Significant Events in AIBD'S History (2)

Mr. R. Balakrishnan and the AIBD staff led efforts to get the consent of governments in Asia-Pacific to agree on the Inter-Governmental Agreement Establishing the AIBD.

They participated in exhaustive consultancies. and solicited support of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Ministries of Information & Broadcasting. Ministries of Telecommunications, and Ministries of Planning, which required extensive travel, preparations of reports and proposals, and involvement in meetings and assemblies. All these initiatives led to the 1977 meeting convened by, and in the name of UNDP

DW Radio Training Centre of Germany initiated collaboration with the newly founded AIBD. Its director, Mr. Graff, traveled to Kuala Lumpur and held talks with Mr. Balakrishnan about future prospects for cooperation. They discussed the Institute's two major problems, namely, unclear sources of funds and lack of active participation from member countries in the region.


UNDP convened the first AIBD Inter-Governmental Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. which provided an opportunity for the first time for the governments in the region to discuss the AIBD Agreement on a common platform. Malaysia was voted to chair the meeting. Mr. Abdullah Mohamad, director-general of Radio Television Malaysia. served as chairman while Mr. R Balakrishnan, the project manager, was appointed AIBD director. This post was financed by the UNDP

during the period of its assistance to the Institute. AIBD had 17 employees plus 30 short-term consultants. Those present in the 1st Inter-Governmental Meeting were representatives from Bangladesh, Belgium. Indonesia. Iran. Malaysia. Papua New Guinea.

Philippines. Sri Lanka, Thailand. ABU, UNDP, UNESCO. ITU, and FES.

Governments of 10 ABU member countries agreed to support AIBD's training projects by contributing a total of USS834.000 between 1977 and 1982. UNDP also provided support for the project in the amount of US$1,829,200 covering the same period.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany (FES) and AIBD started collaborating in the areas of consultancy and training in the context of the Asiavision TV News Exchange. which aimed at facilitating the flow of news among ABU members on film or videotape within the region and later to other parts of the world. The exchange enabled ABU members to participate actively in this process by offering their own coverage directly to each other for the first time, bypassing news agencies. Training was a key component of the news exchange project. AIBD helped organise training activities for participating editors and journalists.

The Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom commenced assistance to AIBD to include support for long and short-term experts and fellowships for participants from 18 Commonwealth countries in the region who attended various activities.

From Let Mr A. R. Shinde. director general of All India Radio. Mr. R. C Sinha, joint secretary of the Ministery of Information and Broadcasting, India and Mr. Abdullah director generalof Radio Television Malaysia. at the signing of the AIBD Agreement     From Left: Mr. R. C. Sinha,joint secretary of the Ministery of Information andBroadcasting, India. confers with Mr Abdullah Mohamad, director general of Radio Television Malaysia.  

UNDP in cooperation with UNESCO convened the 2nd AIBD Inter-Governmental Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. which was considered as the first AIBD Governing Council meeting. In a plenary session, the delegates approved the renaming of the institute to Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development. Ten member countries formalised the establishment of the AIBD as an intergovernmental organisation of and for countries of the ESCAP region, and the creation of a mechanism for it to function. It adopted the Agreement Establishing the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development.

The agreement covered four main areas: human resource development and research programmes consistent with national development goals. work orientation towards educational and development goals. development of methods, techniques and material resources for effective broadcast operation. collaboration and networking in the field of broadcasting development. training and research.

Under the agreement, a Governing Council (GC) was to be established with members coming from representatives of member countries. Elected with fullvoting powers were members from Bangladesh, Indonesia. Iran, Pakistan. Papua New Guinea. the Philippines. Sri Lanka. Thailand and Malaysia. UNDP. UNESCO, ITU and ABU were elected as permanent, non-voting members.

The GC approved the establishment of the AIBD Fund into which would be paid subscriptions of members. The value of the basic unit of annual contributions by members was fixed at USS500. They agreed that as far as practicable the members' contributions should reflect the relative magnitude of their operational expenditure on broadcasting.


South Korea joined AIBD and designated the Korean Broadcasting Association of 31 broadcasting organisations as its member. Two months later. Indonesia informed AIBD of its increased contribution while Malaysia also sent its contribution as constituting a launching grant and a unit contribution to AIBD on the first year of its establishment.

During the 2nd AIBD Governing Council meeting, members directed AIBD to prepare a four-year plan to set the criteria for determining courses and activities in the future. They engaged in a lengthy discussion on membership and strategies to expand AIBD membership and sources of funding.

