Tuesday, 28 October 2014


When our PM gained world attention by his recent high profile visits, the message was clear to world Community.  India is no more a follower and her aspirations are global in thinking and reach. ISRO's Mangalyaan to Mars reinforced its position of authority unambiguously.  Clearance of Pending Defence ventures is a sharp step forward to break away from deplorable delays of past.  It is a matter of  time that bigger investments get attracted to strengthen the country's economic base to its full advantage in the near future with all round stability.

       Going by the spirit of meaningful presence and authority to achieve higher deliverables in world fora, India needs to be part of decision making in Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union(ABU), a non profit, non govt. professional association of Broadcasters where India is a founder member since 1964 with AIR and Doordarshan. ABU has 264 members in 61 countries reaching a potential audience of 3.5 billion people providing a forum promoting collective interests of TV and Radio broadcasters internationally funded primarily by members, ABU remains the hub of harmonisation of technical broadcasting standards and systems, skill and technological development as also information exchange.ABU is the third largest of world's eight broadcasting unions, representing largest geographic region  in the world. Its Sports Department negotiates TV rights for major sporting events like Olympics and Asian Games,World Football Cup besides several other related activities.Prasar Bharati(PB)has immense stakes in ABU as India's national public service broadcaster.

       ABU's real worth fading out from PB's memory and withdrawal from international cooperation and leadership  when its CEO left Vice Presidentship in 2006 was hardly noticed in India.  With loosened grip and brewing internal disturbance, PB, which pays Rs 50 Lakhs annual subscription, was not even represented in ABU's general assembly held in Tokyo and  hence conveniently lost the vacant seat of Vice President to Pakistan by default in 2010. To add agony to PB in internal disquiet, Sports Rights which were earlier offered to PB on exclusive basis were unbundled and given only 'free to air rights'  to accommodate ESPN thus ending long and continued spell of exclusivity.  The reason, none from PB was deputed  when the Sports Group Body of ABU was discussing acquisition of rights for Asian Games 2010! It is tragic that India hosted ABU's General Assembly in 2011 after 15 years in a routine, officious and less concerned mode with minimal participation and missing both the posts of Vice Presidency and a seat Membership on the Council.  In 2012, President of Korea inaugurated ABU's General Assembly in  Seoul and called all the Big Eight members for a private tete-tete, but in 2011 PB could not even impress upon our I&B Minister to inaugurate the Session in Delhi.

       In an attempt to regain lost glory and opportunities , Jawhar Sircar, CEO, PB led a three members contingent to Seoul General Assembly in 2012 and got Doordarshan re-elected as technical bureau member and AIR to ABU Administrative Council unanimously.  Rightfully, being member of Administrative Council, PB then eligible for ABU Vice President was however  trounced by Turkey Radio And Television Corporation which had taken a delegation of 20 against India's two.  PB had no chance at all when all the countries like Myanmar, SriLanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Macau and Hong Kong take 4 to 18 delegates to canvass and manage better deliverables. NHK Japan had  41 delegates, Korea 21 and China 22 in Hanoi General Assembly in 2013.

For the current Macau Convention and General Assembly, Prasar Bharati deputed its CEO, Shri Jawhar Sircar. Even this year the delegation has been only of two members with one adviser.  The delegation from other member countries are much larger.  The major countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea have 40+ delegates and also delegates from smaller countries are pretty big – Malaysia-30, Srilanka-9, Afghanistan 8, Bhutan-5, Bangladesh -7, Mangolia-7, Thailand-35, Turkmenistan 15, Kazakstan-6, Singapore-13.  

Defying all odds of practically no canvassing time, Shri Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati, has won Vice- Presidentship which is attributable to India’s emerging image heralded by conspicuous  and bold initiatives of our Prime Minister and administrative acumen of seasoned CEO, Prasar Bharati.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Swachh Bharat: Narendra Modi set to launch pet project

