts, liabilities, payments of money due, as well as all suits and legal proceedings involving Akashvani (All India Radio) and Doordarshan were transferred to Prasar Bharati.
The Prasar Bharati Act vests the general superintendence, direction, and management of affairs of the Corporation in the Prasar Bharati Board which may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as may be exercised or done by the Corporation.
The Prasar Bharati Board consists of:
The President of India appoints the Chairman and the other Members, except the ex officio members, nominated member and the elected members. Board meetings must be held at least once in every three months each year. The actress Kajol has been named as part-time member for five years, until November 2021.
Digitisation of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) is continuing apace, with some of Doordarshan Kendras and AIR Stations having already been digitised. All new establishments are digital and there are plans to modify the existing ones. New transmitters are being ordered and plans for the purchase of digital transmitters are being implemented in phases.
In 2010, as many as 24 candidates out of the 30 selected for the posts of journalists in Doordarshan News were alleged to have been appointed on the basis of political considerations. For example, one of the successful candidates was closely related to a former Congress Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, another successful candidate was the daughter of a sitting Congress Union minister, and a third was a close relative of Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
The number of applicants called for interview was increased from 25 to 35 to accommodate the daughter of a Congress politician, who held the 33rd rank, and would have otherwise been eliminated at the cut-off stage. Another successful candidate, Anika Kalra Kalha, was not even called for an audition and reporting skills test, and the remark in the relevant columns read "Did not qualify for this stage". Similarly, the weightage given to interviews was arbitrarily increased two days before they were held.
This article incorporates text from the "The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990" in compliance with the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 Section 52 (1)(q)