IIMC considers Civil Service rules for staff: No criticism of govt, dissent

JD(U) MPs Ali Anwar Ansari, Kahkashan Perween and Ramnath Thakur have in their letter to Irani also mentioned that the administration was trying to “impose” CCS rules. “Is the attempt to snatch academic freedom of faculty members at higher educational institutions, and especially at institutes of journalism, justified?” they have written.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Published:August 11, 2017 5:53 am
IIMC, journalism schhol, IIMC EC, KG Suresh, Smriti Irani, civil service, IIMC Recruitment rules, A section of faculty members argue that this is a way to curb dissent and erode “academic freedom”. (Source: Facebook photo)

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), the premier Central institution for journalism education, is considering whether to adopt Central Civil Services (CCS) Rules — meant for government employees — for its faculty members for disciplinary cases. The IIMC’s Executive Council (EC) will discuss this in its meeting on Friday, according to an agenda note.

A section of faculty members argue that this is a way to curb dissent and erode “academic freedom”. Three MPs from the Janata Dal (United) also wrote to I&B Minister Smriti Irani on July 26 expressing their apprehension over the move, among other things.

The CCS Rules 1964 say, “No Government servant shall, in any radio broadcast, telecast through any electronic media or in any document published in his own name or anonymously, pseudonymously or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press or in any public utterance, make any statement of fact or opinion which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government.”

The agenda note reads: “A Committee was constituted by DG, IIMC, with a view to strengthen, expand, elaborate and revise provisions related to Code of Conduct, Professional ethics and Disciplinary matters in the Bye Laws of the IIMC. During the Committee meetings, there was a suggestion that the Central Government\’s CCS Conduct Rules may be adopted by IIMC as such along with all other procedural rules such as CCS (CCA Rules) to cover the disciplinary cases.”

The agenda note says that some faculty members were not in favour of its adoption arguing that “media have to perform a role of watchdog”. However, it adds, “IIMC is not a media organization acting as watchdog but a media institute and, therefore, this contention of the faculty member cannot be accepted.”

“The Committee felt that instead of re-writing the Bye-Laws of the IIMC, a clause may be inserted that wherever IIMC Bye-Laws are silent, the Institute will follow the rules of the Central Government. This will also eliminate possibilities of discretion and ambiguities in interpretation while dealing with the cases,” the agenda note says.

JD(U) MPs Ali Anwar Ansari, Kahkashan Perween and Ramnath Thakur have in their letter to Irani also mentioned that the administration was trying to “impose” CCS rules. “Is the attempt to snatch academic freedom of faculty members at higher educational institutions, and especially at institutes of journalism, justified?” they have written.

A faculty member of IIMC said it would be a “transparent contradiction that journalism/media faculty are not allowed to express their opinion and critique on public policy and other relevant social, political and economic issues in the media”.

“IIMC’s Recruitment Rules for faculty allow senior journalists and editors to apply for faculty positions. But do we expect that a senior editor of a newspaper or news channel after appointment as faculty in IIMC should stop writing and commenting on contemporary issues?” he said.

Professor Jaishri Jethwaney, member of the Committee until October 2016, before she retired, said she didn’t think the Committee submitted a report per se. “It was decided that viewpoints would be sought from a larger group… There were apprehensions because these rules belong to file pushers and not academicians,” she said.

IIMC DG K G Suresh said he could not comment on agenda items of the EC until they had been discussed in the meeting.

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  1. A
    apollo hospital
    Aug 14, 2017 at 11:10 am
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    1. R
      rishi
      Aug 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm
      there is no reason for anyone to object......such higher inst-i-tuions of learning are not meant to act as platforms of politics .... they should infact re-enforcing the Nation's cause by producing competent professionals as they take in the best of the management aspirants from the Nation.....I see why the faculty of any educational ins ute/training facility, etc, should even think of getting bothered by the politics of the Nation considering among many other reasons the fact that these ins utes are heavily funded by the Government. Any form of conflict of educational ins utes with the Govt. in the present socio-political radical transformatory stages must not be allowed as that would only take a toll on the quality of education/training in the reputed IIMs .
      Reply
      1. N
        NLS
        Aug 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm
        So, it is not just the students.. even the "academics" want to indulge in "politicking" on campus and partake in political activities, rather than focus on teaching and conducting research. Shame on these "professors". Academic standards in our universities are plummeting with every passing year because of people like these on our campuses. And the shameless, dirty politicians are ever ready to jump into the ring to defend and encourage them. Disgusting and disheartening!
        Reply
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          asif hassan
          Aug 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm
          Ranting and trolling is the best pass time of brainless s!!!!!They Act like Drones!!!!!
          Reply
          1. A
            Al S
            Aug 11, 2017 at 10:03 am
            Emergency 2.0
            Reply
            1. B
              bitterhoney
              Aug 11, 2017 at 7:38 am
              This is a clear indication that dictatorship is being imposed in India. If it is, it will be death for India.
              Reply
              1. R
                Rahul
                Aug 11, 2017 at 10:07 am
                You did not die of dictatorship imposed during emergency, did you? But then, porkistanis like you love congress, isn't it? No difference in what both want...
                Reply
                1. R
                  Roby Mani
                  Aug 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm
                  Talk some sense Mr Rahul rather than ranting. Try to put forward your arguments in a cogent manner , rather than troll persons who purt forward their genuine views.
                2. N
                  NLS
                  Aug 11, 2017 at 4:29 pm
                  Sign of dictatorship? Don't expose your pea-sized brain's intelligence to everybody and become a laughing stock. Don't comment on things you don't understand. Better yet, go back to primary school - your brain is under-developed!
                  Reply
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                    rishi
                    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm
                    You seem to be seeking a politically charged atmosphere in educational insti-t-ut-ions...typical of the jnu-mentality refflected in wasted people pretending to be researching on what their best of Ph.Ds and mphil students themselves can't speak a word about.......IIMs are responsible organisations and the atmosphere within the campuses must be strictly academic in order to produce competent professionals ....the faculty has to restrain itself from indulging in any kind of politics.
                    Reply
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