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India

To pool resources & cut costs, govt to merge LS, RS TV

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has constituted a six-member committee for the merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV in order to pool resources, rationalise costs and cut extra spending on coverage of parliamentary proceedings.
The six-member committee, officials said, will examine issues relevant to the merger and propose an appropriate name for the integrated channel. The order, issued by the Rajya Sabha secretariat on November 7, has notified a panel comprising Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash, additional secretary in the RS secretariat A A Rao, Ganpati Bhat of Lok Sabha secretariat, RS financial advisor and joint secretary Shikha Darbari and CEOs of RS TV and LS TV, Manoj Kumar Pandey and Aashish Joshi respectively.
Mandated with working out the modalities of the merger and to “prepare the guidelines for pooling resources, manpower and technology for merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV”, the panel will hold its first meeting on Monday, where it is expected to discuss the 14 broad tasks assigned to it. The panel will also review existing content on LSTV and RSTV, firm up editorial hierarchies for the new channel, assess budgetary provisions and fix up finer details like where studios and newsrooms should be located.
Sources said while no deadline has been assigned for the merger, the panel is likely to attempt to submit its report in one month. The decision to merge Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV, in existence since 2006 and 2011 respectively, has triggered concerns over likely job cuts as well as who gets to manage the integrated channel. It has also raised concerns among the opposition for not being consulted.
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