The Indian Institute of Mass Communication’s (IIMC) bid’s to be counted as a media university — which can award degrees instead of diplomas — has received a shot in the arm with the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry giving it a go-ahead to apply for a deemed university status.
According to ministry sources, IIMC, an autonomous institute under the ministry, can now seek permission from University Grants Commission (UGC) for a change in status.
A deemed university status means the institute does not have to seek consent from Parliament for its elevation.
At present, IIMC offers post-graduate diploma courses, which are not counted as a degree for pursuing higher education, research or a career in academics.
Information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu has agreed in principle to the institute’s request. “It has been proposed that instead of introducing a bill in Parliament for seeking an institute of national importance status for it as was suggested earlier, IIMC will be a deemed university with Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and the National Centre of Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects affiliated to it,” an official said.
While presenting the general budget for 2014-15, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said both FTII and SRFTI will be accorded the status of institutes of national importance.
IIMC has been receiving requests from students to offer them a degree as a post-graduate certificate made them eligible for pursuing higher education and government jobs.
IIMC director KG Suresh said: “We are in an expansion mode and this will help us prepare students for higher education and career options other than journalism, advertising and public relations.”