DD official suspended a day after Modi’s speech is ‘missed’

Doordarshan logo

Doordarshan logo   | Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons

PM Modi’s address at the hackathon event aired only briefly on DD Podhigai

An assistant director at the Doordarshan Kendra here was suspended with immediate effect on Tuesday.

The action came in the wake of complaints that the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a hackathon event at the IIT Research Park in the city was not telecast live on DD Podhigai a day earlier.

In the order, Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Shashi Shekhar Vempati said that Assistant Director (Programme) R. Vasumathi was being placed under suspension under Rule 10(1) of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965. He did not assign any reason for the action except for stating that disciplinary proceedings were being contemplated against her.

On Monday, Mr. Modi delivered a speech at the Chennai airport before heading to the IIT Research Park to address the hackathon and subsequently deliver the 56th convocation address at IIT Madras. DD Podhigai had telecast his speech at the airport and IIT Madras live but the address to the hackathon was telecast only briefly.

Flagged on Twitter

The issue was flagged on Twitter with a user, who tagged the handles of the Prime Minister and Information and Broadcasting Ministry, attributing political motives to the non-telecast of Mr Modi’s speech.

A source in Doordarshan, when asked if the suspension was due to DD Podhigai not telecasting the Prime Minister’s speech live, said the decision was taken at the CEO level and that this (Modi visit) could have been the reason as there was no other big issue to warrant such an action.

When asked if the schedule of the channel was vetted, the source said that sometimes changes are made depending on need.

Mr. Vempati, in a text message to The Hindu, refused to comment on the reasons for suspending the assistant director. “If this is regarding DD Podhigai, please note that it is an internal administrative matter and I will not be offering any comments on the same,” he said.

As per the order, Ms. Vasumathi has been asked not to leave the city without obtaining the permission of the CEO. The Hindu texted Ms. Vasumathi but did not receive any response.


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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:11:25 AM |

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