Soon after ex-IAS Pawan Arora, who took voluntary retirement to join a media group, another IAS has lined up to enter the media world. Like Arora, he too is planning to seek voluntary retirement to join a media group which runs a regional news channels and a Hindi newspaper.
According to sources, Mahendra Soni, a 2008 batch IAS, is making up his mind to join Sach Bedhadak TV channel and newspaper.
Currently serving as an additional director general in HCM RIPA, Soni has 24 months of service left. He had been director of public relation in this tenure of Gehlot and has an idea of working of media.
Who started the trend?
The trend of IAS helming media groups post voluntary retirement was started by Jagdeesh Chandra in 2008. He left plum post of transport commissioner to join the then ETV channel which has now been rebranded as Network-18 of Reliance Group.
Amid speculations about his success in media, Chandra, popularly known as ‘Qatil Sahab' in his circle, silenced all his detractors to play a successful innings in the business of news. Recently he completed 15 years in media and he still continues to hold the fort. Please He mentors one national TV channel – Bharat 24, one regional channel – First India News and one English newspaper – First India.
Following his footstep, younger brother and IAS Pawan Arora also put in his paper 28 months before his scheduled retirement to share his workload. Arora is the CEO and Editor of First India News Channel and Newspaper of which Jagdeesh Chandra is the editor-in-chief, chairman and managing director.
With Soni joining media, Rajasthan will have three ex-IAS officers helming media groups. Incidentally all three of them are promotee IAS, elevated from state administrative service.
Apart from them, an ex- Rajasthan Accounts Service officer Yadavendra Singh is also heading a news channel – India News Rajasthan. He also took voluntary retirement to take a plunge in media. Singh had served as Special Assistant to Gajendra Singh Khimsar, who was industries minister in the previous Vasundhara Raje regime. Recently the group has also launched three newspapers – India News in Hindi and Sunday Guardian and Daily Guardian in English – from Rajasthan.
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