Department of Mass Communication
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Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Educational Campus, Amravati Road, Nagpur - 440033
Tel: (0712) 2500085, e-mail: journalism.nagpur.university@gmail.com
 

About us | Facilities | Courses | Faculty | Major Activities during 2012-13
 

About Us

The media and entertainment industry in India, and indeed across the globe, is estimated to be the fastest growing among all other industries.

Even as the Internet and television media continue to grow in leaps and bounds, the traditional print medium is not far behind. Very interesting, fulfilling and financially lucrative career options are available to young people in the field of Mass Communication. While the focus of Mass Communication education remains on Journalism, the other attractive career options that open up are in the areas of Advertising, Public Relations and New Media (including Social Media).

As for the entertainment industry, there are courses to train people in TV and Radio anchoring, reporting, editing, directing, shooting (camera persons) and such other specialized jobs for which skilled people are in great demand.

History

Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University could well claim to be a pioneer in mass communication education in India, for offering the first structured and well-planned journalism course after the country won freedom in 1947.

It was to the credit of Hislop college, Nagpur and its then Principal, the Late Dr.D G Moses, who established a full fledge Department of Journalism with the approval and encouragement of Nagpur University in 1952-53. Prof. K E Eapen was the first Indian scholar to be the head of the department. The begining was made with a diploma course in Journalism, which was later elevated to the degree level in the mid sixties.

The university’s Department of Journalism was set up as a unit of the Social Sciences faculty in July 1969. Mr.S T Puranik was the first Honorary Head of the Department. The Department was renamed as the Department of Mass Communication in 1989 and was shifted to its own building in the sprawling and verdant setting of the university’s post graduate teaching campus on Amravati Road, Nagpur.
 

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Facilities

The Department offers:

  • A well-equipped Television studio with Interactive Board backdrop, lights and Production Control Room (PCR),
  • A 14-Track audio mixer for sound recording
  • Digital Video Cameras PD 170 P,
  • Digital Recorder DSR - 11,
  • I-Mac and Final Cut Pro professional video editing equipment,
  • The latest Sony MCS-8 Multi Format Switcher (8-source vision mixer),
  • Multi-media LCD projectors
  • The latest Interactive Board for classroom teaching,
  • Canon 60D SLR Digital Camera for photography lessons,
  • Computer Laboratory with the latest A3 colour printer.
  • The entire building, including computer laboratory, TV studio, library, faculty rooms and classrooms are networked to enable Internet connectivity at all these places.
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Training

The stress is on practical training. The students are required to produce news reports, interviews, features and articles on a variety of subjects. They are also required to make newspaper pages and produce video and audio news bulletins and documentaries. Besides, the students learn to conceive and prepare print advertisements and various forms of Public Relations literature.
Other than all the practical assignments given throughout the year by the concerned faculty, the students undergo a minimum 30 days of internship at newspapers, news agencies, TV news channels, advertising agencies and public relations firms or departments.
The students also produce a tabloid news bulletin called ‘Campus’ each year.
The Department holds specialized workshops by outside experts to provide hands-on training in areas such as page-making, ad-making, video editing and television production.
The students are regularly taken out for learning visits. The places visited range from printing presses and TV studios to the Maharashtra Legislature, the tribal areas of Gadchiroli and Chandrapur and the hills, forests and tribal villages of Melghat.

Faculty

Besides the highly-qualified and experienced full time teachers, the Department boasts of an outstanding panel of visiting faculty who are all people of rich experience and great expertise in news reporting, editing, feature writing, photography, advertising and public relations.

Alumni

Alumni of the department are highly successful individuals who have made a name for themselves in print, electronic and interactive media, besides in myriad other fields ranging from academics to politics. The Alumni Association of the Department is full of stalwarts eager to help the students not only in improving their skills and making the right career choices, but also in getting them suitably placed.

Placement

The quality of professionals produced by the Department is appreciated by the media industry. The Department has a nearly 100 per cent placement record in terms of getting jobs for those interested in joining the print media in particular. Alumni of the Department are also highly placed in the electronic media, advertising and public relations industries.

