Wednesday, 30 April 2014

National Film Awards ceremony to be aired live on AIR

The 61st National Film Awards for 2013 will be presented by President Pranab Mukherjee on 3 May, the same day India's first feature film 'Raja Harishchandra' by DG Phalke was released in 1913. The function will be broadcast live on All India Radio (AIR)from the stately Vigyan Bhavan from 5.45 pm on all their national channels.
Prior to that, AIR will carry an interview of Shankar Mohan, Director of the Directorate of Film Festivals, at 8.15 pm on 1 May.
The curtain-raiser, a featurised programme, of the awards will be aired on 2 May at 8.15 pm with an interview with Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Bimal Julka. On 3 May at 9.30 pm, AIR will broadcast a report on the award ceremony on its national hook-up.  
Hindi film 'Madras Cafe' and the Bengali film 'Jaatishwar' dominated the music and sound awards in the 61st National Film Awards.
While 'Jaatishwar' received awards for both male playback singer for Rupankar for the song 'E Tumi Kemon Tumi' and best music direction for Kabir Suman, 'Madras Café' won awards for Nihar Ranjan Sanal for local sound recording and Biswajit Chatterjee for sound design.
The best female singer award went to Bela Shende for the song 'Khura Khura' in the Marathi film 'Tuhya Dharma Koncha'. Muthukumar walked away with the award for the lyrics for the song 'Ananda Yaazhai' for the Tamil film 'Thanga Meengal' got the best lyric award.
D Yuvaraj won the award for Re-recordist of the final mixed track in the Malayalam film 'Swapaanam'.  Shantanu Moitra got the award for best background score in the film 'Na Bangaaru Talli' (Telugu).
Gulzar, the eminent poet, lyricist and filmmaker will be presented with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award on the same day.

Aamir Khan live on All India Radio's Vividh Bharati channels

The versatile Aamir Khan, who is generally known to shun the public glare and media interviews, will be interviewed live by All India Radio from its Mumbai studios tomorrow.
Khan, who has endorsed various social causes including the 'Incredible India' campaign and urging people to vote, will feature in the programme "Roo-Ba-Roo" (Face to Face) on all Vividh Bharati Stations across the country. The programme has been introduced for the first time.
AIR sources said that the '3 Idiots' actor is expected to talk about 'Cleansing electoral process', particularly since he had taken up this issue in the last episode of Satyameva Jayate during the show's second season.
The broadcast will be from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm on 1 May 2014, with a repeat at 9.00 pm on the same day.
In the past the 49 year old actor was associated with Vividh Bharati for the radio version of 'Satyamev Jayate' which is called 'Awaaz unki jinhein fikr hai desh ki'. Through this, he addressed various issues like sexual exploitation of women. Listeners could record their messages for the show on 022-2869 2709 on three days of the week, or email These reactions will then be shared with the actor, after which he will respond on air.

AIR, DD to give live coverage National Film Awards ceremony

NEW DELHI: The 61st National Film Awards for 2013 will be presented by President Pranab Mukherjee on 3 May, the date on which India’s first feature film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ by D G Phalke was released commercially in 1913.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award to the eminent poet, lyricist, and filmmaker Gulzar will also be presented the same day.
Both Doordarshan and All India Radio will have live broadcast of the awards ceremony from the stately Vigyan Bhavan from 5.45 pm on that day on their national channels.
Prior to that, All India Radio will carry an interview of Directorate of Film Festivals director Shankar Mohan at 8.15 pm on 1 May on its national hook-up.
It will have a featurised programme as the curtain-raiser to the awards on 2 May at 8.15 pm with an interview with Information and Broadcasting Ministry secretary Bimal Julka.
Later on 3 May at 9.30 pm, AIR will broadcast a report on the award ceremony on its national hook-up.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Shri Amarnathji Yatra- Important Instructions

