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`Add provisions in Prasar Bharati Act for more women in board`

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 22:57

New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has asked
the government to incorporate mandatory provisions in Prasar
Bharati Act to ensure presence of more women in the public
broadcaster`s board.

In its recommendation, which seems to have shades of
women empowerment, the panel said: "for creating a media
environment more responsive to women, the committee had
recommended the government should incorporate mandatory
provisions in Prasar Bharati Act to ensure presence of more
women in its board.

In its reply (to the panel`s recommendation made last
year in an earlier report) the Information and Broadcasting
Ministry said such a provision may not be required, because as
of now, one part-time member on the board is a woman (Mamata
Shankar, whose term ended recently) and the candidates
recommended for the posts of Director General, All India Radio
and Doordarshan (Noureen Naqvi and Aruna Sharma respectively)
are women."

The Committee on Empowerment of Women in its report
titled `Working Condition of Women in Prasar Bharati`, however
observed "it does not agree with the view of the government in
this regard... and feels the presence of one woman as
part-time member in Prasar Bharati board or the short listing
of two women for posts of DG, AIR and DD are sheer

"... So, to ensure the presence of more women in Prasar
Bharati board, mandatory provisions in its Act need to be
incorporated and hence the committee reiterates its earlier
recommendation in this regard".

The Committee tabled this report in Parliament during the
current budget session.

The committee also expressed hope that the government
while filling up future vacancies, would also keep its another
recommendation in mind, that two members in the board should
be from SC/ST categories.

The I&B ministry in its reply too has said it will keep
in mind both the recommendations of the committee while
filling up future vacancies.

In another recommendation, the panel had asked the
ministry to institute a special award for best women
programmer and engineer zone-wise.

The I&B ministry replied: "... a suitable proposal for
the creation of special awards for `Best Woman Engineer`
category (zone-wise) is being worked out."

To this, the panel observed: "it is surprised to see that
no such proposal is there to institute the `best woman
programmer` award even though the programmers are the mind and
soul of any broadcasting organisation.

Moreover, the response from AIR has been quite casual,
which the committee does not approve of. It therefore once
again desires that both AIR and DD should institute special
awards for best women programmers, language-wise and for
engineers, zone-wise from 2010 onwards".

Another gender-sensitive recommendation of the panel was:
"the committee has been told that DG (DD and AIR) have not
incorporated the concept of gender budgeting in its budget

"However, it has been submitted (by the I&B ministry)
that a number of programmes generated and shown by DD and AIR
are specifically meant for women. Gender budgeting is not a
separate budget for women, it is rather an approach which
translates gender commitments into budgetary commitments."

The panel, therefore, has asked the I&B ministry and
Prasar Bharati to "incorporate the concept of gender budgeting
in its budget proposals and keep a vigil to ensure the flow of
funds bring forth a holistic approach towards empowering


First Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 22:57

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