 

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Courses Available

1. Master of Arts (Mass Communication)
Duration: Two years (four semesters)
Specialisation: Print, Electronic, Online, Advertising, Public Relations
Intake : 30
Admission Eligibility: Bachelor’s Degree of any statutory university or any other degree recognized as equivalent thereto with minimum 45% marks or equivalent grade or a higher degree in Mass Communication/ Journalism.
Admission is done through Entrance Test (Written and Interview)
 

Subjects:First Semester:
i) Principals of Mass Communication
ii)Development of Media
iii)Print Media – I (Reporting and Editing)
iv)Electronic Media (Radio and Television)
v) Practical Paper of 150 marks

Second Semester:
i) Development Communication
ii) Communication Research
iii)Media Management & Media Laws
iv)International Communication
v) Practical Paper of 150 marks

Third Semester:
i) Print Media – II
ii) Electronic Media – II (Radio & Television)
iii) Advertising
iv) Public Relations & Corporate Communications
v) Practical Paper of 150 marks

Fourth Semester:
i) New Media Applications
ii)Intercultural Communication
iii) Practical Paper of 150 marks
iv)Project (Specialisation – Print, Electronic, New Media, Advertising, Public Relations)
v)Internship at Media Organisation

2. Bachelor of Journalism (BJ)
Duration : One Year
Specialisation : Print Media
Intake : 50
Admission Eligibility : Any Graduate from recognized university
Admission is done through Entrance Test (Written and Interview)

Subjects:

I. Principals and History of Journalism
II. Modern News Reporting & Feature Writing
III. Editing in Electronic Era
IV. Modern Newspaper Management & Press Laws
V. Public Relations & Mass Communication
VI. Current Affairs, Language Study & Soft Skills
VII. Information Technology Application in Mass Media

3. P G Diploma in Video Programming (News & Current Affairs)
Specialisation : Electronic Media
Intake : 25 students
Admission Eligibility : Any Second Class Graduate
Admission is done on "First Come First Served Basis"

Subjects:
I. Principles of Communication and Development & Comparison of Mass Media
II. News Gathering and News Reporting
III. Editing and Script Writing
IV. Presentation & Production
V. Interviews & Discussion/ Quiz on Current Affairs
VI. Documentaries on Current Affairs

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Teaching Faculty

Mr. Moiz Mannan Haque
Asst. Prof & Head

Educational Qualifications:
B.Com., M.B.A., B.M.C., M.M.C., Advanced Diploma in Journalism (International Institute for Journalism, Berlin, Germany), AFP Fellow (Washington DC, USA), Cert. in French, NET (UGC)

Industry Experience:

  • Senior Reporter, The Hitavada, Nagpur (1987-1992)
  • Senior Reporter, Indian Express, Nagpur (1992-99)
  • News Editor, The Peninsula, Qatar (1999-2004)
  • Business Writer, The Greenville News, South Carolina, USA (AFP Fellowship 1998)
  • Correspondent: The Indian Post, The Sunday Observer, The Independent (for different periods between 1988 and 1992)

Academic Experience:

  • University approved Lecturer at NBA-accredited NYSS Institute of Management & Research, Nagpur, specializing in Advertising and Marketing Communications (2004-09).
  • Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (2009-present)
  • Member, Board of Studies in Mass Communication, RTMNU and Gondwana University
  • Member of Regional News Bulletin Review Committee, All India Radio
  • Member, Syllabus Drafting Committee for M.A. (Mass Communication) and B.J., RTM Nagpur University
  • Member, Annual Report Committee, RTM Nagpur University
  • Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of Mass Communication
     

Dr. D.V. Dhawankar
Asst. Prof.
Educational Qualifications:
M.M.C., M.A. (Adv. & PR), P. G. Dip. Video Programming, M.S.W., M.A.(Hindi), M.A. (Pub Adm)
Industry Experience:

  • Reporter, Citicable (1996-97)

Academic Experience:

  • Lecturer and Head, Dept. of Mass Communication (2003-06)
  • Chairman, Board of Studies, Mass Communication, RTMNU (2003-06)
  • Chairman, Board of Studies, Mass Communication, Gondwana University
  • Research Supervisor at RTM Nagpur University and JJT University, Rajasthan
  • Presented research papers at 20 national and international conferences
  • 12 Research papers published in national journals

