New Delhi, November 2014 – The government on Tuesday appointed A. Surya Prakash, consulting editor of the Pioneer and a distinguished fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation as chairman of Prasar Bharti for a period of three years.
The appointment fills a post that fell vacant after Mrinal Pande, a journalist and former editor of the Hindi language daily Hindustan, finished her term on 30 April.
Surya Prakash is the latest to be hired by the government from the Vivekananda International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank. National security advisor Ajit Doval, principal secretary Nripendra Misra and additional principal secretary P.K. Mishra are other prominent names associated with the foundation who have joined the government.
A revamp of state broadcaster Doordarshan is expected to start once the new board at Prasar Bharati is in place.
Surya Prakash was named on the recommendation of a three-member committee headed by vice-president Hamid Ansari. The committee also included Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India and Bimal Julka, President’s nominee and secretary of the information and broadcasting ministry.
The Prasar Bharati chairman’s appointment has always been a political one, with the government of the day naming a veteran journalist to the post. The post is a part-time one. The board is supposed to run Prasar Bharati, but as former chairperson Pande pointed out in Mint on 30 May, it has no power to transfer assets or recruit people. Its employees report not to the board, but to the central government, she added.
Surya Prakash has vast experience of both television and print media. He has held key positions in several print and electronic media organizations. He was editor of Zee News, a 24-hour television news channel, executive editor of the Pioneer newspaper, India editor of Asia Times, a business and political daily published from Bangkok and Singapore, political editor of the Eenadu Group of newspapers and chief of bureau at the Indian Express in New Delhi. Business Line