With the finalization of the draft bill, the process to accord university status and declaring the Indian Institute of Mass Communication as an institution of national importance has actually kicked in.
"The draft bill has now been sent to various ministries and based on their comments and recommendations a proper bill will be framed which will be sent to the law ministry for vetting before it goes to the union cabinet," a senior government official told HT.
In India, an university is set up by an act of parliament.
At present, IIMC is an autonomous society under the information and broadcasting ministry. The I&B ministry had been pushing for according university status to the country's premier journalism school for quite some time.
The draft contains among other proposals grant of full autonomy to IIMC, composition of the board of governors, appointment of a vice chancellor and complete powers to award degrees without any reference to the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The I&B ministry's initial proposal to enable IIMC to award degrees instead of diplomas as is currently in vogue now, was opposed by the UGC as the curriculum and course was not found to be adequate for awarding a masters degree.
Accordingly, the human resources development ministry had asked the I&B ministry to resubmit a reworked proposal.
"The re-worked proposal for the course has also passed muster now," the official added.
Based in New Delhi, the premier Indian institute for journalism has three regional centers in Dhenkenal, Aizawl and Amravati with two upcoming ones at Jammu and Kottayam.
Set up in 1965 to provide training to Indian Information Service officers, IIMC is now deemed to be equivalent of the IITs and the IIMs in its own field of specialization.
Besides regular students, IIMC also conducts specialised short-term courses to train government and public sector organization media personnel every year.