Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of Journalism Achyutanand Mishra has been a veteran journalist. He is respected across the ideological spectrum, though he is known to be close to the Sangh Parivar. He spoke to Ashutosh Shukla on the past and future of the university.
More than anything else, government’s apathy over the years seems to have impeded growth of the university. Don’t you agree?
It would not be appropriate for me to comment on this aspect. All I can say is that all my predecessors worked hard with their vision and abilities to make the university a centre of excellence.
Fund seems to be no problem with the university anymore, thanks to study centres. No, we do need funds. In fact, I have requested the State Government to release us the amount of annual grant of Rs 25 lakh, which the university has not received since 1999.
We don’t receive any funds from the UGC as we have failed to meet their norms. Affiliate colleges (study centres) are the only source of funding. A large part of the fund we had was spent on purchasing the building for the university. More funds would be required to furnish it.
What are your plans for the university?
See, it is the first journalism university in India. In course of time, we have been able to branch out to teaching of specialised fields of journalism like audiovisual media, film reporting and science reporting.
We soon hope to open courses in sports and economic journalism. We want to develop the university as a premier institution not just in India but the whole of Asia. Ours is the only university giving scholarship to research scholars for research and writing.
Have you been able to keep pace with changes in media in post-globalisation era?
We are keenly aware of the changes sweeping across the world in media. We soon hope to sign an MoU with a foreign university either from Britain or USA to modernise and update teaching further.
I would also like to point out that an ambitious research project focusing on changes in the language newspapers since Independence is underway. Two dozen books on different aspects of reporting in Indian language newspapers would be released at Delhi on May 30, 2007.
We are also preparing two dictionaries – Hindi Patrakarita Shabdakosh and Hindi Patrakarita Sandarbh Kosh. The MP and UP Governments are funding the research project.
We also wish to coordinate with all the universities in India running media courses for standardisation of courses. We shall sign separate MoUs with different universities for the purpose. One such MoU has already been signed with Baba Ambedkar Marathwada University in Maharashtra.
There have been controversies surrounding saffronisation and de-saffronisation of the university with change in regimes in the State.
I think these are superfluous. They are mere slogans. I am fully enjoying my job and there has not been any interference in my work from any quarters so far.
The University was established to promote Indian language journalism and now you have more students from English background. Don’t you think the very purpose of establishing a university after Makhanlal Chaturvedi’s name is getting defeated?
It is the situation because we do not have enough students of Indian language journalism. But, that object remains. May be after five years we will start teaching Bangla journalism or Marathi journalism and Kannada journalism also.