Visiting Faculty

  • Mr. Arun Phanshikar, ex-Bureau Chief, Hindustan Times
  • Mr. Vivek Deshpande, Assistant Editor, The Indian Express
  • Mr. Virag Pachpore, ex-Assistant Editor, The Hitavada
  • Mr. Sachin Kate, Deputy Editor, Sakal
  • Mr. Jaideep Hardikar, Special Correspondent, The Telegraph
  • Mr. Dinesh Tekade, Senior Reporter, Nav Bharat
  • Mr. Shekhar Soni, Senior Photojournalist
  • Dr. Ram Prakash Saxena, Linguistics Expert and ex-H.o.D.
  • Dr. Advocate Vasant Khaparde, High Court Lawyer
  • Mr. Jalandar Purohit, ex-PRO, MECL
  • Mrs. Reeti Pandharipande, free lance journalist
  • Mrs. Pratibha Pande, ex-Asst. Station Director, Doordarshan
  • Mr. Bhau Panchabhai, retired Producer, Doordarshan
  • Mrs. Kalyani B., professional television producer
  • Mr. Anand Kumar Patil, IT Expert
  • Dr. Atul Kulkarni, Research Statistics Expert
  • Dr. P.Deshpande, Environment Consultant

Research Activity

  • The students of the department are engaged in periodic research on the topic of media, its development and its impact on the society. These are in the form of survey reports, dissertations, video and radio news bulletins and documentaries.

Industry-Institute Interaction

  • The Department has initiated various initiatives to strengthen interaction with the Industry.
  • An Industry-Institute Interaction Cell has been set up under the umbrella of the Department’s Media Club.
  • The visiting faculty is drawn from the mass media and related industries and professions.
  • Experts from the industry are regularly invited for Guest Lectures, Seminars and Workshops.
  • From the time to time, the Department assists news media in areas like reporting during special events and public relations activities.

Industry Internship

The B.J. and M.A. (Mass Communication) students undergo a compulsory Internship/ Attachment Programme wherein they are placed in leading media organizations and assigned various tasks related to the functioning of the mass media.
The students are required to compile a file of all their work, including published reports, pages made, copies edited, reports broadcast, etc.
The P.G.Diploma in Video Programming students are attached for various periods to Doordarshan, Zee News, Star News, UCN and AIR or to the local correspondents of private national and regional news channels for hands-on training.
In the 2012-13 batch, the students were placed in the following organizations:

1. The Hitavada
2. The Times of India
3. Sakal
4. Lokmat Samachar
5. Lokmat
6. Nav Bharat
7. Star TV
8. UCN cable TV news
9. Office of the Defence PRO
10. PR Dept. of Western Coalfields Ltd.
11. Directorate of I & PR, Govt. of Maharashtra

The students receive certificates from the media organizations after completion of the Internship Programme.
 

 

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Major Activities during 2012-13

1. Learning visit to National Research Centre for Citrus (August 29, 2012)
As part of the Department’s efforts to familiarize the students with major issues and institutions of the region, a learning visit to the National Research Centre for Citrus on Amravati road was organized for the students.

Vidarbha is known as the California of the East for the oranges it produces and NRCC has been providing relevant scientific and technological inputs to enhance the quality and quantity of the growers’ production. The students interacted with the Director of the Center and senior officials from different departments to learn about the focus areas of research, development and extension work being done.

2. Guest Lecture on Science Reporting (August 29, 2012)
Science Reporting has become one of the fastest-emerging beats in journalism in India with the growth and development of the country. A Guest Lecture on the various aspects of reportage on science and technology was delivered by award-winning journalist, Mrs. Snehlata Shrivastava, Special Correspondent, The Times of India, Nagpur.

She spoke about how the students could prepare themselves for a career in Science Reporting and the finer points to be kept in mind while writing such reports. She also gave the students some useful tips on story-hunting, story ideas and building and nurturing useful contacts in the field.

3.) Workshop on Newspaper & Advt. Designing (Aug 28 to Sept 15, 2012)

A 15-day workshop in Newspaper Page Making and Advertisement Designing on Computer by UGC Visiting Fellow Mr. Hemant Abhyankar, Chief Design Artist, The Hitavada was organized for students wishing to join the print and advertising media. Mr. Abhyankar, an expert in design and Chief Design Artist with The Hitavada newspaper, gave them practical training various aspects and concepts of layout and design and trained the students on modern software such as Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop and Quark Xpress.
The areas of training included generating creative concepts and use of computer software for Page-making, Layout and Design, making pages and of pictures, illustrations, graphics, sketches colours, and other visual elements. The students were also trained in Advertising layout and design principles.

