Higher Education

Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) may convert into a media university

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As per the two-and-a-half-year-old proposal by the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) to upgrade the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), a 45-year-old state-run media school, into an international university may be approved. A draft is being prepared by the Information and Broadcasting ministry on the subject in consultation with the institute, according to a report of the standing committee on information technology tabled in Parliament last week. The committee is dissatisfied at the way the proposal for the conversion has moved, and has recommended that the I&B ministry expedite all approvals for the change to university status. The report said that an outlay of Rs44.03 crore for the conversion has been proposed in the 11th Plan through 2012.

IIMC (Delhi) director Sunit Tandon, who was appointed last month has declined to comment on the plan to convert the institute into a university. However, he acknowledged that there are plans to upgrade the institute. He said it was difficult to say what shape it will take and how and when it will be done. Cabinet approval can be sought only after the I&B ministry receives approval from the standing finance committee (SFC); a separate draft SFC memo is under consideration by the ministry in consultation with its integrated finance division, IIMC and the Educational Consultants India Ltd (Ed.CIL). Ed.CIL is part of the ministry of human resource development (HRD) and offers consulting and technical services in education and HRD. The report of the standing committee says the I&B ministry has sought advice from the ministry of law and justice (legislative department) on the draft Act prepared by Ed.CIL.

The department of legal affairs has asked the ministry to examine the proposal from a policy and administrative perspective and prepare the draft cabinet note. The plan to upgrade IIMC

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