Prof. Sanjay Ranade of the University of Mumbai has taken up an interesting proposal, requesting Heads of Journalism to write reminisces about their departments in about 2500 words. Several colleagues have already responded.
It is turning out to be a very interesting volume. Prof. B P Sanjay, Prof.Sachchidanand Joshi, Prof. Nagraj, Prof Mrinal Chatterji, Prof. Mira Desai, Prof. Nisha Pawar, Prof. Bora, Prof. balasubramanya . Prof Mira, Prof. Virbala, (besides me, Kiran Thakur, and Ranade himself) and several others have already submitted their articles. Some veterans others like Prof. Sudhir Gavhane, Prof. Tapati Basu and Uma Shankar Pande, have promised to submit soon. The volume promises to provide a history of the departments in different parts of the country.
May I request all of you to write. Also please request other veterans you know to write. Let us adhere to the extended deadline of July 24.
Do please appreciate that Prof. Ranade has taken upon himself this task in our own interest in spite his workload of his department... as the Head of Mumbai University.
We are all communicators. Most of us have been contributing to various WhatsApp groups almost every day.
It should not be difficult to any of us to write 2500 words within the deadline.
Following is Prof Ranade's concept for your ready reference:
India celebrates her 70th year of Independence in August this year. On this occasion, I am trying to put together a volume of reminiscences of those who set up a Department, or School or Institute of communication, media or journalism. These departments, by virtue of their domain, deal with many different aspects of society and communication within society. They are always moving with the flow of information, keeping an ear to the ground, watching the changes in the world around.
I have met many of you and some of you I have heard of. We all look at wonder with how things have changed from that first dissertation we guided or that first PhD thesis we guided. The variables have changed so rapidly, our own theories of our world have altered right before our eyes.
We have been changing our syllabi constantly trying to accommodate, assimilate, adjust to the dynamism of our world. We have changed the nomenclature of our degrees, changed the subjects, individual courses have undergone dramatic revisions. So much has simply become redundant and so much has to be freshly added. We are made constantly aware of the gap between what the aspiring young men and women want, what the sector (can we really call media an industry?) wants, what government wants, what society wants and what we can deliver within our own institutional constraints.
This is a collection of reminiscences, of anecdotes. I am not looking for any theory or an explanation explicitly. If you can propose something that is always welcome and will add value. This collection will be a document of facts. Facts as remembered, experienced, lived by teachers in the domain of communication, media and journalism.
I will edit the book and it will be printed by the Department of Communication and Journalism, the University of Mumbai with an ISBN number. We will provide a copy of the book each to the contributors. Please restrict the length of your writing to a maximum of 2500 words. All writing must be in English. We will be releasing the book on or about August 15, 2017. I have to give this book to the publisher by May 31 so that we can work on layout and design.
May I request you to please contribute your experience for this document? Its readers will be among our students, fellow teachers, journalists and academicians. Here is a brief format of how you could put your chapter together -
1. Please begin with a brief introduction of the timeline. When was the institution started, are there any stories about how you got involved, how the institution came to be thought of? Who were the people involved in the venture? What was your own experience, your feelings and thoughts at the time? What was the infrastructure like? What was the syllabus like?
2. The first class. What was its composition, how did you feel taking it? Could you speak of any of your students then? What has become of them? How do you see yourself today when you compare yourself to that first day facing your first batch of students in an institution that you started?
3. The first examination. Exciting, depressing, anxiety-driven, funny? How was it? The experience of putting together question papers, the first time you encountered the reality that students are exam-centric and marks are a final measure of everything from an initiative to intelligence to the imagination! Correcting the first answer sheets - how different were the answers from what you had taught? How does this compare with the experience you have today?
4. Your colleagues. I would leave that for you to decide. Some of these colleagues may have come with you all along, some may have grown out of the institution, some may have just left. New ones may have joined. Here I would include colleagues in academics as well as those who were part of the administration - the peons, clerks, typists, assistant registrars, deputy registrars, the Vice Chancellors or Principals.
5. The first encounter with guiding the student. How has this exchange changed, how the subjects changed, how attitudes have changed towards research? We could specifically look at the variables and hypothesis that we are dealing with, the different methodological approaches and methods that we ourselves learnt and began to apply and that reflected upon the quality of the research, the topics we followed up on.
6. This is your own final comment on your experience. You could simply end with your own statement of how things stand today or predict likely futures.
The above is not an exhaustive list. They are only suggestions. Please feel free to alter the structure, add or delete sections. Let us make this book entertaining, interesting and a document that will be loved, cherished, cared for by future generations. I look forward to your contributions. In case you have any doubts or questions please do get in touch with me.
Although I am initiating this it is not really my project. It is our project.