The Indian Institute of Mass Communication, a 58-year-old institution known for its journalism and mass communication courses, was on Wednesday granted the status of a deemed-to-be university, empowering it to award degrees rather than just diplomas, according to the Union Ministry of Education.
The newly-awarded status will also empower the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) to offer doctoral programmes.
The institute, established under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in August 1965, is one of the country's premier institutions of its kind, providing quality training in journalism and undertaking meaningful research in media and mass communication.
"On the advice of the UGC (University Grants Commission), the Ministry of Education, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, hereby declares the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, along with its five regional campuses in Jammu, Amravati (Maharashtra), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kottayam (Kerala) and Dhenkanal (Odisha) as an institution deemed-to-be-university under distinct category," the ministry said in an official notification.
"IIMC, New Delhi, shall become compliant with the UGC (Institutions-deemed-to-be-Universities) Regulations, 2023, within a period of six years from the date of issuance of the notification. The entire moveable and immoveable assets will be legally transferred in the name of IIMC, New Delhi, within one year," it said.
IIMC shall not indulge or engage in any activities that are of commercial and profit-making in nature, the notification added.
The institute currently offers postgraduate diploma in journalism courses in English, Hindi, Urdu, Odia, Marathi, Malayalam, radio and television, and advertising and public relations.
Headquartered at the full-fledged campus in New Delhi, IIMC has regional campuses in Dhenkanal (established in 1993), Aizawl (established in 2011), Amravati (established in 2011), Jammu (established in 2012) and Kottayam (established in 1995) to provide quality media education in the respective regional languages, in addition to various courses offered at the national level.
The IIMC is also the training academy for Indian Information Service (IIS) officers.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, in a post on X, called it a special and historic day for IIMC.
"It is a special and historic day for the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) as it receives deemed university status. This institute has a glorious history of imparting quality education in media subjects like journalism, advertising, public relations," he said in the post.
"The granting of university status marks a new beginning, as more courses could be added to the curriculum along with research and doctoral programmes. This step will provide our youth with new opportunities and help them explore new avenues," he added.
The idea to grant deemed university status to IIMC is not new. The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry had approved the plan in 2016.
During a review of higher education institutes by the Niti Aayog in 2018, it was recommended that the IIMC be merged with either the Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre for Media Studies or Jamia Millia Islamia's AJK Mass Communication Research Centre.
However, the institute, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Education Ministry (the then Human Resource Development Ministry) had rejected the idea.
The UGC in 2018 formed a four-member committee headed by BK Kuthiala, the vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University in Bhopal, to analyse a proposal by the IIMC in this regard.
The panel was later disbanded and two committees -- one headed by Sachidanand Joshi, member secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and the other by MS Parmar, vice-chancellor of the Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism -- made the recommendation.
Based on the committees' recommendations and inspection teams' feedback, the UGC had then recommended that the ministry should issue an LoI to the institute.
"A big thank you to the UGC for declaring Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, and its five regional centres as a deemed-to-be-university under distinct category. IIMC is committed to give its best to promote education, training, and research in mass communication," the institute wrote in a post on X.
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