Panel formed to conduct inquiry into Rajya Sabha TV operations since its inception

As reported by Indian Express, The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has decided to probe the alleged irregularities in the functioning of the Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV). The RS secretariat has formed a one-man inquiry committee to look into the allegations since its inception, specifically the expenditure incurred on the production of a film called “Raag Desh”.

Raag Desh, a film made during the end of Ansari’s tenure as the Vice President was produced by the then CEO and editor-in-chief of RSTV Gurdeep Sappal and was directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia. The expenditure of Rs 13 crore was incurred on the movie and had raised questions after its release, as it did not make any profit at the box office.

The RS secretariat has now formed a one-man panel under Dr P P K Ramacharyulu and assisted by D K Mishra, to probe into the irregularities occurred during the production of the movie. The panel has been asked to submit its report within three months.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Rajya Sabha TV, which began in 2011 under Ansari, is owned and operated by the Rajya Sabha. The channel was setup to broadcast the live coverage of the Rajya Sabha proceedings. Before the advent of RSTV, the Lok Sabha TV would telecast the proceeding of the Rajya Sabha, but in 2011 Ansari led Rajya Sabha made efforts to setup a separate channel using Parliament’s Sansad Cable Network with a modest budget of Rs.1.55 crore.

It is reported that the RSTV, since its inception has spent a huge amount of Rs 1,700 crore of taxpayers money till 2015 to operate the channel. The budget for RSTV is bigger than any government channel and also doesn’t generate any revenue, as the channel has not made any profits out of advertising.

Gurdeep Singh Sappal, former CEO of the RSTV was picked by Ansari without any procedure for selection unlike LSTV, which advertise to fill the post of its CEO. Sappal, despite having zero experience as a journalist was picked up by Ansari and granted lifetime access to the Central Hall during the end of Ansari’s tenure. Addition to that, Sappal was provided with other perks and lavish accommodations and a distinguished pass for Parliament’s Central Hall.

Sappal speaking to India Express said that all due procedures were duly followed and no lapse was identified at any level. “As far as Raag Desh is concerned, it was produced with the approval of the Content Advisory Committee of RSTV, comprising leaders of all major parties in Rajya Sabha. The film earned critical acclaim and was well received by media pundits and reviews,” Sappal said.

The management of the Rajya Sabha television under Hamid Ansari has been extremely controversial and often accused of mishandling the channel. Hamid Ansari, who was also the head of the RSTV, is often accused of promoting nepotism by hiring journalists, who are loyal to the Congress party. The infamous opinion makers like M K Venu and Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editors of The Wire, were paid handsomely, Rs. 15,000 per appearance, totalling to Rs. 33 lakh and Rs. 14.70 lakh respectively, of the taxpayers’ money in the last few years to spread their agenda using the channel’s resources.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, soon after taking charge as the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha had ordered the expenditure and manpower audit of the channel. It was reported that the Vice President had questioned the nature of expenditures incurred by the channel on renting office premises, hiring cabs and producing a feature film.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Ghaziabad: Stray dog, mother of five puppies, raped and dragged to death by Nafees and Tauseef

Nafees, one of the accused, has reportedly confessed to the crime of raping the animal several times before dragging her through the streets

Loans waived by Congress govt in MP, but here are the ‘conditions apply’ that farmers should see

One of the main poll promises in the run-up to 2018 elections was farmer loan waiver. Rahul Gandhi and all Congress leaders harped on farmer loan waiver.

Rajasthan Police ends up declaring a true incident as ‘fake news’ on Twitter

In a video being widely shared, a person can be heard complaining about 'Aurangzeb Rule' in Rajasthan and the people sharing the video claim it is from Utambar, Rajasthan.

Here is what connects attack on Akshaya Patra, French NGO against Rafale and demonization of Amarnath Yatra

The web of foreign-funded NGOs that demonised the Amarnath Yatra, French NGO that complained against Rafale in France and the demand to remove Akshaya Patra from midday meals contract

‘I was a communist, but I fail to understand how talking about Hindus becomes ‘communal’: Hadiya’s father joins BJP

He said that he was a communist since childhood but of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes.

After spreading negativity during Diwali, Times Now is in a festive mood during Christmas

Times Now's tweets reflect the general attitude of the Indian elite towards Hindu festivals. While everything negative is associated with Hindu festivals, an aura of celebratory mood is spread on the occasion of Abrahamic festivals.

PM Modi makes a big announcement: 99% items to soon fall under 18% GST slab or lower

"Today, GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position 99% things would attract the sub- 18% slab", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Activist opposing Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract thinks ‘Brahmins obstruct India’s development’

The Akshaya Patra has come under criticism recently for not including onion and garlic in its mid-day meals for school children.

No Rajdeep, there is no reason to thank Imran Khan for the homecoming of Hamid Ansari. Here is why

Rajdeep Sardesai has time and again proved himself to be a master of quackery

Read excerpts of Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge led PAC report slamming HAL for delay in projects while Rahul indulged in politicking

PAC, led by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge severely criticised HAL for the delay in projects while Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of 'taking away projects from HAL'

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,824FansLike
98,336FollowersFollow
6,388SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these