NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has criticised the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for not doing adequate preparatory work before embarking upon schemes to increase the capacity of Doordarshan’s free-to-air direct-to-home platform DD Direct Plus.
Doordarshan’s DTH platform at present has capacity of 59 Standard Definition (SD) TV channels. A plan scheme for upgradation of Doordarshan’s DTH Platform to 97 TV channels was approved by the Government in August 2010.
Prasar Bharati Board later approved further expansion of Doordarshan’s DTH platform to 150 TV channels. An additional satellite transponder was required for upgradation of DTH platform.
During the examination of the Demands for Grants 2011-12 on measures being taken by Prasar Bharati to generate revenue, the Ministry had stated that it was proposed to move towards the use of tools provided by IT to enable automation of various functions so as to bring down the manpower requirement.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology ‘are concerned to see that though AIR had proposed “E- Governance by implementing ERP system” in XI Plan for effective management of the vast infrastructure but it could not be approved and this scheme has now been proposed as a fresh scheme in XII plan at a cost of Rs 700 million.’
The Committee is not convinced with the reasons cited by the Ministry that though comments were sought from the Planning Commission, no comments were received. Later, the Planning Commission had opined that the requirements of Doordarshan may also be included in the SFC proposal.
Accordingly, requirements of Doordarshan were obtained. The total requirements of All India Radio and Doordarshan could not be met within the allocated amount of Rs 280 million during the 11th plan. Therefore, this scheme could not be put up for approval and it was decided to take it up as a fresh scheme in 12th Plan.
The Committee noted that once the scheme has been conceptualised, the reasons for under performance are untenable.
Taking a serious note of the way the Ministry has dealt with this issue, the Committee desires that the Ministry should take up the projects on priority basis and expedite approval from the Planning Commission and all corrective action may be taken so as to utilise the outlay effectively in the Twelfth Plan.