April 28, 2014 at 12:11pm

Procedure for Registration of Yatris through designated Branches of Banks.  
1. This year’s Shri Amarnathji Yatra will commence on 28th June, 2014, via both the routes Baltal and Pahalgam, and conclude on 10th August, 2014.
2. Advance Registration is compulsory for all intending Pilgrims.
3. Nobody shall be allowed to undertake the Yatra without securing a Yatra Permit which is valid for a specified day and route.
4. Every intending Pilgrim can secure his/ her Yatra Permit from any of the notified Bank Branches (87 of J&K Bank, 300 of Punjab National Bank and 38 of YES Bank) located in various States/UTs of the country.
5. The addresses of the notified Bank Branches which have been authorised to provide Registration are available at Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board’s website:
6. The Registration for the Yatra 2014, through all the nominated Bank Branches will commence from 1st March, 2014.
 7. For Registration/ obtaining Yatra Permit, an intending Yatri shall have to submit filled-in prescribed Application Form and Compulsory Health Certificate issued by the Authorised Doctor/ Medical Institution.
 8. The State-wise lists of Doctors/ Medical Institutions authorised to issue the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate are available at Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board’s website,
9. The formats of the Application Form and Compulsory Health Certificate are also available at Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board’s website,
 10. For Yatra 2014, Compulsory Health Certificate issued only after 1st February, 2014, would be valid for the registration purposes.
 11. An intending Yatri will be required to pay Rs.50/- as Registration fee.
 12. An intending Yatri who wishes to travel by Helicopter will not be required to separately register for the Yatra.
13. A Yatri who travels by Helicopter will be required to submit the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate at the time of boarding the Helicopter.
14. All Yatris would be allowed to embark on his/ her Yatra only on the day and from the route for which he/ she has been registered.

Do's and Don'ts 
  1. Prepare for the Yatra by achieving a high level of Physical Fitness. You are advised to start at atleast a month prior to the Yatra at least a 4-5km Morning/Evening walk. For Improving the oxygen efficiency of your body, you should start doing deep breathing exercises and Yoga, particularly Pranayam. 
  2. Your journey shall involve trekking across high mountains, facing strong cold winds. You must carry (i) adequate woolen clothing; (ii) a small umbrella (preferably one which is tied with an elastic band around your head and supported by a strap around the chin); (iii) windcheater; (iv) raincoat; (v) waterproof trekking shoes; (vi) torch; (vii) walking stick; (viii) cap (preferably a monkey cap); (ix) gloves; (x) jacket; (xi) woolen socks; (xii) trousers (preferably a waterproof pair). These items are essential as the climate is highly unpredictable and changes abruptly from sunny weather to rain and snow. The temperature can sometimes abruptly fall to 5 degrees Celcius or lower.
  3. For Ladies: saree is not a suitable dress for the Yatra. Salwar Kameez, pant-shirt or a track suit will be better. Ladies who are more than 6 week pregnant shall not be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage.
  4. Keeping in view the tough nature of the trek, children below 13 year in age and elderly persons above the age of 75 years shall not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.
  5. It would be better if the porter / horses / ponies carrying your luggage travel just in front or behind you, as you may suddenly need something from your baggage.
  6. During the Yatra from Pahalgam/Baltal onwards, you should keep spare clothes/ eatables in a suitable water proof bag to ensure against their getting wet.
  7. Carry a water bottle, dry fruits, roasted grams/channa, toffees/gur (jiggery), chocolates, etc for use during the journey.
  8. Carry some cold cream/Vaseline/sunscreen to protect your hands /face against sunburn etc.
  9. You should not trek alone. Always travel in a group and ensure that all those comprising the group, walking in front of you or in the rear, always remain in your sight, to ensure against your being separated from them.
  10. To enable prompt action being taken in case of any emergency, you should keep in your pocket a note containing the name/addresses/mobile telephone number of a member of your group with whom you are travelling. You must also carry your Yatra Permit and any other identity card.
  11. On your return journey, you must leave the Base Camp along with all members of your group. In case any member of your group is missing you must seek immediate assistance of the Police and also have an announcement made on the Public Address System at the Yatra Camp.
  12. You should provide all possible help to your fellow Yatris, travelling with you, and perform the pilgrimage with a pious mind.
  13. You must strictly follow the instructions issued by the Yatra administration, from time to time.
  14. Earth, water, air, fire and sky are integral parts of Lord Shiva. The Base camp and the entire Yatra routes are the abode of Shri Amarnathji. Throughout your pilgrimage you must respect the environment and do nothing to pollute it.
  15. All waste materials must be placed in the nearest dustbin. All organic wastes must be put in the dustbin which is green coloured.
  16. Lavatories/ urinals, installed in the camps and other places enroute the Holy Cave, should be used.
  1. Don’t stop at places which are marked by warning notices.
  2. Don’t use slippers because there are steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave. Only wear trekking shoes with laces.
  3. Don’t attempt any short cuts on the route as doing so would be dangerous.
  4. Do not do anything during your entire forward/return journey which could cause pollution or disturb the environment of the Yatra area. Use of plastics is strictly banned in the State and is punishable under law.
Health advisory
1.The pilgrimage to Holy Cave of Shri Amarnathji invloves trekking at altitudes as high as 14000feet.
2.Yatris may develop High Altitude sickness with following symptoms: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness and difficulty in sleeping,visual impairment,bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, loss of coordination of movements, paralysis on one side of body, gradual loss of consciousness and mental status changes, drowsiness, chest tightness, fullness, congestion, fast breathing and increased heart rate.
3.If high altitude sickness is not treated timely, it may be lethal in a matter of hours.

