With Jadavpur University’s announcement of new MA Mass Communication programme, aspirants are all geared up to join two-year degree course to be commenced from this year. Though some factions of the students and teachers appreciated the department’s effort, irregularities in eligibility criteria has irked many.
According to the notification, only students with BA background can apply for the Masters course, which is a direct violation of University Grants Commission norms. UGC, in its notification in 2003, specified that students from every stream whether it’s BA, B.Com, B.Sc can pursue for the Masters courses. However, Jadavpur University’s notification reads that BA (Hons)/ (Major) students with minimum 50 per cent marks can only apply for the Masters course. The students have to submit application forms by June 9.
Earlier, the University’s Mass Communication department only offered post graduate diploma course. According to UGC, in professional course the institutions can admit students through lateral entry, which is the sole subject of the university, and UGC has no take in it.
When Indian Express highlighted this matter with the head of the institute, Swantan Chatterjee, he tried to deviate the issues saying, “It is a new course so there are some gaps in it, the course will be shaped properly according to time.”
Dr Hemang A Desai, Education Officer, UGC said, “UGC doesn’t have any provision regarding the lateral entry or working journalist quota, it depends solely on the university. However, the university can admit students in Masters course in mass communication on the basis of both the criteria.”
Suranjan Das, the Vice Chancellor of the Jadavpur University said, “If the department violates the UGC rules, we will look into this norm.” He also appealed to the students to send him a memorandum highlighting the lacunae or irregularities if any in the new Masters course.
Arka Jyoti Pal, an alumni of JU said, “Its a excellent initiative to introduce Master Degree in Mass Communication. But as a public university, JU should give liberty to students from all streams to study mass communication. The current criteria is only for a specific group of students violating guidelines of UGC norms. No opportunity is available for the PG diploma students/ working journalist/ students other than Arts stream. Individual agenda and internal politics in the management authority has played important role while designing the course. Personal achievements in professional carrier of some teacher is only benefited from this master course not students.”