Come Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose cleanliness drive has echoed through the Red Fort and the corridors of the United Nation General Assembly, will launch Swachh Bharat campaign, with top politicians and babus leading the way. FILE - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP PhotoFILE - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo 
Modi will launch Swachh Bharat campaign from Boat Club area on Rajpath in New Delhi on Thursday morning. A road walkathon will be flagged off.  Rajpath will be closed from 5 am till noon on October 2.
According to reports, those who take part in the launch include five thousand school children, college and university students, government officials, diplomats, expats and corporate houses' representatives.
The prime minister, who would administer the Cleanliness Pledge to children and others,  will also take part in the walkathon.
While ministers such as Uma Bharati and Ravi Shankar Prasad are travelling to different cities to promote the campaign, the government offices will administer the cleanliness pledge at 9.45 am on Thursday.
All central government offices in South Block, North Block and ShastriBhawan among others are being closed on Wednesday at 2 PM.
Besides them, offices situated in Rail Bhawan, Shram Shakti Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, Nirman Bhawan and Vigyan Bhawan are also being closed early, said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).President Barack Obama escorts Indian Prime Minister Narendra ModiFILE - President Barack Obama escorts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. AP Photo
The offices will remain closed in connection with the arrangements for the nation-wide launch of 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign by Modi.
These offices will remain closed between 2 pm on Wednesday till 10.30 am on October 2, the order said.
The offices in CSIR building, Reserve Bank of India, Yojna Bhawan, National Archives, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, National Media Centre, Jawahar Bhawan, Vayu Bhawan, Sena Bhawan, National Museum, Vigyan Bhawan Annexe, CCA, Ministry of Agriculture, 16-A, Akbar Road, DRDO Bhawan, Raksha Bhawan, National Stadium, Hyderabad House and Coast Guard HQ are also being closed early.Prime Minister Narendra ModiFILE - Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. AP Photo
"Government offices located in Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House would remain closed from 10 PM on October 1, 2014 till 10.30 AM on October 2, 2014," the DoPT order said.
It's been a clean-up week in central government offices with cobwebs being cleaned up, corridor clutter removed, old furniture discarded or overhauled, and office environs spruced up, tidied and polished like never before.
Modi will now symbolically wield a broom and reach out to all Indians to make cleanliness a mass movement by launching the Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission.
Its launch Oct 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, has a lot of significance as Father of the Nation had a penchant for cleanliness in his personal habits and sought to promote it in his environs in every way.
Modi intends to involve every citizen in the task of cleanliness.
India fares poorly in access to toilets, especially in its semi-urban and rural areas, while its urban areas face problems related to hygiene and poor sanitation standards. Garbage disposal and hygiene standards in many commercial establishments leave much to be desired.
According to Census 2011, only 32.70 per cent of rural households had access to toilets.
According to a UN report released this year, India continues to have the largest number of people in the world defecating in the open.
Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, said Indians were clean as individuals but had "nasty habits" as a community in matters of sanitation.
"People spit betel juice, throw waste on roads, women at times throw household waste near their homes, shopkeepers dump garbage on roads after closing their establishments," says Pathak.
"The responsibility of cleaning is only with the municipal staff," he told IANS recently. "Naturally, there will be dirt and squalor."
Most people feel that since Modi was giving a personal push to sanitation, it would have an impact.
Apart from steps to end open defecation, the Modi government has to initiate measures towards effective solid waste management, bring about a behavioural change in people regarding sanitary practices and improve health parameters.
States too are deciding their programmes for Oct 2.
Kerala Minister for Municipalities Manjalamkuzhi Ali said the state will launch a campaign Oct 2 to collect plastic. "We expect to get about 1,000 tonnes of plastic and it would be sent to plastic processing factories."
Modi has made "Clean India" a top priority - speaking about it at all his major speeches, including his Independence Day address.
He has said that a "clean India" will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.
Modi will visit Rajghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi - Oct 2 to pay his respects and later visit a Dalit colony. He would visit India Gate and launch the nationwide mission.
In his message to coincide with the launch of cleanliness campaign week Sep 25, Modi urged each citizen to devote at least 100 hours a year (two hours every week) towards cleanliness.
"On Oct 2, I myself will set out with a broom and contribute towards this pious task," Modi said.
He appealed to political and religious leaders, mayors, sarpanches and captains of industry to wholeheartedly engage in the task of cleaning up homes, work places, villages, cities and surroundings.
The ministry of drinking water and sanitation sought the participation of states in the Swatchh Bharat campaign.
The decision to launch the mission Oct 2 may have caused some heartburn as government servants would be expected in their offices on a public holiday to take a cleanliness pledge.
For students, required to come to schools, Gandhi Jayanti will not be a holiday they are used to.
The Delhi government has asked all government and government-aided schools to function for two hours Oct 2 to ensure active participation by students in the launch of mission.
Various government departments and institutions such as Delhi Metro have initiated steps to improve sanitation as part of cleanliness campaign. The central government is observing cleanliness campaign week Sep 25-Oct 2.