Do's for prevention of High Altitude Sickness:

1.Do check with your physicion prior to travelling to higher elevations, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
2.Do take time to acclimatize while trekking,realx for a short while on steep inclines.
3.Do check with your physicion prior to taking any medications.
4.Do drink lots of water to combat dehydration and headaches-about 5 litres of fluid per day.
5,Do follow the prescribed food menu-available at Shrine Board's Website-when having food in the Yatra area.
6.Do consume plenty of carbohydrates to reduce fatigue and prevent low blood sugar levels.
7.Do bring portable oxygen with you as it is helpful in case you have difficulty in breathing.
8.Do descend immediately to a lower elevation,if you start having altitude illenss symptoms.

Dont's for prevention of High Altitude Illness
1.Don't ignore the symptoms of high altitude illness.
2.Don't frink alcohol,caffeinated drink or smoke.
3.Don't ascend any further if you have altitude illness, instead,descend immediatley to an elevation where yiou can acclimatize.
4.don't accept everything a sick yatri says since his/her judgement is impaired.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Legendary News Readers

In our childhood, big wooden cabinet radios were a precious possession of well to do families.  The number of families that owned a radio set in a locality could be counted on fingertips. Two of my braggart friends, often claimed of being first in the Mohalla to have owned a radio - Made in Germany.  But the story rife on the shop fronts was that a family in the neighboring Mohalla, Paandan, had purchased the first Radio set during the Second World War. People at sunset thronged to their compound and squatted on the ground to know latest about the war- the owner, an official in the Maharaja’s government kept the radio on full volume on his verandah. 
I have no idea, when our family purchased a Radio set but I do remember, it was kept in a carved walnut wood alimirah fitted with a brass lock. And keys remained with my uncle only. I think, it was in early fifties, when I was reading in primary classes the Radio Room, as one of the rooms had been named as, after six in the evening remained crowded with friends of my uncle. The only passion that brought them to our home at evening was listening news from Azad Kashmir Radio, Radio Pakistan, All India Radio Urdu News and occasionally BBC. Filling the room with aroma of tobacco and smoke, from much sought after hubble-bubble they discussed every news item about Kashmir, India and Pakistan to details. No sooner, it was 8.30 P.M. a serene silence descended on the room, the hubble-bubble calmed down, everyone in the room glued his ears to the radio. As news from Radio Pakistan started, I remember a friend of my uncle shut his eyes to imprint every syllable of the news with accuracy on the  chip in his head. It brightened their faces, when news reader would be legendary Shakeel Ahmed. Two other legendary news readers of Radio Pakistan were Anwar Behzad and Warasat Mirza, but Shakeel Ahmed who was called as “Dada” in broadcasting world had a very good fan club in our part of the city. His inimitable delivery of words, correct stresses and pauses, flawless pronunciation and confidence as broadcaster in emergent situations made even children envious. I and my peers often tried to imitate him- “Ab App Shakeel Ahmed Say Khabarain Sunyai”- often this sentence echoed in dark lanes of our Mohalla.
Equally, the 9.15 Urdu news bulletin of All India Radio had some legendary voices like Sayeeda Bano.  But, it was the golden and magnetic voice of Abdur Rasheed, news reader of Radio Kashmir   that captivated me and made stand still at the main crossing of our Mohalla in front of the “Halaqa” Radio - the community Radio set.  Those days Radio Kashmir had a galaxy of newsreaders. The voices of Mahinder Koul, Motilal Khazanchi, Makhanlal Bakas and Prem Nath Harnam, the great Kashmiri news readers of Radio Kashmir I believe still reverberate in the minds of people of my generation.  Abdur  Rasheed   reigned supreme  on the airwaves of Kashmir for decades with his Aaj Ki Baat, Nawisht-e-Deewar Programs but it was his movingly presented program Radio Newsreel that attracted me the most. Years later, I learned this legendary broadcaster lived in neighboring locality of Khanyar. And was from the Banday family…

