In creating an independent television channel to promote the Rajya Sabha (RS) and its members, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who is chairman of the Upper House, seems to have indulged in an extravagance that our stretched public resources can ill-afford. Pallavi Polanki files a very important & explosive report in Firstpost India :
Headed by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, formerly OSD (officer on special duty) to Ansari, Rajya Sabha TV is soaking up money faster than a sponge does water. For 2012-13, the bill will be around Rs 73 crore. In November 2007 when Sappal, then OSD to the chairman, requested the file on the initiative to “launch Rajya Sabha Television, which was eventually abandoned” to be put up for his perusal. Subsequently, in April 2008, when the GPC gave its ‘in principle’ nod to RS TV, the channel was proposed as joint project with Lok Sabha TV, under a common network called the Sansad Television Network. However, what transpired – the launch of RSTV as an independent entity – was neither approved nor endorsed by the GPC. This, despite members of another Rajya Sabha committee, expressing strong reservations about the creation of an independent channel.
… setting up of a new RS TV channel by spending several crores of rupees may not serve any purpose, as it would not be run by experts in the field, thereby leading to production and airing poor quality programmes. Moreover, the exercise to project the members of the Rajya Sabha was not advisable as proceedings were already being telecast by Doordarshan…But that was not to happen.
..No gazette notification was issued on the setting up of the channel…And for 2012-2013, the budgeted expenditure (for the channel) is an astounding Rs 73.30 crore.
….Raising the question, do we really need more general interest programming using taxpayers’ money — on a channel dedicated to Parliament, when we already have a national broadcast network (Doordarshan) with a fleet of channels catering to everything from news and current affairs to entertainment, sports and more?
Read the full report: Ansari’s Rajya Sabha TV swallows huge state resources
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