Vijay Sheel Nayakar, a student at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), is yet to receive his diploma for completing his nine-month-long advertising and public relations (AD & PR) course, but he already has a job offer from the Ministry of AYUSH. Nayakar, however, wishes to work with the india today Group, but can’t apply to other companies till his batchmates have been placed. Till now, the Delhi institute has achieved 85 per cent placement.
That’s the kind of support an IIMC student can enjoy. The institute is the most-sought-after among aspiring media students. Nayakar, though a student of advertising, can hope to join a news group because students here receive 360-degree training. Our students acquire skillsets to work across media platformsprint, radio, TV and digital. They are trained to handle any aspect of mass communication, says Professor Gita Bamezai, who is Dean (academics) and head of the Communication Research department. Last year, IIMC pass-outs were offered an average annual salary of Rs 13 lakh.
The duration of the course, however, is likely to change soon as the ministry of human resource development has issued a letter of intent to declare IIMC a deemed university, which will enable it to grant degrees instead of just diplomas. Currently, IIMC functions under the ministry of information and broadcasting.
The IIMC Society, an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1867, runs the institute. Inaugurated on August 17, 1965, it started with a small staff, including a couple of consultants from UNESCO. In its early years, it organised training courses for the Central Information Service Officers and conducted small-scale research studies. In 1969, it launched an international training programme for mid-level journalists from Afro-Asian countries. Eventually, it also launched several specialised short courses, lasting anywhere between a week and three months, to meet the training needs of communication professionals in private and public sectors. Now, IIMC offers postgraduate diplomas in print journalism in various languages, radio and TV journalism, apart from AD & PR.
Over time, IIMC has consistently retained its enviable reputation as a centre of excellence in the arena of communication teaching, training and research. It has not only expanded its infrastructureit now has six centres in Delhi, Dhenkanal, Aizawl, Kottayam, Amaravati and Jammubut also academic activities, introducing a number of specialised courses to cover the rapidly expanding media and communication industry. The syllabus is reviewed annually to keep it relevant. The focus is to get industry experts to teach here. For instance, 70 per cent of the training in the AD & PR department was done by industry experts, says Anubhuti Yadav, head of the department of New Media.
Rs 13 lakh is the average annual salary earned by IIMC students in 2018
The courses offered by the institute represent a meaningful blend of classroom teaching, supplemented by rigorous exercises, lab journals and field visits. These differentiate the students’ training from that of other institutes. For instance, this year, students participated in live campaigns of the ministry of railways and Facebook, says Yadav. In 2018, an IIMC student spent an average of 200 hours on fieldwork.
6,624 applications were received by IIMC last year; 375 got selected
One of the areas where IIMC has lately been focusing on is journalism in regional languages. Most digital platforms are primarily restricted to the English language, but the next big scope is in regional languages, where IIMC already has an edge. Apart from English and Hindi, we have courses in Odiya, Malayalam, Marathi and Urdu, says Bamezai. It has also tied up with the Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha for a certificate course in Sanskrit journalism.
IIMC recently introduced a new course on Indian communication theories included in Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on the performing arts. The aim is to teach students India’s ancient past, contemporary history and its transition to a democracy.
The information technology revolution has not only expanded the scope of journalism, but also changed its contour. Video and social media together have broadened journalism’s scope, but have also given rise to the menace of fake news. As the premier media institute of the country, IIMC recognises this unwarranted development and has held several workshops on how to counter the crisis of fake news. Our training also has a goal to impart a sense of responsibility among the students and make them aware of ethical considerations, so that they can play a constructive role in a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. It’s what makes IIMC students stand out, says Bamezai.
This thinking keeps IIMC true to its philosophy since its inceptionto define the perspective with which to approach communication to bring about change and development.
Guruspeak: K. Ganesan, Director-General, IIMC
What sets IIMC apart?
IIMC is one of the oldest institutes.It has highly qualified faculty members who design the courses in collaboration with industry experts.
New initiatives in the past three years
Apart from language courses, we have embraced new technologies, like artificial intelligence, immersive and data journalism.
We have received a letter of intent from UGC for a deemed university status. We are alsp planning to start a course on new media from the next academic year.
What’s unique about the IIMC campus?
The campus is isolated from the hustle and bustle of Delhi and is one of the greenest campuses in India. The work environment teaches us the virtue of teamwork and patience. We experience a professional environment even before joining the industry.
Why I love my teachers
They go above and beyond when it comes to our welfare. They become our mentors in personal and professional spheres. We feel secure and confident with them around.
One thing I want to change
The bureaucratic slow pace.