Saturday, 26 April 2014

7 Historic All India Radio (AIR) Broadcasts In India

Undeniably radio is the biggest instrument of mass broadcasting and communication in India. Before the arrival of the TV and various news channels the radio was the only source of entertainment as well as news. The All India Radio (AIR) has made some of the most famous broadcasts of the speeches of great men and assassinations in India. The Audio Archives of the AIR have some of the best recordings. Going through them, you can feel the ripples it must have created in India. Here are some of the best radio broadcasts in India:

7. Inspirational Speech by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

This speech by Netaji on the radio is inspirational to the core. Our country had not yet found independence and he was one of the greatest leaders back then. Many revolutionaries and freedom fighters in India were said to have been influenced by the many speeches of Netaji. Among the number of broadcasts of his voice, this is the most famous.
Inspirational Speech by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

6. Radio Broadcast of an inspirational speech by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was one of the greatest Indian nationalists to struggle for the freedom of India. He had also held important positions in the government of India. Born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Azad had predicted the future of Pakistan and is said to have been a leader with a foresight. This is an inspirational speech made by him on the radio which is you must hear.
Radio Broadcast of an inspirational speech by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

5. Speech by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, as we know, was the first president of independent India. This is why he had a lot of responsibilities, which he had to follow which he followed. Although the Indian President – according to the Constitution – doesn’t have much power but Dr. Prasad was instrumental in bringing about administrative changes in the government. This speech was truly inspirational and especially because independence had just been achieved.
Speech by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India

4. Speech by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah On Partition and Pakistan

Mohammad Ali Jinnah is considered as one of the best leaders of our country before the partition took place. He presided over Pakistan after the partition and is held in great respect there. The future of Pakistan is being spoken of in this speech which was broadcasted by AIR. Jinnah would have been regarded as a great leader in India had the partition not took place and divided the country into two. Listen to the audio to see how inspirationally these people spoke.
Speech by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah On Partition and Pakistan

3. Radio Broadcast of the partition of India

There were several speeches made by influential men on the partition of India. The partition divided India and Pakistan which were earlier part of the same mainland. After the British decided to quit India they decided to take this decision. AIR has recorded the speeches of Gandhi and Jinnah on the partition and many more. You must listen to it to get an understanding of the situation of the country then. These were the most important radio broadcasts after the Indian independence.
 Radio Broadcast of the partition of India

2. Mahatma Gandhi’s speech at Sodepur Ashram on the 11th of May 1947

AIR had recorded most of the speeches made publicly by Gandhi and this is one of them. Gandhi’s speeches were always inspirational. There are also recordings of the speeches he made at Kolkata (then Calcutta). Mahatma Gandhi’s speeches are really mandatory for every Indian to listen to learn and eventually get inspired.
 Mahatma Gandhi’s speech at Sodepur Ashram on the 11th of May 1947

1. Jawaharlal Nehru on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

This was one of the most historic broadcasts on radio after the death of Gandhi. The whole world mourned the death of Gandhi. Nehru’s speech was heavily emotional and each and every Indian had gone through what he had spoken of after getting the news of his assassination. There were many speeches and broadcasts of this news but Nehru’s one was the one which stood out among the rest. At a time when the country had just attained freedom this was a big blow.
Jawaharlal Nehru on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

Thursday, 24 April 2014


The FICCI-KPMG Media and Entertainment Report 2014 (M&E-2014 Report) says that the private FM radio industry comprises network players (national, regional and metro-focused), single stations and some niche players. A broad categorisation of the FM radio industry is Private FM radio companies and Public sector companies.

