Communication and Journalism

Introduction

Mass media in the country and the world has been going through revolutionary developments. Gauhati University also intends to launch M. A. In Mass Communication course to cater to the growing demands of the students community of the region.

PREFACE :

It was a rare foresight and ability to think ahead of the times that the Dept of Communication & Journalism of Gauhati University was started in the year 1967. Being one of the first ten university departments of Journalism studies in the country it was started as a part of the Political Science Dept. under the able leadership of Professor K Venkatarao who was instrumental in setting it up. For a long time, till 1983 the Dept was conducting part-time diploma courses in Journalism still under the overall control of the parent Dept. But in 1984 it was converted into a separate full-fledged Dept to offer postgraduate diploma course in Communication & Journalism. Later on, the Dept launched the Bachelor of Communication & Journalism (BCJ) course – a postgraduate bachelor degree course – in 1994 which continued till the 2005 – 06 academic session. The full-time two-year four-semester MA Mass Communication course was launched in 2005.

MOTTO OF THE DEPARTMENT :

To become a ‘hub’ of all mass communication-related activities for the entire North-Eastern Region in every field of this subject.

COLLABORATIONS :

During the last few years we have been able to build up meaningful collaboration and interactions with several reputed and prestigious organizations. These include ---

I. The India Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), New Delhi with whom we organize NE-level colloquiums for sensitization on International Humanitarian Laws and Conflict Reporting for students, teachers (preferably of Mass Communication), working journalists among others. About three programmes were organized since 2006.

II. Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samity (GSDS), New Delhi with whom we collaborate for holding workshops on Media Literacy for students, exploring comics as a new and alternative way of communication, spreading of Gandhiji’s philosophy and the relevance of non-violence and satyagraha etc.,

III. Collaboration with UNICEF – Assam for workshops for sensitization of working journalists and students of mass communication on women and children’s issues,

FACILITIES :

At present the department has, Computer cum-multipurpose laboratory classroom, digital still and video cameras including handycams and PD-170, LCD projector with screen, scanner, printer, an 11 KVA power back up system, a high-power photostat machine, PA system etc.

LIBRARY :

Over the years a good collection of a few hundred selective books have been acquired for the departmental library along with several journals for the benefit of the students and faculty members. New books are being added to the library almost every year with support from various agencies.

PLACEMENT :

Even though the department is not conducting campus placement interviews yet most of our passing out students have been engaged in various organizations / institutions in full-time jobs. Some of the employers include Centre for Media Studies of Dibrugarh University, National Rural Health Mission, Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi, State Institute of Rural Development, Guwahati, Mass Communication Study Centre, Cotton College, Guwahati, Diphu Government College, The Sentinel, Amar Asom to name a few.

Also, several students have joined Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and KK Handique State Open University (KKHSOU), Guwahati as Research-cum-Teaching Assistants (RTA) and short term research projects with the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati.

Hardly any passing out student has to wait for long to get a job. At least till now.

It also needs mention here that even several of our current students have been selected for casual / part-time jobs as programme anchors and announcers / programme producers, news readers etc. in the new TV channels, AIR-Guwahati, FM channels among others.

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT :

In spite of all the highly time-consuming affairs of the department, the faculty members are also carrying out their self-development programmes with enthusiasm. They have been able to take up short term research projects and present papers in prestigious international seminars / workshops.

Mr Chandan Kumar Goswami had visited China for a week as part of a youth delegation representing the country in 2006.

Dr Abhijit Bora (in lien) has successfully completed two month long academic fellowships at McGill University of Montreal, Canada (July-August, 2008) and Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information of Nanynag Technological University of Singapore (April, 2007). Dr Bora also presented a paper in the RadioAsia 2007 global summit organized by Asian Media Information & Communication Centre (AMIC), Singapore from June 18 – 22, 2007.

DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES :

A. Three Refresher Courses (Multidisciplinary) in Mass Communication was also organized for five consecutive years since 2006–07 at the UGC-Academic Staff College of GU with sufficient number of participants.

B. A few seminars were also organized in the department with sponsorships from bodies like the Consultancy Committee on Consumer Rights Awareness through the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, Indian Council for Social Sciences Research (ICSSR), New Delhi etc.

C. One seminar on Role of Media in Conflict Resolution – a special reference to the North-East was organized on March 14 and 15, 2008.

D. Another seminar on Science Communication was also organized on April 8 and 9, 2009.

E. A few sensitization programmes were also conducted for teachers of colleges and universities of the North-East and students on international humanitarian laws and conflict reporting in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), India Delegation.

STUDENTS’ ACTIVITIES :

Our students are engaged in various extension works related directly as well as indirectly to their vocation.

A few of them include – organizing workshops on comics as a new means of communication for development for underprivileged people, street plays highlighting various social issues, writing campus news column for newspapers of the state etc.

