The Indian parliament has integrated its two television channels for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to create Sansad TV, a new platform that will continue to live telecast house proceedings and also pack news and current affairs programme in Hindi and English.
Officials said that the Rajya Sabha TV establishment, which runs from a rented public property adjacent to the Talkatora Stadium, will be merged with the LSTV’s infrastructure ― situated within the parliament house premises ― to create the new entity.
Former textiles secretary Ravi Kapoor has been appointed as the CEO of the new entity for a period of a year on a contractual basis, an internal order of the Lok Sabha secretariat said.
An expert committee headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Surya Prakash in 2019 had proposed the plan, aiming at cutting costs, streamlining management of the channel and overhauling the content to make it a more attractive product for viewers and advertisers. Both Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV were profit-making entities and the channels bagged advertisements primarily from public sector giants and central ministries.
Sansad TV will have two platforms or channels to ensure smooth telecast of live proceedings of the two Houses of Parliament.
“During the recess, the options would be to run current affairs channels in English and Hindi or just shut down one channel and run programmes on the other,” said a senior official involved in the plan.
“The integrated plan would be a major cost-saving exercise as the RSTV shells out Rs 10-12 crore on rent alone for its office and studio on the Talkatora Road,” said a senior official of the Rajya Sabha.
The new address for the Sansad TV will be a small bungalow on Mahadev Road that houses kennel for eight sniffer dogs of the Parliament security service.
The Lok Sabha TV has a studio in the parliament library building and a feed centre on the first floor of parliament building. These existing infrastructures would be enough, officials believe, to run Sansad TV.