The eco-system

Prasar Bharti operates All India Radio (‘AIR’), India’s public sector radio service. AIR’s home service comprises 406 stations across the country, reaching nearly 92 per cent of the country’s area and 99.19 percent of the total population. AIR originates programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects.

At present, AIR operates 18 FM stereo radio channels, called AIR FM Rainbow, targeting the urban audiences. Four more FM radio channels called, AIR FM Gold, broadcast composite news and entertainment programmes from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. With FM popular across the country, AIR is augmenting its Medium Wave transmission with additional FM transmitters at Regional stations.

As mentioned above, private sector companies can be further classified into companies that have an all India presence; companies that have a metro focus; companies that are non-metro focused; niche radio stations.

Some of the major private FM players in each of the categories are:

Red FM with 47 radio stations in the country is the biggest FM radio player closely followed by the Reliance ADAG group’s Big FM that has 45 radio stations. The Times group affiliate Radio Mirchi with 32 radio stations and Radio City with 20 radio stations are amongst the biggest radio operators in terms of number of radio stations in the country says the report.

Oye FM with 7 metro stations, Digital Radio with three stations and Fever with four stations are among the metro focused private FM radio stations in the country.

The non-metro focused players in the country are My FM with 17 stations; Dhamal with 10 stations; CCL radio with nine; Radio Mantra with eight stations; Hello FM with seven stations; Club FM and Radio OOOLALA with four stations each.

Radio Tadka and Radio Mango with four stations each and Nine FM, Radio Indigo and Radio Choklate with two stations each are among the niche radio stations in India.

An industry that has seen double digit growth rate

The report further says the overall revenues of listed radio players exhibited double-digit growth rate over the previous year, approximately 12-14 per cent. This growth was driven equally by volume enhancements in tier II and tier III cities and increase in ad effective rates (‘ER’). The industry managed to keep the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (‘CAGR’) steady in 2013 with smaller players turning profitable during the year as their networks matured. Categories like real estate, FMCG, government, retail and media and entertainment increased their spend on radio.

The report further says that one witnessed a change of attitude towards radio - FM radio is no longer seen as an add-on medium; today, it is an integral part of a media plan and sometimes, campaigns are planned around it. The innovations in radio advertising along with growth of the industry and the positive vibe surrounding it have made sure that advertisers can no longer afford to take the industry lightly.

The report adds that revenue growth in FM radio is expected to be driven by:

Launch of stations and increase in their popularity across more tier II and tier III cities, which enables radio companies to provide advertisers with a bouquet of channels that can support brand launches across states or regions as a substitute for print or regional TV

Growth in advertising ER on radio

Expected regulatory reforms are likely to improve profitability and stimulate foreign investment.

Implementation of an accurate nationwide measurement mechanism including allowing multiple station ownership in a single city and content networking will increase returns across FM stations.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


US Supreme Court conflicted over Indian-American's breakthrough technology


Charnock stirs debates and wishes on Kolkata's 323rd 'birthday'

You can debate over Job Charnock but you can't deny his association with the city of joy. You can debate over Kolkata's date of birth as well but you can always celebrate its rich history.

On Saturday, 323 years after Charnock first landed near Nimtala Ghat on August 24, 1690, a host of luminaries got together for some intense adda - Tea With Charnock - to dwell upon the heritage of the city. Call it a 'celebration' or simply an interactive session, all controversies were put to rest and one subject took the centre stage: Kolkata.

And if it was significant enough, 'Tea With Charnock' was organized at St John's Church, where Charnock was laid to rest. The church, now stands restored by Intach, is a testimony to the British trader's bonding with Kolkata. The sprawling premises on Council House Street was the focal point in 1990 when the KMC had celebrated the city's tercentenary. A high court ruling had ended the enthusiasm then, ruling that August 24 couldn't be Kolkata's birthday. The state has stopped commemorating the day since then.

"A city can't be born on a certain day. The day is important for us because it marked a new settlement here. Perhaps it was an accident when Charnock landed here on a hot, sticky day in August, 1690. What matters is that Kolkata has such a rich past and is rearing to celebrate many more centuries," said Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar. In his speech, Sircar spun some fascinating tales around the historic, if not mythical, landing. Effortlessly, he seemed to have transported the audience to the 1670s, 1680s and 1690s, stopping only at 1757 when Robert Clive came in.

