Naidu For Merger Of House TV Channels

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV channels which telecast parliamentary proceedings could soon pool resources, manpower and even have a common name with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu setting up a six-member committee to recommend an action plan for the merger of the two broadcasters.

The committee headed by Prasar Bharati Chairperson A Surya Prakash willm among other things, also suggest a new name for the integrated channel, according to an official order reviewed by HT. Lok Sabha TV comes under the purview of the Speaker and Rajya Sabha TV under the VP, who is the chairman of the upper house.

A senior official from the vice president’s secretariat said he did not wish to comment on the matter. When contacted, Prakash said that he had been informed of the constitution of the committee but added he had not much to say about it at the moment. “The committee will take a view on the terms of reference,” he added.

Signigficantly,the committee will also weigh in on whether live telecast of the entire proceedings of both the Houses should be continued, and if so, the feasibility of doing so on one integrated channel to ensure adequate coverage of both channels.

Another area that the panel will look at is ways to optimise the two channels keeping in mind that Parliament functions only for 70 days in a year.

The committee will also suggest broad content outlines for the integrated channel apart from reviewing the present content of both channels.

Other members of the panel are Ashish Joshi, who heads Lok Sabha TV, A A Rao, Additional Secretary in the Rajya Sabha secretariat, Ganapati Bhat, additional secretary in the Lok Sabha secretariat, senior official Shikha Durbari and Manoj Pandey, the CEO of Rajya Sabha TV.

The committee will also make an assessment of the technical resources of the two channels which beam parliament proceedings live into millions of households.

“The two channels are run by the two House of Parliament. Naturally, it should be examined how resources can be best utilized and the people’s money be saved if they join hands,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

Lok Sabha TV (LSTV) is operational since July 24th, 2006. The channel started with the aim of people’s right to know their elected representatives addressing in the Parliament. The two channels are widely watched especially during parliament sessions. The channels also have a considerable viewership on social media platforms.like YouTube.

“The idea it seems is to bring the strength of the two channels together. And if appropriately done, it could lead to commendable dividends,”said former Information and Broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma.―Hindustan Times

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