Prasar Bharati

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Prasar Bharati
Agency overview
Formed23 November 1997
JurisdictionRepublic of India
HeadquartersNew Delhi
Agency executives
Child agencies

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.[1][2]

Dr A. Surya Prakash is the current chairperson of Prasar Bharati (he succeeded Dr Mrinal Pandey)[3]). Shashi Shekhar Vempati is the CEO of Prasar Bharati (he succeeded Jawhar Sircar who was the CEO until November 2016).[4]

Prasar Bharati Act[edit]

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.[5] The Act grants autonomy to All India Radio and to Doordarshan, both of which were previously under government control.[5] The Act received the assent of the President of India on 12 September 1990[1] 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.

Prasar Bharati Board[edit]

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.[5]

The Prasar Bharati Board consists of:

  • Chairman
  • One Executive Member
  • One Member (Finance)
  • One Member (Personnel)
  • Six Part-time Members
  • Director-General (Akashvani), ex officio
  • Director-General (Doordarshan), ex officio
  • One representative of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), to be nominated by that Ministry and
  • Two representatives of the employees of the Corporation, of whom one shall be elected by the engineering staff from amongst themselves and one shall be elected by the other employee from amongst themselves.

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 beeo named as part-time member for five years, until November 2021.[6]

Functions and Objectives[edit]

The primary duty of the Corporation is to organise and conduct public broadcasting services intended to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television.

The Corporation shall, in the discharge of its functions, be guided by the following objectives, namely:

  • Upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Safeguarding the citizen’s right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own.
  • Paying special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology.
  • Providing adequate coverage to the diverse cultures and languages of the various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes.
  • Providing adequate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship.
  • Providing appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth.
  • Informing and stimulating the national consciousness in regard to the status and problems of women and paying special attention to the upliftment of women.
  • Promoting social justice and combating exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and advancing the welfare of the weaker sections of the society.
  • Safeguarding the rights of the working classes and advancing their welfare.
  • Serving the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas.
  • Providing suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of the minorities and tribal communities.
  • Taking special steps to protect the interests of children, the blind, the aged, the handicapped and other vulnerable sections of the people.
  • Promoting national integration by broadcasting in a manner that facilitates communication in the languages in India; and facilitating the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every State in the languages of that State.
  • Providing comprehensive broadcast coverage through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilisation of the broadcast frequencies available and ensuring high quality reception.
  • Promoting research and development activities in order to ensure that radio broadcast and television broadcast technology are constantly updated.

Expansion plans[edit]

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.


Controversy over candidate selection[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8][9]

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.[8]


  1. ^ a b "PRASAR BHARATI ACT, 1990". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Prasar Bharati Board". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  4. ^ "CEO's Desk". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  5. ^ a b c "The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  6. ^ "Kajol Named Part-Time Member Of Prasar Bharti Board". Associated Press. July 15, 2016.
  7. ^ Garg, Abhinav (14 September 2010). "CAT quashes DD selection of minister's kin". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  8. ^ a b JEBARAJ, PRISCILLA (September 14, 2010). "Doordarshan appointments quashed". New Delhi: the Hindu. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Quashing of 25 Doordarshan employees` appointment stayed". Zee. March 7, 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2015.

External links[edit]