All about Sansad TV: A merger of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV
Why in News?
The orders to merge the two TV channels showing the proceedings of the two houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha TV and the Rajya Sabha TV have been passed. The new channel would be called the Sansad TV.
Sansad TV: About the merger
- The decision has been jointly taken by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
- The single channel is called Sansad Television
- Ravi Capoor has been appointed as Sansad TV Chief Executive Officer for one year. He has also served in ministries of commerce, textiles and petroleum. He would be responsible for working out the final details of the merger.
- The decision was taken in line with the proposals given by a panel headed by former Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash.
Sansad TV: Reason for the merger
- The merger had been under discussion for years.
- It eases the financial burden resulting from “duplicacy of efforts and resources” between the two channels.
- As per the report submitted by the committee incharge of the decision, "There was a lot of duplicacy of efforts and resources between the channels and this was leading to an additional financial burden. The merger came through because of that."
- As informed, the rent of offices of both the channels separately was also extremely high on the exchequer.
- The Sansad TV would function from the same space as the Lok Sabha TV.
- An integrated approach was also required for the parliamentary content.
Sansad TV: How did it happen?
- The Lok Sabha TV channel was formed in 2006 while the Rajya Sabha TV came into picture in 2011.
- The channels also aired the discussions and programmes on a range of topics. The secretariats of the two Houses started deliberations on the merger in 2017.
- In November 2019, a committee was constituted with the task of chalking out the modalities of the merger. It had to prepare the guidelines for pooling of resources and technology.
- The panel consisted of the former Prasar Bharati Chairman A. Surya Prakash as its chairman. The members included A.A. Rao, Ganpati Bhatt of the Lok Sabha Secretariat, RSTV financial adviser Shikha Darbari, Manoj Kumar Pandey, and Dr Aashish Joshi, former LSTV CEO.
- A year later the panel submitted its report saying that the channels must be merged to create a single channel for the Parliament.
About Sansad TV:
- This integrated channel of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV would not compete with any private channel and would be having a separate mandate.
- The channel would be divided into Sansad TV 1 and Sansad TV 2 airing both the houses sessions simultaneously.
- While the houses are not in session they would cater to the needs of the English and Hindi audience respectively.
- The organization of Sansad TV would be headed by a single person.
- It would air various programmes on current affairs and news events daily or on a weekly basis.
- The theme for programmes would generally be democracy and awareness about the Constitution among others.
- The personnel working in the channel would be from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.
The contents of the report are not yet public. Opposition MPs in the Upper House have expressed apprehensions over the move. The move however has been approved by many.