4. Workshop on ICT in Media (Sept 12 to 29, 2012)
A 15-day training programme in Information and Communication Technology in Media by UGC Visiting Fellow , Mr. Prashant Joshi was organized for students wishing to join the print, electronic and digital media. Mr. Joshi, an expert in ICT, gave them theoretical knowledge and practical training on various aspects and concepts of ICT.
The aspects of ICT in Media that were covered included I.T. concept, nature, scope and importance, application in various fields. I. T. culture, information society, use of Internet, LAN, WAN & MAN Networks of computers.
 

5. Teacher’s Day Programme (Sept 28, 2013)
Students of all three batches paid homage to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in whose memory Teacher’s Day is celebrated each year. In an informal get together with teachers of the department, they presented their views on various aspects of mass communication and narrated their experiences in the department.

Some students had prepared a lovely collage based on the theme of social media which was unveiled at the function. The teachers also spoke about their expectations and advised the students about their future.
This was followed by an entertainment programme in which the teachers as well as students presented songs and shared funny anecdotes about the profession.

6. National Seminar on Credibility of Indian Media (October 7, 2012)

The Department of Mass Communication, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur, in association with its Alumni Association and Yeshwantrao Chavan Pratishthan organised a one-day National Seminar on ‘Credibility of Indian Media’.
The objectives laid out for the seminar were to define factors and forces that impact media credibility; to examine the levels of media literacy among the masses; to identify remedies to any trust deficit that exists between media and its consumers; to discuss the possibilities of self-regulation and regulation by other authorities, including the judiciary; to deliberate adoption of a structured code of ethics by the media; to discuss the role of media education in creating responsible media persons.
The seminar was be attended by around 150 by students, teachers, members of the Alumni Association of the Department of Mass Communication, and invitees of Yeshwantrao Chavan Pratishthan.
The seminar was inaugurated at the hands of the Honourable Vice Chancellor of Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr. Vilas S. Sapkal. The key-note address was delivered by senior journalist Mr. Rahul Dev, former Editor of Aaj Tak, Zee News and Jansatta and Advisory Board Member of International Media Institute.
The Resource Persons in the first technical session on Print Media were Group Editor of Dainik Bhaskar and former Member of Press Council of India, Mr. Prakash Dubey and senior lawyer and media observer, Adv. Prabhakar Marpakwar. The session was chaired by social activist and alumnus of the Department, Mr. Girish Gandhi, Regional President of Yeshwantrao Chavan Pratishthan.

The Resource Persons for the second technical session on Electronic Media were Consulting Editor and Prime Time Anchor of Zee News, New Delhi, and alumnus of the Department, Mr. Punya Prasun Vajpayee, and senior academician and social activist, Dr. S.V.Khandewale. The session was chaired by Mr. Pradip Kumar Maitra, Sr. Assistant Editor, Hindustan Times and President of the Alumni Association of the Department of Mass Communication.
 

7. Practical Training through internship (Oct 27 to Nov 26, 2012)
Various initiatives are undertaken by the Department to provide practical training to the students in fields such as print and electronic journalism, advertising and public relations. One very important part of this training is the 30-day internship in media and related organisations.
The Department arranged for its students to be placed, according to individual interests and preferences in such organizations during the winter vacation at Diwali time. The students work as interns in the organizations observing, studying and learning the various work procedures and systems. They are also sent out on the field for assignments as and when required.
The organizations where students of the current batch were placed included The Hitavada, Times of India, Sakal, Lokmat Samachar, Nav Bharat, UCN, Defence PRO’s Office, Information and Public Relations Department of Government of Maharashtra and Western Coalfields Limited.

8. Short Films on Child Welfare for UNICEF (November 1 to 4, 2012)
Students of the Department undertook a unique project of conceiving and producing two short films on child welfare for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The project was conducted as part of a competition organized by Xavier Institute of Mass Communication , Mumbai.

Two teams from the department were sent to different locations in the backward areas of Yavatmal district in western Vidarbha.

