Discontent is brewing among the programme section staff of All India Radio and Doordarshan against the alleged apathy of the Prasar Bharati authorities in filling up vacant posts in the two organisations.

The Programme Staff Association, an organisation of programme staff of AIR and DD, accused the authorities of violating recruitment rules by appointing officers from other cadres in key positions and jeopardising the two organisations by creating a “policy impasse”.

They threatened to launch a large-scale agitation if the issues are not resolved at the earliest. The ADG (administration) of Prasar Bharati, Dinesh Mahur, refused to comment on the matter.

The programme officers are responsible for planning, producing and broadcasting programmes on AIR and DD.

According to a recent affidavit filed by the Centre at the Delhi High Court, of the 1,038 sanctioned posts under the Indian Broadcasting Programme Service (IBPS) at AIR and DD, 1,032 are vacant as on April 28, 2018.

As many as 220 staff in AIR and DD are working on lower ranks for two to seven years without any promotion, a senior official said.

“AIR and DD are reeling under the shortage of senior programme officers as around 1,032 posts of the sanctioned 1,038 are lying vacant,” said R.Srinivasn, general secretary of PSA.

‘Policy paralysis’

He further alleged that by “being aloof to the crisis” the Prasar Bharati authorities are creating a “state of policy paralysis which may cripple both the organisations — AIR and DD — in the near future”.

The PSA members claimed that the existing programme officers — who join as gazetted officers — have been deprived of promotions for 25 to 30 years.

They further alleged that officers from other cadres such as Indian Defence Estates Service, Central Secretariat Service, Indian Broadcasting Engineering Service and Indian Telecom Service are being appointed in the programme section in violation of IBPS recruitment rules.

“Recently two officers of ITS joined as Additional Director General (Programme) which the IBPS officers claim is their domain and requires an experience of at least 17 years in the field of art, culture, education and production of programme, as per the IBPS recruitment norms,” said Mr. Srinivasn.

According to the Indian Broadcasting (Programme) Rules, 1990, “17 years of experience in supervisory capacity in the field of culture, television, radio, film, programme production, publicity having visual or audio impact” is required for ADG (Programme) posts.

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