Taking the clock back to the life and times of Charnock, Sircar delineated how Kolkata got its different nooks and corners, or for that matter, its fort (Fort William), its bazaars - with a special reference to Baithakkhana bazaar, where the baniyas sat under the baniyan tree wearing loose clothing that later came to be known "banyans". Charnock had taken lease of Sutanuti and Nimtala or Mohantaghat from Sabarna Roy Chowdhury with the purpose of anchoring huge British vessels. After he leased the third village, Gobindapur, it was transformed to Fort William or the 'Gar'. "So we had the Maidan or the fields outside the 'Gar' and called it Gar-er Math," said Sircar. The audience listened in rapt attention.

Among those present on the occasion were Bishop Asok Biswas, entrepreneur Nayantara Roy Chowdhury and Intach convenor G M Kapur.

Sircar's breath-taking speech was followed by performances by Johnny Purty, St John's official organist who enthralled the audience with a pipe organ that ages back to 1830, and Anjum Katyal, who sang the "Ode to the City". Some rare paintings and lithographs - restored by Intach - were unveiled by the Bishop of Kolkata.

Click here for another article on the subject that received wide acclaim


Saturday, 19 April 2014


 Posted on : 19 Apr 2014 12:01 pm

Prasar Bharati’s woes on vacant key positions

NEW DELHI: The union cabinet has decided to maintain status quo in Prasar Bharati with regard to recruitment of people up to the age of 62 to allow the public broadcaster to fill key positions that have been lying vacant or are likely.
These include the posts of Member (Finance) who has put in his papers but whose resignation has not yet been accepted, Member (Personnel) whose tenure has ended, and Board Chairperson Mrinal Pande whose tenure is ending on 30 April.
The cabinet decision came on a proposal by the ministry of information and broadcasting.  
Interestingly, a group of ministers (GoM) had earlier recommended that the age for these positions be lowered to 55 years and that recommendation has been under the consideration of the government. However, since the tenure of this government is ending and the implementation of GoM recommendations for lowering the age requires an amendment to the Prasar Bharati Act.
Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar told that he was unhappy that no steps had been taken to fill important posts, which he feels should have been done before they become vacant.

Meanwhile, reliable Prasar Bharati sources told that a majority of the 1150 critical posts for programme executives, production assistants and duty officers recommended by the GoM had been filled. Prasar Bharati had received clearance early last year for immediately filling up 1150 posts out of the 3452 posts which had been identified as critical and approved by the GoM in June 2009.  
The pubcaster has not had any senior-level recruitment since it came into being in September 1997, and the sources said that those posts which could not be filled out of these were held up because there is no Prasar Bharati recruitment board.
The source said steps are being taken to set up the board at the earliest so that the pubcaster does not face such difficulties in future.
In March last year, the pubcaster had in a notice in ‘Employment News’ notified ‘combined recruitment for the post of programme executive and transmission executive examination’ for 1166 posts to be filled after interviews by the staff selection committee (SSC).
As of early 2013, there were 1362 vacancies in Group A, 1,584 in Group B, 4863 in Group C and 2272 in group D in All India Radio (AIR). In Doordarshan (DD), 724 posts are vacant in Group A, 1140 in Group B, 2871 in Group C, and 1451 in Group D.
AIR and DD had total staff strength of 33,800 against a total sanctioned strength of 48,022, leaving a gap of 14,222 posts.
The most critically affected areas were the programme wing and the news services division (AIR)/DD News.
The Committee for Information Technology in 2012 regretted that Prasar Bharati had failed to live up to the assurance given by then Prasar Bharati CEO that the recruitment boards for Prasar Bharati would be set up by 31 March 2011.
It is understood that the union public service commission and SSC had both refused to select for a non-governmental organization, thus creating a new problem for the ministry/Prasar Bharati.
The Proposal for setting up a Prasar Bharati recruitment board was approved by Prasar Bharati Board on 21 July 2010 and discussed in the ministry and a final proposal was referred to the department of personnel and training (DoPT) on 15 February 2011. DoPT concurred with the proposal in June 2011 and the comments of the department of expenditure (DOE) were also received on 28 September 2011.
The DoE had requested that a separate proposal be formulated for creation of posts for the secretariat of Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board and also requested for drafting of agreement containing terms and conditions of the members of the board. This had been done and the proposal sent to DoE in February 2012 and then to the law ministry.

