New Delhi: Shashi Shekhar Vempati, chief executive officer (CEO) at public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has been appointed as the chief of Rajya Sabha TV, the government said on Saturday.
Founded in 2008, Rajya Sabha TV is owned and operated by Rajya Sabha and covers the proceedings of the upper house of the Parliament. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan television and All India Radio.
Vempati will replace Gurdeep Singh Sappal who has been serving as the CEO and editor-in-chief of Rajya Sabha TV since 2011. Sappal, also the officer on special duty to the vice-president of India, resigned earlier in July.
According to an order from Rajya Sabha Secretariat dated 12 August, Sappal was asked to handover the charge to Vempati. “Consequent upon acceptance of resignation of Shri Gurdeep Singh Sappal w.e.f 12th August 2017, he is directed to handover the charge of CEO, RSTV to Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati," the order said.
This comes one day after former information and broadcasting (I&B) minister M. Venkaiah Naidu replaced Hamid Ansari as the vice-president of India and chairman of Rajya Sabha on 11 August.
Vempati, who was recently appointed as the CEO of Prasar Bharati, is the first non-Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer ever to head the public broadcaster. Prior to this, Vempati was the CEO of a digital media company Niti Digital. A graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology—Bombay, he also worked at software services company Infosys Ltd for 16 years.
Vempati could not be reached for an immediate comment.
Over the years, Rajya Sabha TV has drawn flak from the government for overspending public money and not giving appropriate publicity to Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s events and schemes. In a post on Twitter, A. Surya Prakash, chairman at Prasar Bharati congratulated Vempati and hinted that Rajya Sabha clean-up is on the cards.