Prasar Bharati

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Akashvani Annual Award function 16.06.2017 - Excerpts of the opening remarks of DG, AIR

 

Akashvani organised the Akashvani Annual Award function at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 16.06.2017. The function was widely praised. While congratulating all those who have won awards and equally congratulating all those, who were involved in organising this grand event, PB parivar presents below excerpts of the opening remarks of DG, AIR ....

My proud privilege to extend a hearty welcome to Shri. M.Venkaiah Naidugaru, Hon’ble Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Col.RajyavardhanRathoreji, Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Dr. A. Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharati Board, Shri Ajay Mittal, Secretary I&B, Shri. ShashiShekharVempati, Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati, other dignitaries on the dais, members of the Press, members of the Prasar Bharati family and our guests in this august assembly.

Annual Awards are a recognition of professional excellence in all spheres of broadcasting whether it is content creation, news gathering and dissemination, technical prowess andinnovation, training, revenue generation oraudience research. AIR found itself in a trampled state owing to a recruitment holiday and no career progression across all its cadres. There was no infusion of fresh talent. But the depleted strength did not deter the creative professionals of AIR from giving their very best and producing some broadcast marvels with passion, perseverance and unflinching commitment to the Organisation. No wonder, the Jury had a tough time in choosing the very best among them. It is a matter of profound gratification that many of them had won international recognition from bodies such as ABU, AIBD, etc. in the bygone two years. 

Content is the single most important determinant of the reputation of a broadcaster. It is widely acknowledged as the core asset of Prasar Bharati and its two constituents - Akashvani and Doordarshan. To put it succinctly, content is king and content creation, the warp and woof of AIR. Itremains key differentiator, despite emergence of new platforms and newer technologies. Akashvani has always been in the forefront in promoting pursuit of excellence in programme production, technical excellence, fearless reporting and honest editing.

Mediamorphosis brought in dramatic changes in the audio-visual landscape at a dizzy pace. It brought in its wake many challenges. Yet another challenge is that India, unlike some countries in the world with a smooth terrain, has troughs and crests across its length and breadth which dictates broadcast technology for AIR to be able to reach the last man, either free of cost or through an absolutely cost-effective tool. This calls for a judicious blend of SW, MW, FM and Internet, which is currently in vogue. This has to develop further, bringing in the amazing modern technology known world over as hybrid radio. Simultaneously, it is imperative to digitally transform All India Radio and to deliver an immersive and participatory listening experience, irrespective of location. We are fortunate to have been joined by our new CEO who is an acclaimed digital native.

Many in audience would know and the fraternity knows it world over that AIR did make several forays into New Media platforms with live streaming of several services, including popular services such as Vividh Bharati, Rainbow, Urdu Service, Raagam and Amrithavarshini. General Overseas Service (GOS), the flagship service of AIR in English for overseas listeners is also available through a radio portal on the Web. To stay relevant and to flourish in today’s media scenario, AIR encourages R&D efforts and recognises a penchant for innovation on the part of its engineers. The awards for technical excellence reflect our commitment in this direction. 

Reporting from the midst of areas affected by ethnic strife or insurgency calls for grit and determination. AIR recognises, through these awards, such intrepid reporting from its News Correspondents. There are also awards for best Editors. 

Any broadcasting organisation wedded to public service mandate would be cash strapped. AIR’s public service idealism needs to be nurtured to protect it from the tyranny of the market place. I cannot do better that to quote our new CEO, when he observed with refreshing candour:“It would be myopic to look at the role of the public servicebroadcaster narrowly from a market stand point in a country like India, given our socio- economic diversity and complexity”. AIR has strived all along to strike the golden mean between two conflicting tasks viz. adherence to its mandate of public service broadcasting and mobilising resources through commercials. It has instituted an award for the best sales effort by CBS centres who are entrusted with the task of marketing and sale of airtime.

That radio is the ideal medium for a kind of warm, intimate fire side chat with fellow citizens has been amply demonstrated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister himself through his Mann Ki Baat. His sincerity of purpose and empathy for the common man come out with telling effect through the aural medium. Come to think of it, the programme has established the fact that radio is the most visual medium if one is capable of creating the word picture. 

It is AIR’s good fortune that both the Hon’ble Minister for Information and Broadcasting and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting are sagacious leaders with a deep insight into democratic values, broadcast ethics and, more importantly, concerns of aspirational India. They appreciate the role and relevance of Akashvani in today’s market-driven media scenario. It is the munificent patronage of the two Ministers that helped Akashvani achieve its goal to transform from a traditionally adored giant into a vibrant, digital broadcasting organisation, transgressing the geography of India. AIR, through its external services, disseminates the message that promotes peaceful coexistence with the bolster of the nectar of ancient religious philosophies of India, a darshanathat cements mankind to bring into existence a monolithic humankind. 

I will be failing in my duty if I do not congratulate all the winners as well as all the creativeprofessionals whohad enteredthe competition but narrowly missed the first prize. All India Radio is proud to recognize their creative yearnings and contribution in making AIR the quintessential public service broadcaster.

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