Aimed at furthering the status of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) as one of the prestigious journalism schools in the country, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended the HRD Ministry to grant deemed university status to the prestigious mass communication school.
Worth noting is, the UGC had last year formed a four-member committee headed by B K Kuthiala, the vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Bhopal, to analyse the proposal by the IIMC, which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and offers diploma courses in journalism, advertising and public relations.
“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.
The development comes in the backdrop of a review of higher education institutes by the Niti Aayog in June, wherein, 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 ministry, had rejected the idea.
The idea to grant deemed university status to the IIMC is not a new one. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had also approved such a plan in 2016. Over the last five years, the IIMC has expanded from two campuses in Delhi and Dhenkanal to six campuses across the country – Jammu, Amravati, Kottayam and Aizawl.