Interview by Swati
Dr. Shirish Kashikar, Director of the National Institute of Mass Communication and Journalism (NIMCJ), has a career in journalism and academics spanning over 19 years. After completing his Masters in English literature and in Mass Communication & Journalism, he started his career as a reporter cum Sub-editor in the evening daily and later moved on to the state information department as an Information Officer. He has presented papers on various subjects related to modern Mass communication and history of Journalism and regularly participates in national and regional news channel’s Political debates. Besides, being a member of Planning board of Indira Gandhi National Open University - New Delhi, he has taught as a visiting faculty in the Saurashtra University. He was bestowed with the best article writer’s award by the State Information Department in 2002-03.
Dr. Kashikar in conversation with Kapil Panchal, shares his views on the education industry in India, Syllabus at NIMCJ and more. Edited excerpts:
A teacher is considered on the highest echelon in Indian Society
Being associated with media education for the last 19 years, I realised the education sector gives an excellent career opportunity to a qualified person. It also keeps the academician/ teacher/ professor an updated human being. Education sector follows certain ethical practices which are essential for a human being to survive in society.
Education sector triggers growth in other industry
The education sector is the key factor of our national growth engine. Without education, it is difficult even to survive. This field gives an insight into human nature, an inspiration, a flow of knowledge for being a good human being and that differentiate it from any other sector whether it is in corporate or industry field.
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From offline to online sources, NIMCJ cover all verticals of media studies
We cover all verticals of media studies i.e., Print, electronic, Public Relations, Advertising, and Digital media. Our course structure is industry-friendly,providing full exposure to students. It contains media houses, studios, TV studios, radio station visit and study tours out of Gujarat.
Every year, we organize our convocation and our flagship program, "Media Convergence Meet." Our alumni present us the ideas of industry and discuss the present and future of a particular field. Students and media professionals across Gujarat participate in this meet. In these 12 years, our ten batches have been passed out, and more than 325 students are working in various media verticals across the country.
Strong alumnus and highest placement ratio is our strength
At National Institute of Mass Communication and Journalism, we believe in pure hard work. Student-friendly policies, our influential alumnus and highest placement ratio, is our strength. We never compromise with the quality of education. Our fees structure is also moderate as compared to other metro city media institutes.
Apart from this, we have special scholarships for brilliant students from economically weaker class. Our incubation facilities and start-up support are first of its kind in media education in Western India.
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We expect our students to be good human beings first
Since we have higher education students at UG and PG level study in our institute, we expect them to be a good human being first who loves its nation, its roots and its culture. Our students must be participative in all activities (academic, sports, cultural) and be a career-oriented person when he passes out. We nurture them accordingly and provide them the necessary environment to flourish.
Our syllabus is designed based on industry outputs and real-life examples
We scrutinize our curriculum every two years and make the necessary changes. In our visiting faculties, we have maximum field professionals who give us valuable inputs in syllabus designing. We are the first institute in Gujarat to introduce FM radio curriculum and digital media course in the syllabus.
Faculty at NIMCJ plays an essential role in strengthening the foundational values
Since the inception of our Institute, we have made some transparent rules to function it smoothly. Our management helps us a lot in all aspects, including academic and financial matters. Our in-house faculties are highly qualified in their respective fields.
All the problems are sorted out without any biases and solutions are figured out with open minds. They are given powers to make necessary changes as and when required. All helpful suggestions for improvement are accepted and implemented immediately.
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NIMCJ is planning to expand both infrastructure wise and academically
NIMCJ, with its new nomenclature, National Institute of Media, Communication, and Research (NIMCaR), will expand its infrastructure & academics. We are in process to build a world-class campus at Hajipur village, near Ahmedabad. It will have media study schools, auditorium, media research centre, media museum and many more facilities. Some more media-oriented courses will be implemented with media research facilities.
Believing in their roots will go a long way with students
I want the students to know, that smart work should never be misunderstood as shortcuts. They must know, there is no alternative to hard work. And, one should always believe in one’s national culture, roots, respect one’s elders, and lastly, love one’s nation.