The government is committed to promote the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) as an institute of national importance and a draft bill towards this is in final stages of preparation, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka said Tuesday.
Addressing the 46th convocation of the premier institute here, Julka said the government was committed to facilitate high standards of education in the field of journalism and communication at the IIMC through the initiative.
IIMC being granted the status of institute of national importance would enable it to award degrees, besides the post-graduate diplomas it currently awards, he said.
IIMC would also be able to start courses at the post-graduate level, award M.Phil and Ph.D degrees and conduct research to enhance its role as a think tank on communication and media studies.
It could also advise the government on framing media and communication policies conducive to the growth and development of the nation, said Julka.
Julka said the convocation ceremony was extremely significant as students from all the six centres of IIMC were being conferred with post-graduate diplomas for the very first time.
In this context, he said that necessary funds have been provided by the ministry to the institute for construction of permanent campuses once land is allotted by the state governments, said a statement.
Julka said IIMC has also expanded its horizons internationally and recently signed two significant international cooperation agreements: one with Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and the other with the University Mayor in Santiago, Chile.
These initiatives provided a platform for fruitful cooperation in academic programmes, research and in student and faculty exchange initiatives.
The bilateral agreement would also facilitate short-term training programmes for officers of the Indian Information Service. At the same time it would also enable the institute to undertake joint research projects, he said.
At the convocation ceremony, 316 students from the six campuses of IIMC received their post-graduate diplomas. Awards to 26 outstanding students were also presented for excellence in various courses.
With the Jammu and Kottayam Regional Centres of IIMC beginning courses in the academic year 2012-13, this was the first time that students of PG Diploma course in journalism (English) from all six campuses received their diplomas and awards at the convocation. The six campuses are located in New Delhi, Aizawl, Amravati, Jammu, Kottayam and Dhenkanal.