Radio is the real winner in 2014 Lok Sabha polls


 Saturday, April 19, 2014 | 12:42 PM IST

Whenever there is a power cut in his area, Suresh Munda, 26, and his friends assemble under the village's banyan tree to kill time. One of their favourite pastimes is to tune into   channels on their basic mobile phones and listen intently to the latest Bollywood numbers.

They are content till the time humming is not interrupted by social activists urging people to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha . Immediately afterwards follows a jingle. “Har haath shakti, har haath tarakki, Congress party kisano ke saath (Power in every hand, development in every hand, Congress is for farmers),” is very regular on one of the channels, recalls Munda.

He is a farmer and lives close to the Jindal steel factory in Patratu block of Ramgarh district, 50 km from Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi.

Munda is one of estimated 106 million people who tune into FM radio regularly. Though FM airs in 86 Indian cities, villagers of adjoining areas have the option to hear any of the 242 stations operating in the country.

Sensing an opportunity to reach out to people in far-flung areas in a very cost-effective manner, political parties have adopted the grand old medium of communication for extensive campaigning.

The cost of putting an advertisement on radio is estimated to be nearly a seventh of what it takes for a television spot. No wonder, ad spend by political parties on FM radio has seen a quantum jump from a meagre Rs 8 crore during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections to nearly Rs 50 crore this time — an increase of 525%.

What has made radio an effective medium for political communication is the ease with which messages can be tailor-made for the audience.

“Since radio ads are easy and less expensive to produce, there is the possibility of making many more creatives and thus changing the message as the campaign progresses. It is also possible for one political party to respond to the ad of another political party. This is not possible with TV. Finally, radio  is far cheaper than TV advertising; hence everyone can use radio,” says Prashant Pandey, CEO of Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL). The company operates under the brand name of Radio Mirchi and is spread across 14 states with 32 stations. It claims to have a listeners’ base of 41 million.

A 10-second spot on radio costs Rs 400-2,000, depending on the time and location. Advertising rates are the highest in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“Radio commercials are very affordable as compared to television. In Tier-II & III markets, it is, in fact, the most effective way for reaching out to the masses because of its affordability and the limited reach of television and broadband penetration. Mobile penetration has increased manifold and now almost every Indian owns a mobile phone which has further led to high consumption of radio,” says Harrish Bhatia, CEO of My Fm Radio. Promoted by the Bhaskar Group, My Fm Radio is present in 17 cities of seven states.

Being cost effective is not the only USP of radio. “Time spent on radio is 50% higher than TV and 500% higher than print,” claims Bhatia. “The 2014 elections have seen near three times higher (radio) usage than the 2009 elections,” adds Pandey.

According to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)  report, India Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013, India’s radio market revenues increased by about 10% to Rs 1,530 crore in 2012 from Rs 1,390 crore in 2011.

However, despite a significant cost advantage, radio’s share in overall political advertising revenue is minuscule. In fact, it has been taken over by the digital platform, which is seen to be more youth-oriented.

In terms of money spent, television has walked away with the biggest chunk of political advertising followed by the digital media. Radio is at a distant third.

Pandey, too, admits that political advertising is “a relatively small part of our overall radio revenues.” Perhaps, radio would have got a bigger share if auctions for FM radio stations had taken place in time. Auctions slated for 2013 would have enabled more stations to come up in small towns.

Analysts also say that the use of FM radio was much more extensive during the recently concluded Assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. FM radio is estimated to have got additional revenue by way of political advertising of nearly Rs 25 crore in the November 2013 Assembly elections, of which Delhi alone contributed nearly Rs 9 crore.

This is perhaps because of heavy presence of FM radio in metro cities. Delhi alone has 14 million radio listeners followed by Mumbai with 12 million. Beyond metros, FM radio listeners are sparsely populated. Hence the reluctance on the part of political parties to bet big on this medium. More FM stations in small towns could change that.

“Phase III of FM radio licensing is expected to extend services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities (with a total of 839 new FM radio channels across 294 cities). Successful completion of Phase III licensing is expected to result in FM radio coverage of all cities with a population of one lakh and above,” the PwC report added.