Students, ABVP protest RU centre’s ‘proposed closure’
Alumni and students of Centre for Mass Communication (CMC) at University of Rajasthan in Jaipur and members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Tuesday protested the proposed closure of the centre.
The protesters organised a sit-in outside the vice chancellor’s secretariat, shouting slogans against the V-C and the state government.
The alumni and students of the centre said the Congress government was doing politics over the future of students.
The alumni and students began an online campaign to save the journalism department three days ago after some local newspapers reported that the mass communication courses will be shut as the government has announced the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication. The reports suggested that the faculty of the CMC will shift to the new university and the University of Rajasthan administration cited lack of faculty to run the centre.
The Haridev Joshi journalism university was set up in 2012 by the then Ashok Gehlot government. In 2017, the then BJP government shut it. Students and faculty of the journalism university were merged with the CMC at University of Rajasthan.
After Gehlot was voted to power again, he set up the university again. The faculty will obviously return to their original employer, leading to reports that the 28-year-old CMC will shut. The centre began in April
1991 in PG School of Commerce building to offer a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism course. It got the status of a department in 2000 and began the Master’s course from 20022003. Until faculty from the Haridev Joshi university was merged with the CMC, it ran with a single faculty, Prof Sanjeev Bhanawat, who has retired.
Akhil Shukla, an alumnus of the department, said the government was doing politics. “The vendetta politics is hurting the future of the youngsters aspiring career in media...this prestigious university shouldn’t be closed,” said Shukla, who is a member of university senate and has been the students’ union president.
Sajjan Saini, unit head of the ABVP, said that the students will not tolerate attack over any academic institution.
“The administration is citing that due to lack of staff we are closing the journalism department of RU as per which many departments across state and country should be closed.” He added, “We have submitted a memorandum to RU vice-chancellor Prof RK Kothari and have warmed the administration that if our demands are not met, then there would be a violent protest across the state.”
Prof RK Kothari said the university will not close the centre. “The administration has closed admission in new courses which were introduced recently as we don’t have faculty to teach those course. Admission in conventional courses would continue,” he said.
Stare spokesperson of Congress party Archana Sharma said that she is not aware that RU’S journalism department is getting closed.
Spokesperson for state BJP Mukesh Pareek said that during the campaigning for Lok Sabha elections Congress party’s president said that they will increase education budget by 6% but the news of closure of the journalism department raises doubts on the government’s intentions .
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