No irregularity in appointment of DG of Doordarshan: Govt

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(03 September 2011 01:50 pm)

NEW DELHI: The Government has denied any irregularity in the process of appointment of the Director Generals of Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR).

Parliament has been informed by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting CM Jatua that the Prasar Bharati Board had recommended some names on 15 March and the Ministry had merely asked the Board a day later to list the names in order of merit.

On receipt of the new list from the members of the Board by 21 March, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the name of Tripurari Sharan, a senior Indian Administrative Officer who was then serving in his home state Bihar, to be the new Director General of Doordarshan. However, no name was finalised for the DG for AIR.

After interviews held on 15 March, the Prasar Bharati Board had prepared a shortlist of three persons for Doordarshan and two persons for AIR for the post of DG.

The names suggested after extensive interviews by the Board on 15 March – in that order - were L D Mandloi, Tripurari Sharan (1985, IAS, Bihar), and Ramsubhag Singh (1987, IAS, Himachal Pradesh) for the post of DG Doordarshan, while G Jayalal and L D Mandloi were shortlisted for the post of DG AIR.

While Sharan’s name was third on the list for DD, it has been alleged by the Doordarshan Empanelled Producers Association that this order was changed following oral communication from the Ministry and all Board members were asked to sign afresh on the new order of preference.

A majority of the members agreed with the new list but reduced the number of persons to just two. While five of the nine members including Chairperson Mrinal Pande and CEO Rajiv Takru approved this new order of preference, three members removed the name of Ram Subhag Singh in the DD list. The ninth member insisted on sticking to the original order of preference, though he also removed the name of Singh.

In the case of AIR, the appointment of DG has been held up as at least one of the persons shortlisted – Jayalal - has gone to the Central Administrative Tribunal, which on 5 April reserved its orders after hearing both sides and said the appointment would be subject to its orders.

The Minister also denied that there was any need for any inquiry into the procedure of selection of the names.

It may be recalled that the Delhi High Court had in 2008 said Mandloi – who has been asked to hold additional charge more that three times as DG - was qualified to be Director General of Doordarshan.

It is interesting that this comes close on the heels of two other IAS officers, B S Lalli and Aruna Sharma, having been indicted – the former in many cases, and the latter in the matter of the Commonwealth Games.
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