The first team shot a short film on the valiant lone battle being waged against child marriage by a young physically challenged woman in the tiny hamlet of Bori Arab. The film titled ‘Ti Ticha Sathi” (She for Her) showed how the courageous effort of the young woman has succeeded not just in convincing parents but also the local body against the social ill marrying underage children.

The second team, which worked in the village of Babhulgaon, brought out the distressing human and socio-economic facts behind school dropouts. Their film “Aur Ek Sachin” (One more Sachin) narrated the sorry tales of little boys and girls who are forced to drop out of the formal education system owing to various compulsions. In the midst of this, the efforts of some well-meaning local youths has shown a ray of hope in getting some of these children back to school.
The teams included Devashri Bhimte, Devesh Gondane, Pratik Barsagade, Charles Salve, Dhanashree Mathulkar, Pooja Singh, Kavita Satpute, Aditya Bidwai and Sandesh Tiwari. The students were guided by visiting faculty, Mrs. B.Kalyani.
 

9. Guest Lecture on Legislative Procedures (December 10, 2012)
Veteran journalist, Mr Arun Phanshikar, who has more than 35 years of experience of working with newspapers such as The Hitavada, The Indian Express and Hindustan Times, was called upon to share his knowledge of legislative procedures with the students.

Mr. Phanshikar explained the basic tenets of parliamentary democracy and the structure of legislatures at the national, state and local level. Focussing on the state legislature, he described in detail the powers, duties and functioning of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad.
He also briefed the students about the nature and classification of legislative proceeding, including the various tools available to the people’s representatives.
 

10. Guest Lecture on Political Reporting (December 12, 2012)
Political reportage forms the backbone of India’s journalism. Political institutions and journalism are considered two of the pillars of the parliamentary form of democracy.
Senior Journalist from Mumbai and Director of V.S.Pagey Legislative Training Centre, Government of Maharashtra, Mr. Nagesh Kesari had a detailed discussion with the students on Political Reporting.
He stressed the importance of deeply studying the political intuitions and political parties and leaders and their history and background for meaningful political reporting. He cited several examples of how leading political writers in India have been able to maintain their credibility through objectivity. Ethics form an important part of political reporting, he said.

11. Visit to Maharashtra Legislature Winter Session (December 18, 2012)

To be able to experience for themselves the most important function of law making, the students were taken to Vidhan Bhavan Nagpur during the winter session of the Maharashtra State Legislature.
They witnessed the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly during question hours and learned how members put up questions, how they are answered and how the Speaker runs the House.
In the Legislative Council, they saw from the galleries an interesting discussion on the education system in Maharashtra with members making statements on the various shortcomings and problems and the education minister offering assurances and speaking about plans for the future.


12. News Bulletin for State Sports Meet (January 17 to 21, 2013)
Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University was picked this year by the Honourable Chancellor and Governor of Maharashtra to host the prestigious 16th Maharashtra Inter University Sports Festival – Krida Mahotsava 2012.
The meet was held from January 17 to 21, 2013. The Vice Chancellor and Chairman of the Organising Committee showed great faith in the students of the Department of Mass Communication, and entrusted them with the responsibility of bringing out a bulletin on each of the six days of the event.
The students, none of them having any previous experience of sports reporting, accepted the challenge and set about learning the craft. On each of the six days of the sports festival, the students produced a four-page colourful tabloid covering the on and off the field activities with a professional touch. The bulletin, named “Krida Aavhan” (Sports Challenge) was an instant hit with the 2,000 or so participants and officials from all over Maharashtra. Each morning they would eagerly await the arrival of the Krida Aavhan team to distribute the day’s bulletin. They would virtually mob the team’s make-shift office in the university gymnasium to get a copy.
Brought out in Marathi, Hindi and English, the daily bulletin provided an excellent platform for all students of the Department to learn hand-on how to plan, write, edit and present an actual newspaper.
 

13. Guest Lecture on Women and Environment (Jan 24, 2013)

Environmental activist, Ms. Ritika Indurkar, was invited for a guest lecture on ‘Women and Environment.’ Ritika who has worked on several projects explained how women individually and as part of self help groups (SHGs) can play an active role in environment protection. She presented a slide show on various aspects of the subject such as sustainable development, pollution, ecology and ecosystems, population, urbanization and industrialization, the relationship between the society, the economy and the environment and related issues.

