Indian Parliamentary Channels, Lok Sabha TV, and Rajya Sabha TV have been formally merged into one channel which shall henceforth be known as Sansad TV.
According to an order dated 1 March 2021, Ravi Capoor, a retired IAS officer of the 1986 batch, has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the channel for one year with immediate effect, or until further orders.
The joint decision, taken by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu, and Speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla, is likely for administrative purposes.
Sansad TV is likely to have two channels, with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sessions telecast live on each.
Lok Sabha TV
Launched in 2006 by then-Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Lok Sabha TV was the first parliamentary channel of India.
Owned and operated by Lok Sabha Secretariat, LSTV had the mandate to telecast uninterrupted live proceedings of the Lok Sabha.
As a public broadcaster, the channel produced and showcased programs revolving around different facets of democracy, like legislation and governance.
LSTV gave special attention to programs related to Parliamentary functioning.
LSTV has been functioning from Parliament Library Building (PLB) at Mahadev Road.
Rajya Sabha TV
Launched in 2011, Rajya Sabha TV was owned and operated by the upper house of the Indian Parliament.
As a public broadcaster, RSTV conceptualized programs on the relationship between Parliament and the people of India.
Just like LSTV, RSTV too gave special attention to legislative business undertaken by the Parliament.
RSTV functions from Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Road and Talkatora Stadium Annexe Building.
The First Proposal
As per the sources within the two channels, it is believed that the secretariats of the two Houses started deliberations on the merger way back in 2017.
Finally, on November 7, 2019, a committee was constituted and tasked to adumbrate the modalities of the merger and prepare guidelines for the pooling of resources and technology.
The panel was headed by former Prasar Bharati Chairman A. Surya Prakash. Its members included additional secretary to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat 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.
The committee held several sessions with parliamentarians across parties.
The new Sansad TV will function from the same space as LSTV at Delhi’s Mahadev Road.
“It will reduce the additional burden on finances by pooling in the resources of both the channels and synergizing the broadcast of parliamentary proceedings through an integrated channel that will not compete with any private channel and will have a different mandate,” panel chair Surya Prakash said.
What do you think about the merger? Let us know in the comment section.
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