New Delhi: A two-and-a-half-year-old proposal by the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) to upgrade the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), a 45-year-old state-run media school, into an international university may be approved.
Wider reach: A file photo of students at IIMC, New Delhi. The enhanced status will let the institute offer bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees instead of the postgraduate diploma it currently offers. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
The I&B ministry is preparing a draft cabinet note on the subject in consultation with the institute, according to a report of the standing committee on information technology tabled in Parliament last week.
It adds that the committee is dissatisfied at the way the proposal for the conversion has moved, and has recommended that the I&B ministry expedite all approvals for the change to university status.
The report said that an outlay of Rs44.03 crore for the conversion has been proposed in the 11th Plan through 2012.
IIMC (Delhi) director Sunit Tandon, who was appointed last month, declined to comment on the plan to convert the institute into a university. However, he acknowledged that there are plans to upgrade the institute. “It is difficult to say what shape it will take and how and when it will be done,” he said.
Cabinet approval can be sought only after the I&B ministry receives approval from the standing finance committee (SFC); a separate draft SFC memo is under consideration by the ministry in consultation with its integrated finance division, IIMC and the Educational Consultants India Ltd (Ed.CIL).
Ed.CIL is part of the ministry of human resource development (HRD) and offers consulting and technical services in education and HRD.
The standing committee report says the I&B ministry has sought advice from the ministry of law and justice (legislative department) on the draft Act prepared by Ed.CIL. The department of legal affairs has asked the ministry to examine the proposal from a policy and administrative perspective and prepare the draft cabinet note.
The plan to upgrade IIMC—which was launched in 1965 as a department of the I&B ministry, and was later registered as an autonomous organization—to university status was initiated in June 2007, but was delayed because the Planning Commission gave its in-principle approval to the proposal only in March 2009.
The enhanced status will let it offer bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees instead of the postgraduate diploma it currently offers.
The I&B ministry has also asked the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi for facilities since the media institute is currently located on the JNU campus. The university status will also cover IIMC’s campus at Dhenkanal in Orissa.