November is not too far away. But the government is far from identifying and selecting the right candidate to head the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), whose current director-general Sunit Tandon’s term will end next month. Tandon was drafted into the IIMC from the world of TV journalism.
Recently, Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) locked horns over the former’s proposal to ‘depute’ Akshay Kumar Rawat (Indian Information Service, 1984 batch) as DG IIMC.
In July this year, the government advertised the post, inviting applications. The received applications are said to be under scrutiny by a three-member committee composed of I&B secretary Sunil Arora and journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma. Eyebrows have been raised on the inclusion of Dasgupta and Sharma in the committee. Since they are said to be ‘buddies’ of I&B Minister Arun Jaitly, there is fear growing that the IIMC selection may suffer from the same flaws that went into the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan (Chairperson, IIFT Pune), causing huge embarrassment to the Modi administration.