Over the years quite a few students have achieved awards, prizes, fellowships for academic as well as field-level writing contests. A few of these distinctions are --- essay contest on woman and children’s issues organized jointly by UNICEF & Press Institute of India, Chennai, OIL, Duliajan annual essay competition on petroleum conservation, North-East Panorama (Shillong) news feature writing fellowship among others.

Besides, in an ambitious effort, last year the students have successfully organized ‘Communika’ for the second time in February, 2009 – the first ever media festival among students of Mass Communication fully by themselves – right from collecting sponsorships and managing everything to the minute details. This was a major success that exposed the students to the practical aspects of ‘events management and organization’ which has become a highly important constituent of Mass Communication studies.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION :

We are proud of our alumni and are highly interested in having a full-fledged Alumni Association for the Department for which we are trying our level best over the last years.

We would like to appeal to all of our alumni for voluntarily informing us about their whereabouts so that our student volunteers can contact them for a meaningful relationship in future.

We are confident that this body will be able render help to us in these ways ---

Firstly, they will act as mentors for the upcoming and new generations of students entering and passing out from the department as ‘mass communicators’. If the alumni could contribute to this exercise by offering their services in polishing these ‘graduates’ to make them ‘more marketable’ it would be a big service for us.

Secondly, the alumni most of whom are expected to be at respectable positions in the industry and society in meaningful professions may help immensely by taking the new would be communicators under their wings for polishing their skills by way of ‘internships’ and ‘summer training’.

Thirdly, even if we leave out these two things, the presence and association of the alumni members itself will be a big relief of strength for us in the coming days for carrying out the enormous task of preparing these batches of highly-talented human resources for the future.

UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL MASS COMMUNICATION STUDY :

Keeping in view the growing demands for study of mass communication at various levels, for the first time in GU we have prepared and got the detailed syllabus for Bachelor of Mass Communication (BMC) course ready which can be conducted by any constituent college. Various Colleges are launching this course in their college from the 2009-10 session already.

COURSES UNDER I.D.O.L. :

In order to extend the benefits of the study of mass communication to any student interested in the field, a two-year Master of Communication and Journalism (MCJ) course in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode was also launched through the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of GU. This is a modular yearly course. Under this scheme, a student successfully completing the first year will be awarded the PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication and will be eligible for admission to the Final Year of the course. If they also successfully complete the Final Year module also, they will be awarded the MCJ degree.

Besides, at present, students who have already completed the Bachelor of Communication & Journalism degree from this department as well as the PGDJMC of IDOL may be allowed direct admission to the Final Year module of MCJ.

Being the parent department in this field, our department has designed the course and other academic details.

COMMUNITY RADIO STATION :

In an effort to take advantage of the new and emerging concept of Community Radio Stations (CRS) system, we had applied for the grant of a licence for establishment and running of a CRS through IDOL, GU. AS a result of this effort we have Radio Luit 90.8 CRS. It is a Community Radio Station which engaged not only the students but also the Teacher Community of GU. apart from this, thier is a huge community participation.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO EVERYONE CONCERNED FOR A MEANINGFUL COOPERATION IN RENDERING THE DEPARTMENT A QUALITY ONE.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Department of Communication and Journalism and its Courses are:

1.To train students interested in taking up Mass Communication as a profession for their lives through intense theoretical / practical teachings, research works etc and thereby prepare them to face the challenges of the emerging times,

2. Inculcate a critical, analytical and enthusiastic bent of mind so that they can improvise upon on their own caliber and talent in their professional lives,

3. Make them acquainted with local / regional / national / international issues confronting the media today and in the days to come so that they can link up important developments with each other and scrutinize the implications in a professional manner,

4. In a way, familiarize them with the way how the establishments of different mediums like journalism, advertising, public relations as well as other related avenues actually operate so that after completion of the course they need not find much difficulty performing such duties when employed by such an organization.

Media expansion

On the other hand mass media in the country and the world has been going through revolutionary developments. Today we have more than 53,000 newspapers/journals of different types all over the country in addition to hundreds of TV/Radio channels offering entertainment, news etc.

The North-East region is also not lagging behind in any way in this regard. Today Assam alone can boast of more than 10 Assamese dailies in addition to the English ones and two TV channels uplinked from Guwahati.

So, we can see that in the near future such a development is going to throw open tremendous opportunities to upcoming youths for professional engagement. This is because these journals, TV/Radio channels would definitely require thousands of people for running those ventures in a professional manner.

Thus it would be prudent to train and create suitable manpower for filling up these positions in the coming days.

UGC guidelines

Further, in the absence of a regulatory body for media education in the country so far the University Grants Commission has formed an expert committee for overseeing all issues concerned with this aspect. This committee has recommended replacing all the courses in mass media of different tenures and nomenclatures in various institutions by full-fledged two-years, four semester master degree courses in Mass Communication. Besides, it has been observed that quite a few public sector undertakings, government organizations and departments have specified two-year MA in Mass Communication as the qualifying educational standard for the jobs of Public Relations Officers or Corporate Communications officers.

