38 AIR stations headless in
Of the 50-odd AIR stations spread across the four
states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, 38 stations are
remaining headless sans station directors. Highly placed sources in
Coimbatore told Express that the situation is turning from bad to worse with
neither the Prasar Bharathi Board nor the Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting (I&B) is taking any steps to improve the public broadcaster on
par with the private channels.
As far as Tamil Nadu was
concerned, the posts of station directors at nine AIR stations in Tuticorin,
Nagercoil, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tiruchy, Kodaikanal, Udhagamandalam,
Karaikal and Chennai Commercial Broadcasting Service are remaining vacant
while not to speak of Chennai-headquartered Deputy Director Generalís office
(DDG), southern region is without a head for over 11 months.
To make matters worse, the
present Chennai Station Director K Srinivasaraghavan, who is additionally
looking after the post as DDG in-charge is due for retirement on October 29.
As a result of which, the capital station would turn headless.
However, sources pointed out that four senior officials--Dr K Vageesh
(Director of Music in Delhi), K P Srinivasan (Station Director, Hyderabad),
J Kamalanathan (Station Director, Coimbatore) and Latha Raju (Director,
Marketing Division, Chennai) are in the race for Station Directorís post in
According to an AIR official, there has been neither recruitment since 1990
nor any promotion in AIR. And the Programme Executives (PEXs) working in the
same cadre for the past 18 to 20 years have lost all hopes of getting any
promotions.What is irking is that even the promoted Station Directors (SDs)
in 1998 were reverted back not as regular ASDs, but on ad hoc basis in 2000.
Three such officials, who faced the axe were V Srinivasan, Kumutham and
Murugan alias Seiyon.
It is estimated that 20 per cent of the staff would retire by end of
December 2010 while 25 per cent each in 2011 and 2012. One couldnít imagine
the fate of the public broadcaster with both AIR and DDK being reduced to
size with a skeleton staff.
To a question whether I&B Ministry was adopting a delaying tactics citing
cases pending in courts, an office-bearer of an union said that none of the
courts had given any stay for recruitment whatsoever.
being the case, why there has been no recruitment for the past 20 years is a
Surprisingly, the august body of Prasar Bharati Board which ought to have
taken up the issues confronting AIR and DDK failed to discuss it during its
meetings.And the silence maintained by I&B Minister Ambika Soni raises the
doubt whether the ministry had some hidden agenda. Is the Minister
Thank you for your