Mr. Balakrishnan sent a letter to the UNDP office in Kuala Lumpur. confirming that 15 countries had pledged contributions for 1979 and reported that since 1972 AIBD had conducted 61 activities benefiting 1.064 participants and 21 in-country courses benefiting 574 participants.

During the 3rd AIBD Governing Council meeting in New Delhi. India. some Council members advised AIBD to avoid overextending its activities. or spreading too thinly its limited human and material resources. Others recommended a fair range of engineering activities and programming and implementation of a needs and resource assessment. There was consensus that experts from member countries be seconded to AIBD. This arrangement led to increasing expertise from within the region, at a lower cost than from outside the region.

AIBD published a Manual on Broadcasting and the Law. A second updated version was published later in the year with Dr. Jim Thomson of the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand as its author.

AIBD in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, launched a survey of management training needs in broadcasting. The survey results were used for a curriculum design to be tested on a management training activity funded by UNESCO.

The Inter-Governmental Conference on Communication Policies in Asia and Oceania in Kuala Lumpur passed a resolution calling for the expansion and strengthening of the Institute's activities and development of a full-fledged teaching and training programme on broadcasting and allied communication disciplines. It also recommended that greater technical and financial assistance be given to realise these objectives.

During the 4th AIBD Governing Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the ITU representative called on the ABU to continue its support to AIBD, to which the ABU readily agreed. Following reports that UNDP could not project support beyond 1981, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan urged the Council members to recommend to their respective governments continuation of UNDP support to the Institute.

At the 5th AIBD Governing Council meeting in Dacca. delegates from Bangladesh recommended training of broadcasting personnel in agricultural and rural broadcasting. The Council also welcomed the promotion of non-formal education through broadcasting. They pushed for cooperative links between AIBD and the East-West Communication Institute. USA, particularly in the development of instructional design material, which would enable the region to be self-reliant in trainer and training resource capabilities over time.

In approving the 1980 budget, the Council took note of the Institute's very tight cash flow position and instructed the Institute to increase its institutional and core financial requirements through increased membership. increased subscriptions and/or cost recovery efforts by levying tuition or overhead fees on fellowships underwritten by funding and sponsoring organisations. It recognised that increasing institutional support from external organisations was a joint responsibility of the AIBD secretariat and the Council.

The United Nations at its headquarters in New York accepted for deposit the Agreement Establishing the Asia- Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development. The document was written in four languages. English. Chinese, French and Russian.


During the 6th AIBD Governing Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur. the Institute's financial requirements remained a major preoccupation. Council members discussed the Institute's shortfall in subscription income from Members 

since 1977. and welcomed continued support from UNESCO and the Belgian Development Cooperation Authority.

Thailand raised the concern that they found it difficult to sponsor suitable trainees for the TV news exchange and other courses, especially candidates fluent in English. It was agreed that an effective approach was to organise more in-country courses in the languages of the countries concerned. Council members proposed that these countries undertake translation of the manuals and other materials developed by AIBD.

The ABU assured full support to AIBD, ensuring that steps would be taken to keep close contact with the Institute to avoid any duplication and overlap. especially in view of ABU's interest in research and development work. FES committed support of US$200.000 (500.000 Malaysian ringgit) worth of equipment as part of its long-term commitment to ensure adequate facilities were made available to AIBD for training activities.

The UNESCO representative to the GC suggested that AIBD should look beyond its present mandate and encompass communication as a whole rather than be concerned with broadcasting alone. He suggested a change of name for the Institute to the Asia-Pacific Institute for Communications Development. a proposal the Council did not accept.

During the 110th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris. members adopted a resolution, acknowledging the report of the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit on AIBD. and commending the important role of the Institute in training communicators in the region. They invited Member States in the region to sign up as members of AIBD and directed the UNESCO director-general to maintain close relations with AIBD.

AIBD began a UNESCO-assisted study on the feasibility of setting up a regional information bank of film and television programmes to assist training institutions in Asia and Oceania. The Bank was also intended to foster exchanges of television news and cultural materials amidst concerns of massive dependence on foreign shows and films.

A five-man study team that included the AIBD director and Prof. Wilbur Schramm of the East-West Communication Institute. Honolulu, USA. completed and submitted to the Fiji Government a feasibility study on starting a television service in Fiji.