The University Grants Commission has recommended the HRD Ministry to grant deemed university status to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).
The University Grants Commission has recommended the HRD Ministry to grant deemed university status to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). The institute, one of the prestigious journalism schools in the country which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, offers post graduate diploma courses in journalism, advertising and public relations.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had last year formed a four-member committee headed by BK Kuthiala, the vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Bhopal, to analyse the proposal by the IIMC. The panel was later disbanded and two committees — one headed by Sachidanand Joshi, member secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and other headed by MS Parmar, vice chancellor, Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism — made the recommendation.
“Based on the committee’s recommendation and inspection team’s feedback, the UGC has recommended that the ministry should issue a Letter of Intent (LoI) to the journalism school under the ‘De Novo’ category. The status will enable the institute to grant degrees instead of diplomas,” a senior UGC official said. ‘De Novo’ refers to an institution which focuses on teaching and research in emerging areas of knowledge. “We are looking forward to the LoI. So far, we were preparing students for the industry but deemed university status would enable us to offer post graduate courses including Masters, MPhil and PhD and thereby we would be able to prepare students for the academia as well,” IIMC Director General KG Suresh said.
The idea to grant deemed university status to the IIMC is not a new one. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had also approved the plan in 2016. The IIMC has expanded from two campus in Delhi and Dhenkanal to six campuses across the country — Jammu, Amravati, Kottayam and Aizawl being the new ones — over the last five years.
During a review of higher education institutes by the Niti Aayog in June, it was recommended that the IIMC be merged with either Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Media Studies or Jamia Millia Islamia’s AJK Mass Communication Research Centre. However, the institute as well as the Information and Broadcasting and the HRD ministries rejected the idea.