Alleging anomalies and violation of norms in the selection of proposals for commissioned programs for the North East Doordarshan channels, the North East Film & TV producers and directors forum has demanded an impartial and time-bound inquiry into the selection process and quashing of the final select list.

A total of 1,104 proposals were submitted by different aspirants from all over India this time against the notification dated 28.12.16 issued by the Prasar Bharati and each of the aspirants paid Rs 25,000 as non-refundable fee for submission of proposal, thereby generating a huge revenue for the Doordarshan.

“It is seen that only 10 percent of the original submitted proposals were considered for final selection and if that was the case, why did Prasar Bharati not clearly mention in the notification the number of proposals to be disbursed? It could have ensured more transparency,” Neeraj Deka, general secretary of the Forum, commented adding that the selection process indicated that the authorities concerned were more interested in collecting revenue from private producers than judicious distribution of assignments among the producers of the region.

Deka stated that most of the committees were headed by some ordinary actor, performing artiste and officials who had little experience in art and culture, whereas most of the experienced and renowned producers had submitted their proposals based on deep research and contemporary and sensitive subjects. “Apparently, the persons in the evaluation committee were incapable of judging the concept and the directorial view,” he asserts.

As per the guidelines for commissioned programs for telecast on North East DD channels-2016, the joint secretary, ministry of DoNER was to be part of the evaluation process, but he was never a part of the process.

“These facts clearly show that the evaluation of proposals was faulty and PBBCI (Prasar Bharati Broadcasting Corporation of India), Doordarshan violated the statutory guidelines and acted arbitrarily in preparing the final list of producers,” forum president Sunil Rajkowar stated.

There was also reservation of 50 percent for the proposals from indigenous producers from the North East, but some selected producers had applied for the commissioned program from two different addresses – one from the North East and another from New Delhi, Rajkowar added. “This is an example how undue advantages have been given to some of its ‘selected’ producers by Prasar Bharati,” he said.

Deka said the anomalous trend in the selection process had been on for years. “We have pursued the matter with the Prasar Bharati authorities in New Delhi on umpteen occasions, but to no avail. They do not bother to respond nor do they issue any clarifications.”

“Now we demand a detailed and time-bound inquiry by the Director General, Prasar Bharati, to clear up the matter,” he added. - Assam Tribune