| 30 Mar 2023
Prasar Bharati says age of announcers and newsreaders continues to be 60 years

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to put an end to the controversy that arose around six months earlier about announcers and radio jockeys in All India Radio (AIR), the Government told Parliament today that "the age of superannuation for all employees of Prasar Bharati (including Announcers and Newsreaders) is 60 years."

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, said this information had been conveyed to the government by Prasar Bharati.  

In October last year, after talks of voice modulation tests raised controversy, AIR had said it will not consider the age of its radio jockeys when conducting skill and voice modulation tests.

Noting that ‘monotony is venom for any broadcaster’, AIR Director General F Sheheryar told at that time, that a broadcaster needs to recreate itself to remain popular.

While stressing that none of the radio jockeys were permanent employees and were on contract for presenting programmes for a maximum of six days a month, Sheheryar said that some of the presenters had gone to court in Kolkata but had lost the case.   

He stressed that most of them were either employed elsewhere and working part-time for AIR or were doing this work as a hobby or to supplement income. “None of them are employees of AIR”, he emphasised.

He said that the rule relating to voice modulation and skill tests for RJs beyond 35 years of age had always been there, but AIR will concentrate on the tests instead of considering the age. 

Sheheryar said, "AIR has no plans whatsoever to sack anybody. We would conduct a voice test for all and ensure each casual/ RJs/Announcer gets a chance to prove their versatility in front of the microphone." 

In mid-June last year, AIR clarified that the directive asking certain presenters and radio jockeys to quit because they have crossed the age bar for the channels in which they were working was only implementation of the relevant audition rules.