गांधी जयंती की पूर्व संध्‍या पर राष्‍ट्रपति का राष्‍ट्र के नाम संदेश

राष्‍ट्रपति श्री प्रणब मुखर्जी ने कल मनाई जाने वाली गांधी जयंती के अवसर पर राष्‍ट्र के नाम निम्‍नलिखित संदेश जारी किया है – 

अपने संदेश में राष्‍ट्रपति ने कहा है, ‘राष्‍ट्रपिता महात्‍मा गांधी की जयंती हम सबके लिए बापू के सत्‍य, अहिंसा और सर्वांगीण विकास के आदर्शों के प्रति खुद को पुन: समर्पित करने का अवसर है। 

गांधीजी के नेतृत्‍व ने स्‍वतंत्रता और स्‍वाधीनता के लिए लाखों लोगों को एकजुट होने के वास्‍ते प्रेरित किया। उन्‍होंने हमें डर के खिलाफ दृढ़ता से खड़े होना, सत्‍य का महत्‍व समझना तथा अपनी मातृभूमि की बेहतरी के लिए कार्य करना भी सिखाया। 

गांधीजी का विश्‍वास था कि स्‍वच्‍छता में ही ईश्‍वर का वास होता है। आइये आज के दिन हम सभी स्‍वच्‍छता राष्‍ट्रीय उत्‍साह में परिवर्तित करने का संकल्‍प लें। प्रत्‍येक सड़क, प्रत्‍येक मार्ग, प्रत्‍येक कार्यालय, प्रत्‍येक घर, प्रत्‍येक झोपड़ी, प्रत्‍येक नदी और हमारे ईद-गिर्द हवा का प्रत्‍येक अंश अवश्‍य स्‍वच्‍छ होना चाहिए। 

मैं प्रत्‍येक भारतीय से आह्वान करता हूं कि वे सरकार द्वारा स्‍वच्‍छता, कचरा प्रबंधन और साफ-सफाई के लिए देशभर में शुरू किए गए स्‍वच्‍छ भारत अभियान को सफल बनाने के लिए हर संभव प्रयास करें। मैं वर्ष 2019 तक- महात्‍मा गांधी की 150वीं जयंती पर, हरेक घर में शौचालय बनाने के लक्ष्‍य से संबंधित सभी लोगों से कड़ी मेहनत करने का भी आह्वान करता हूं। 

यह आकाशवाणी है, अब पीएम बात करेंगे

प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने तय किया है कि वह हर पखवाड़े रेडियो के जरिये लोगों से संवाद करेंगे। उनके इस फैसले से आकाशवाणी को अपनी रिब्रांडिंग होने की उम्मीद दिख रही है।

आकाशवाणी के जरिये लोगों से पीएम की बातचीत की शुरुआत 3 अक्टूबर से होगी।

 जब देश में मास कम्युनिकेशन के साधनों की कमी थी, उस वक्त आकाशवाणी ही लोगों के लिए सूचना का बड़ा स्रोत हुआ करता था।

हालांकि, पहले दूरदर्शन, फिर प्राइवेट टीवी चैनलों और बाद में प्राइवेट एफएम रेडियो ने इस सरकारी रेडियो ब्रॉडकास्टर को हाशिये पर धकेल दिया। राजनेता जहां टीवी के जरिये अपनी बात रखना पसंद करते हैं, वहीं रेडियो एंटरटेनमेंट के नाम पर लोगों ने प्राइवेट एफएम चैनलों से नाता जोड़ लिया है। 

पीएम ने केवल आकाशवाणी के जरिये लोगों से बात करने का जो फैसला किया है, उससे इस सरकारी रेडियो ब्रॉडकास्टर की ओर लोगों का ध्यान जरूर मुड़ेगा।

आकाशवाणी ने भी इसके लिए पूरी तैयारी में है।

इससे वाकिफ अधिकारियों ने बताया कि पीएम के सरकारी आवास 7 रेसकोर्स रोड में आकाशवाणी का एक स्टूडियो बनाया जा रहा है। यहां उसी तरह की सुविधाएं होंगी, जो अमेरिका के राष्ट्रपति के ओवल ऑफिस में हैं। एक अधिकारी ने बताया, 'ऑप्टिकल फाइबर बिछाया जा चुका है।'

पीएम की यह चैट तकरीबन पूरे देश में सुनी जाएगी। आकाशवाणी की ब्रैंड इमेज भले ही कमजोर हुई हो, यह अब भी देश में सबसे ज्यादा एरिया कवर करता है।

ऑल इंडिया रेडियो की पहुंच देश की 99.20% आबादी तक है। देश के 92.6% भूभाग को यह कवर करता है। 

एआईआर के डायरेक्टर जनरल एफ शहरयार ने कहा, 'प्रधानमंत्री और राष्ट्रपति गणतंत्र दिवस या स्वतंत्रता दिवस के मौके पर या कोई आपदा आने की स्थिति में ही रेडियो का उपयोग करते थे। इस बार मामला अलग है। हमें बताया गया है कि पीएम हर पखवाड़े एक बार आकाशवाणी के जरिये लोगों से बातचीत करेंगे।'

