The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) has been issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) by the HRD Ministry to grant it deemed university status, an official said on Thursday. The deemed university status will enable the institute to grant degrees instead of diplomas. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had in August recommended the HRD Ministry to grant deemed university status to the IIMC.
"An LoI has been issued to the IIMC and certain anomalies have been pointed out. Once they are removed, the institute will be granted deemed university status," HRD Higher Education Secretary R Subramanyam said.
The institute offers postgraduate diploma courses in journalism, advertising and public relations and is one of the prestigious journalism schools in the country which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
"We look forward to it and this is going to be a game changer in the field of media education in the country. There has been a big vacuum in that area. So far, we were preparing students for the industry but deemed university status would enable us to offer postgraduate courses, including Masters, MPhil and PhD, and thereby, we would be able to prepare students for the academia as well," said IIMC Director General KG Suresh.
A four-member committee headed by BK Kuthiala, the vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University in Bhopal was formed by the UGC last year, which aimed at analysing the proposal by the IIMC.
The panel was later disbanded and two committees - one headed by Sachidanand Joshi, member secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and other headed by MS Parmar, vice-chancellor, Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism - made the recommendation.
The UGC has recommended that the ministry should issue an LoI to the journalism school under the 'De Novo' category based on the committee's recommendation and inspection team's feedback.
'De Novo' refers to an institution which focuses on teaching and research in emerging areas of knowledge.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had earlier in 2016, approved the plan to grant deemed university status to the IIMC.