Pitroda Committee recommends autonomy for Prasar Bharati

The Prasar Bharati Expert Committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, submitted its report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Recommendations of the Sam Pitroda committee
  • Amend the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 to give effective freedom to the Prasar Bharti with administrative and financial powers.
  • To give power to Prasar Bharati to frame rules and regulations and hire manpower without going to the government for approval. In other words, Prasar Bharati’s vision must be to become a “genuine public broadcaster” as against a “government broadcaster”.
  • The public broadcaster should monetize all available assets (archival and other) as soon as possible to enhance funding.
  • To make Direct-To-Home (DTH) signals the primary mode of transmitting content for Doordarshan and to discontinue terrestrial analog transmission.
  • To scale up allocation of funds for content generation to 50 % of the total expenditure within a period of 5–7 years.
  • Called for a review of all existing channels and content of Doordarshan and All India Radio and based on their relevance, output and viability, sub-optimal utilization of resources should be phased out.
  • On the technology front, the report suggested to expand the satellite and digital cable TV operations to meet the obligation of public service broadcasting. It added that the present AM radio system should be digitized after due evaluation subject to cost and availability of DRM receivers.
  • For social media, it asked the ministry to define and execute a social media strategy of Prasar Bahrain.
  • Terrestrial TV operations should be selectively digitalized based on commercial viability.
  • To set up Prasar Bahrain Connect (PBC) as the third arm of the public service broadcaster, independent of Doordarshan and All India Radio.
  • Stressed to create a world-class broadcasting service benchmarked with the best in the world using next-generation opportunities, technologies, business models and strategies. The platform should be designed for new media first and then extended to conventional TV.
  • There should be a creation of dedicated, multi-platform channels for dissemination of Prasad Bharati’s archival products.

UoC became the first public university in the world to accept Bitcoin in tuition fees

The University of Cumbria in northwest England became the first public university in the world to accept the online currency Bitcoin as payment for fees. The acceptance of Bitcoin will initially be limited to the two programmes that address complementary currencies.

  • These are the Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange, which will be taught from the university’s London campus in July 2014, and the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership, which will be taught from its Lake District campus, in June 2014.
  •  Both courses are run by the new Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS).
  • The university uses the system Bitpay to process any payments. Bitpay is a US-based company that enables thousands of merchants to accept Bitcoin.
  • Due  to the risk of currency volatility, the university advised students against purchasing Bitcoin in order to pay their fees. They should only use this facility if they already have bitcoin, or can receive bitcoin donations in order to pay their fees. The acceptance of Bitcoin by university is for trial basis.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an online currency and payment system which enables the international transmission of funds. It is a distributed peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the inter-mediation of any central authority. Bitcoin is also called a “cryptocurrency” since it is decentralized and uses cryptography to prevent double-spending, a significant challenge inherent to digital currencies.