THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The functioning of radio stations under All India Radio itself has stopped ever since Prasar Bharati in New Delhi released a circular stating that those State and Central Government officials who were working as casual announcers or as programme producers had been barred from working there. An RTI reply given by Prasar Bharati reveals that there is no restriction in engaging government officials in expressing their artistic talents, and that a No Objection Certificate only has to be produced. Deccan Chronicle had reported on Monday that close to 300 casual employees across the State had been barred from presenting radio news and programmes citing the peculiar order issued by Mr. Bhim Prakash Sharma, Prasar Bharati’s assistant director of programmes (SW).
But staff at AIR Thiruvananthapuram told DC that it was not a Government Order, but in fact an internal circular issued from New Delhi. The circular had instructed all the Government-run radio stations across the country not to engage State/Central government employees on a consolidated contract. “A majority of the AIR staff across the country has more casual staffers who are already State and Central Government employees. The work of several stations have been affected with most of the casual workers being asked to sit at home”, said an AIR employee to DC.
Interestingly, a RTI activist got a reply from Ms. Gita Ram, deputy director (administration) on behalf of director general (news) that there was no restriction in the Hindi News Room engaging State Government employees, but they were required to submit an ‘NOC’ from their employer. Casual employees who have been barred from presenting programmes feel that this RTI reply clearly reveals that the circular does not have any sanctity. Top officials of AIR at Thiruvananthapuram station told DC that Prasar Bharati came out with this order as it was misled by a few casual employees who wanted to throw away their opponents who were already employed at State and central Government offices.