Prasar Bharati has shown an amazing capacity to remain in news rather than producing news. After massive blame game for delay in launch of its prestigious DD Kisan channel followed by recent controversy over Rs.6.5 crore endorsement fee to Amitabh Bachchan and fixing in recruitment process it is now the turn of DD News to attract eyeballs over recruitment issues.
DD News has undertaken a speedy recruitment action to hire anchor correspondents ranging from Rs.120000 to Rs.60000. Interestingly the advertisement for the process was published in January this year. But after that no forward movement happened on this. But suddenly after sleeping for almost five months the channel woke up and conducted written exams followed by screen tests at a whirlwind speed.
Insiders say that the reason for this speed is not because of any urgency to refurbish the manpower but a desire to fill these seats with some preferred candidates. In the category for Senior Anchor-Correspondent, which carries a compensation package of Rs.120000 per month the list has already been filled with at least three names Divya Vaidyanathan, Palak Sharma and Smita Mishra are being pushed through. The post has four vacancies.
Vaidyanathan’s husband I believed to be a close confidant of Digvijay Singh who despite being out of the power corridors seems to wield considerable influence in ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Similarly Palak Sharma’s father has been a congress functionary and editor of Congress party magazine. However the third name is a departure from the first two. Smita Mishra has been covering BJP as her primary beat. In fact Smita was invited to the DD news studios as a guest the very next day after being short listed for screen test.
Meanwhile the second category of Anchor Correspondent has two names prominently being promoted Teena Kumari Jha and Smriti Rastogi. It is believed that their name is being promoted through a mutual friend of Prasar Bharati Chairman A. Surya Prakash. The mutual contact Girish Nikam has been a family friend of Prakash and his wife Pushpa. Nikam also belongs to Karnataka but has been in Delhi now for some time.
Currently he is working at Rajya Sabha TV and is believed to be a closet person of RSTV CEO Gurdeep Singh Sappal. Looking at the developments it seems that recruitment at DD News are being done more on the basis of personal contact than professional capabilities or requirements of the channel.
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