Resurrected after being shut for almost four years, the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication (HJUJMC) will begin its academic session next month at the historical Khasa Kothi heritage hotel, University’s Vice-Chancellor Om Thanvi said on Tuesday.
Talking to journalists, Thanvi, a veteran journalist, said that the university will begin with three post graduate and a diploma course. These will be MA in Print Media, MA in Electronic Media and MA in Media Organisation, Public Relations and Advertising. The year-long diploma course will be in Social Media and Web (Online) Journalism.
Ever since its establishment in 2012, the university – Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s pet project – has been the subject of political slugfest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the latter alleging that Gehlot appointed journalists close to him in the university at the time of its institution.
The first batch at the university was enrolled in November 2013 but Vasundhara Raje stormed to power next month and decided to shut down the university. In January 2016, HJUJMC was formally merged into Rajasthan University, with Congress accusing the Raje government of vendetta.
Once Gehlot became the CM again in December 2018, it was decided, in his government’s first cabinet meeting, to reopen the university. Then in the interim budget passed by the Gehlot government this February, it was announced that HJUJMC and Dr B R Ambedkar Law University will be re-established with a provision of Rs 16 crore. Thanvi was appointed the university’s V-C in March.
Students with any graduate course will be able to apply in the university’s post graduate courses or the diploma course. Thanvi said that the university is committed to starting graduate courses from next year and will also try to convert the diploma course into a degree course, also by next year. Each of the four courses in the coming session will accept 25 students each. Currently, the university has a staff of eight faculty members. The notification for admission will be issued in the next couple of days, he said.
Till the completion of its own campus, classes will be run in Khasa Kothi and the administrative work will be carried out from Rajiv Gandhi Vidya Bhawan at Shiksha Sankul, about eight kilometres away. The university officials are pursuing Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) to transfer the same piece of land which had been allotted to the university during Gehlot’s previous tenure, but was never transferred, for setting up the university campus.
Beginning next year, HJUJMC will become the only government-run university in the state which will provide graduate courses in journalism to those who have just completed their schooling. Between academic years 1992-93 and 1999-2000, Rajasthan University used to run a one-year Bachelor Degree Course in Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC). But from the academic session 2001-02, it was replaced by a two year Master’s degree programme.