Pitroda-headed panel set up to review role of Prasar Bharti

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) A high-level expert committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, has been set up to review the institutional framework of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, including its relationship with the government.

The seven-member panel would also examine Prasar Bharti's "continuing role as a public broadcaster and measures needed to ensure technical upgradation of the organization", a statement said Tuesday.

The panel would also "suggest a strategy for creating a network of domestic and overseas business partners for ensuring wider reach to a worldwide audience including creating an exclusive overseas service", said the statement.

Among the other terms of reference of the panel are to "suggest measures to sustain, strengthen and amplify Prasar Bharati's role as a Public Broadcaster with special reference to its relationship with Government in the emerging context".

The panel would review the implementation of recommendations made by various committees that have undertaken study of Prasar Bharati, namely, the Sengupta committee, the Bakshi Committee and the Narayanamurthy committee and suggest a road map ahead for enhancing the reach and potential of the public broadcaster.

It would also suggest measures to digitize the archival material in the possession of Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) including material from Independence Movement era, and develop enabling infrastructure, in the form of data digitalization systems, data centres and networks etc.

Ways of using the new media to deliver digital content - both in broadcast mode (DTH) and in a demand-based mode (Free on social media like YouTube, and on payment through IPTV), and suggesting a strategy for creating a network of domestic and overseas business partners for ensuring wider reach to a worldwide audience including creating an exclusive overseas service will also be in its remit.

Besides Pitroda, who is advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations; the others include retired bureaucrat Asha Swaroop; National Innovation Council member Shekhar Kapur, and Prasar Bharati chief Jawhar Sircar.

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