Besides, a student would definitely learn a lot more in an MA course than a diploma or bachelor's degree course.

Considering all these facts Gauhati University also intends to launch M. A. In Mass Communication course to cater to the growing demands of the students community of the region.

HISTORY

It was a rare foresight and ability to think ahead of the times that the dept of communication & journalism of Gauhati University was established long back in 1967. Initially started as a constituent Department of the Political Science Department it offered an evening diploma course, which, later, was upgraded to a bachelor degree level course named 'Bachelor of Communication & Journalism'. It was indeed a very appreciative step on the parts of the GU management to foresee the emerging challenges and opportunities in the field concerned and thus start a course in Mass Communication. It is also a matter of prestige that this course was among the first ten such departments launched by different universities and autonomous institutions of higher learning in the country.

Being one of the first ten university departments of Journalism studies in the country it was opened as a part of the Political Science Dept. under the able leadership of Professor K Venkatarao who was instrumental in setting it up.The first teachers of the Dept were Prof AK Bannerjee, Dr. Birandra Kr Bhattacharjya, the First Assmeses Jnyanpeeth Awardee.

For a long time, till 1983 the Dept was conducting part-time diploma courses in Journalism still under the overall control of the parent Dept.But in 1984 it was bifurcated to become a full-fledged Dept to offer postgraduate diploma course in Communication & Journalism.

The Dept launched full-fledged two-year four-semester MA Mass Communication course from 2005 onwards with the first batch of 20 students.The BCJ course is kept in abeyance for the time being to be started again in the fiture.

The Department has enjoyed the services of quite a few prominent and established journalists, writers of the state as guest faculty members at various periods of time. At present its seat capacity has been enhanced to 36 students with a team of more than 15 guest faculty members along with four regular faculties.

Courses

M.A. Mass Communication

Its a Two Year full time 4 semester Post Graduate Course.
Specilazation offered :
Science Communication
Film Studies
Media for Rural Development
Sports Journalism
Woman and Children and Media

Ph.D.

ADMISSION PROCESS :

This is done in two stages – a written entrance test comprising both objective and essay-type questions followed by a viva voce for those who qualify in the first stage. In addition to marks obtained in the written test, due weightage is given also to academic marks obtained by the candidate in HSLC, HSSLC and bachelor degree final examinations at the viva voce.

Adequate and necessary weightage will also be awarded to the students who qualify to the viva voce level if they can produce authentic documents in support of some exposure to mass media-related activities such as articles, features published in established newspapers, magazines, participation in TV / Radio programmes, anchoring, computer literacy etc. This will be decided at the sole discretion of the viva voce panel.

No's of SEATS :

Total 36 seats in MAMC.

ADMISSION NOTIFICATION :

Admission notification for MA Mass Communication programme is also announced along with other postgraduate programmes of GU and the prospectus is the same for all the Master degree courses. So, interested candidates should keep an eye on the GU admission notification which usually comes out in July.

SEATS FOR STUDENTS FROM OTHER UNIVERSITIES :

There is a provision for allowing up to 20 % of the available seats to graduates from universities other than GU. In case of our department this comes to seven.

RESEARCH / OTHER PROJECTS :

At present three projects are going on in the Department. These are -

A. A major project of Science Communication under National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) – an autonomous body of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. It is a five-year project (2008-2013) with an annual allocation of Rs six lakh which includes appointment of a Senior Lecturer, library, travel, special projects, seminar allocation etc. Dr Abhijit Bora was the Principal Coordinator of this project.

B. A minor research project on FM Radio under UGC carried out by Dr Abhijit Bora,

C. A minor research project on Distance Education under Distance Education Council, New Delhi carried out by Dr Abhijit Bora,

Ph D STUDIES :

1.Till date, five persons have obtained their Ph D degrees from this Department.

2. Altogether 62 candidates have registered for Ph D under this Department since 2008-09 session.

Staff

Ankuran Dutta
MA (Visva Bharati) PhD (Netaji Shubhas Open Univ) MPhil (Gauhati) Community Media, Public Relations, Conflict & Media, Broadcast Journalism, Communication Research, Educational Media and ICT, Skill Development
Bharati Bharali
MA (Gauhati) MPhil (Gauhati) Film Studies (Eco Cinema), Electronic Media, Development Communication, Science Communication
Chandan Kumar Goswami
MA (MG Kashi Veedyapeeth) Indian and World Press, Mass Media Research, Media Technology, Printing and Design, Film Studies, Folk Media

Contact

                       
The HOD,
Dept. of Communication & Journalism,
Gauhati University.
Guwahati - 781014.
Assam, India.
Phone No : +91- 9854072096
Email id : journalismgu@rediffmail.com journalism@gauhati.ac.in
website : www.gumasscom.org
                       

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