इस काम में दूरदर्शन भी हाथ बंटाएगा। देश के 90% हिस्से तक पहुंच रखने वाला दूरदर्शन एआईआर की ऑडियो फीड प्रसारित करेगा।

 अधिकारियों ने बताया कि प्राइवेट एफएम चैनल भी एआईआर की फीड प्रसारित कर सकते हैं। हालांकि, इसकी आधिकारिक पुष्टि नहीं हो सकी है।

रेडियो के जरिये नियमित रूप से संवाद की शुरुआत अमेरिका के प्रेसिडेंट फ्रैंकलिन डी रूजवेल्ट ने की थी। तब रेडियो की वही हैसियत थी, जो आज टीवी की है।

महामंदी और द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध के असर से जूझ रहे अमेरिकियों से बातचीत में रूजवेल्ट ने रेडियो को जरिया बनाया था। अमेरिकी प्रेजिडेंट रोनाल्ड रीगन ने 1982 में इस परंपरा को दोबारा शुरू किया। मौजूदा अमेरिकी प्रेजिडेंट बराक ओबामा हर हफ्ते विडियो चैट करते हैं। 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do radio chats; AIR hopes of brand revival

This is All India Radio... the Prime Minister will now speak... 

Akashvani, once an information lifeline to a poor, communications challenged country, is hoping that fortnightly prime ministerial radio chats with the nation will remake its brand. The first of Narendra Modi's Akashvani-only chats will happen on October 3, this Friday. 

First Doordarshan, then private television channels and subsequently private FM radio had reduced the sarkari radio broadcaster to the fringes of the broadcasting game. Politicians prefer TV and radio entertainment, which basically means private FM channels. 

The PM's unusual decision to talk to Indians only via Akashvani guarantees high degrees of national attention. 

The regular periodicity — once a fortnight — the suggested informal nature of his address, the fact that the PM intends to invite suggestions from citizens, combined with Modi's rhetorical abilities, will be a big draw, so the sarkari radio broadcaster hopes. And Akashvani is taking no chances. 

Officials familiar with preparations who spoke on the condition they not be identified told ETthat the broadcaster is setting up a studio inside the PM's official residence, 7, Race Course Road. This in-house studio facility, incidentally, is the same arrangement the US president's Oval Office has. "The last mile optical fibre has already been laid," says a person close to the development. 

The PM's chats will reach almost all of India. Though suffering in terms of its brand image, Akashvani retains the distinction of having the largest geographical reach — All India Radio reaches 99.20% of India's population and covers 92.6% of the country's area. 

Doordarshan to carry AIR's audio feed 

AIR officials have found particular significance in the PM's use of a radio chat that's regular and not confined to special or calamitous occasions. 

"PMs and presidents have used the radio on occasions such as the Republic Day or the Independence Day or during a calamity. This is something different," says F Sheheryar, director-general of AIR. "We are told he will be doing this once every fortnight." 

Doordarshan, the state TV broadcaster, will act as a force multiplier for AIR's broadcast of Modi chats. DD, with a 90% all-India reach, will carry AIR's audio feed. Officials say private FM channels may also carry AIR's feed. ET could not independently confirm this. 

Regular radio chats were first used by US President Franklin D Roosevelt. His fireside radio chats, which came at a time the radio was what TV is today, are considered to have been a very effective means of communication. 

Americans at that time had to cope with effects of the Great Depression and World War II. 

US President Ronald Reagan, ex-Hollywood actor and considered a master communicator, revived the tradition of radio chats in 1982. Current White House incumbent Barack Obama is more attuned to technology - his weekly chats are on video. 

But many broadcasting professionals argue the radio is on a comeback. "All over the world there is a swing back to the radio," says Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati. "That is because radio is a non-intrusive medium, doesn't consume all your senses." The advantage of radio may be that it works as a medium even when it's in the background - a quality appreciated in a world where everything from TV to Twitter demands full attention when one accesses them for information. 

Abraham Koshy, professor of marketing at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad says radio is a powerful medium but hasn't been used effectively by anyone so far. 

"Radio is very subtle. It touches the heart. An address by Modi through the radio is a good idea as he will be able to reach almost all of India," says KP Singh Deo, former information and broadcasting minister in a Congress government in the 1990s. 

Sircar says Modi's chats are "a unique opportunity for us to showcase the potential of radio." However much of AIR's radio infrastructure today is still geared towards analogue medium wave (MW) signals. MW's reach is more, but quality is low. 

Sircar says a massive plan is underway to send all content that they have on MW parallely to FM. The problem, however, is that for every one MW coverage circle, AIR would need to set up five FM coverage circles.