Gauhati University, Guwahati

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Department of Communication & Journalism

 

Department of Communication & 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 ---

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.
The next programme is tentatively scheduled for July 1 and 2, 2009.
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, one computer-cum-multipurpose laboratory classroom, a good bank of computers, 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 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 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 :

Three Refresher Courses (Multidisciplinary) in Mass Communication was also organized for three consecutive years since 2006–07 at the UGC-Academic Staff College of GU with sufficient number of participants. The last one was held in Nov-Dec, 2008.
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.
One seminar on Role of Media in Conflict Resolution – a special reference to the North-East was organized on March 14 and 15, 2008.
Another seminar on Science Communication was also organized on April 8 and 9, 2009.
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 ---

First of all – 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. Pandu College is actively taking up steps for 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 have already applied for the grant of a licence for establishment and running of a CRS through IDOL, GU. The application is under process and necessary presentations have been done by Dr Abhijit Bora, Coordinator of the project in front of a high-powered committee of the Ministry if Information & Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India in March last week, 2009. We are hopeful of the licence being awarded in a matter of a few days.

Department of Communication & Journalism
Gauhati University
Gopinath Bordoloi Nagar,
Guwahati- 781 014,
Assam, India.

 

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