14. Campus visit by Jai Maharashtra Editors (February 1, 2013)

Senior journalists on a state-wide talent hunt for the newly launched Jai Maharashtra 24x7 News Channel made it a point to visit the Department of Mass Communication and interact with the students.
Ravindra Ambekar, Executive Editor (Input) and Tulsidas Bhoite, Executive Editor (Output) spent more than an hour speaking to the students as a group. They gave each student the opportunity to make a one-minute presentation on a topic of his or her choice and took notes on the qualities of each individual.
They also shared their experiences and gave the students valuable inputs about a career in the electronic media and the capabilities and qualities required to perform well in the area of TV news.
The editors expressed satisfaction with the performance of the students and said their names would be added to the channel’s data bank to fill vacancies as and when they arise.
 

15. Guest Lecture and Annual Prize Distribution (February 15, 2013)

Students of the Department with outstanding achievements in various fields were felicitated at the hands of Mr. Vikas Mishra, Editor, Lokmat Samachar, at the annual prize distribution function on.
Teams and individual students from the Department have registered achievements at the inter-college and university level in events including debate, quiz, dance and photography. This year, a team of budding reporters and editors from the Department won accolades for publishing a daily news bulletin on each of the six days of the prestigious Maharashtra Inter University Sports Festival – Krida Mahotasva.
Other teams from the Department won appreciation for their outstanding documentary productions for UNICEF on the themes of Child Marriage and School Drop-outs in rural parts of Yavatmal district.
Speaking at the function after honouring the students, veteran journalist and national award winner Mr Vikas Mishra stressed the need for journalists to inculcate a deep sense of honesty to the profession and commitment to the society. Citing examples, he said being a good human being is the first requirement of mass media professionals. He dwelt on the importance of regular reading and learning on the part of journalists.
 

16. Student seminar on Career Opportunities in Media (February 15, 2013)
Students from the second and fourth semesters of of M.A. (Mass Communication) gave a seminar on career opportunities in the media using Power Point presentations.
Miss Richa Sainani and Miss Vaishnavi Joshi gave a presentation on career and self-employment opportunities in New Media. They informed the students about the different non-technical aspects of new media in which lots of employment opportunities are being generated. Areas such as web content writing and managing, website designing and management, e-newspapers and news portals, and web advertising and public relations are emerging fields that require a large number of skilled and creative individuals all over India.
A presentation on career and self-employment opportunities in Print Media was given by Miss Pallavi Aherrao and Miss Pooja Singh. They highlighted the fact that despite the growth of electronic and new media, the traditional print medium was growing at a fast pace in India. In fact, several expansion projects and launch of new editions have been held up because capable hands are not available.
 

17. Learning visit to Advertising Agency Akruti (February 20, 2013)
The world of advertising is growing at a very fast pace with billions of dollars being spent on this most effective form of promotion across the globe each year. Advertising is said to be an art as well as a science and has evolved into a full fledged stream of education and knowledge owing to the many professional career opportunities it offers.
Students of Journalism and Mass Communication are in demand in the field of advertising. To make them aware of the practical aspects of advertising, they were taken for a visit to the well-known Akruti Advertising Agency which has offices in Pune and Nagpur.
Director of the agency, Mr. Mandar Kolte, interacted with the students and gave a brief introduction of his firm. He spoke of the tough challenges he faced in the initial stages and how he overcame them.
Creative Head, Ms. Rachna Deshmukh gave the students a demonstration of the different softwares used in designing advertisements and shed light on some of the creative aspects. Nagpur Branch Head Ms. Nidhi Kurda also interacted with the students. With an annual turnover of nearly Rs. five crore, Akruti Advertising Agency has diversified into various segments of brand promotion and endorsements.

18. Learning visit to Nava Bharat office (February 22, 2013)

The daily Nava Bharat is the oldest surviving Hindi newspaper of the entire central India. It has a rich tradition of journalism, having been founded by the late Mr. Ramgopal Maheshwari in 1934 to arouse the masses during India’s freedom struggle.
Students of the Department spent half a day at the offices of Nava Bharat to get acquainted with the newspaper’s functioning. Senior journalist Mr. Purushottam Datir gave them a detailed account of the newspaper’s history and practices.
He spoke about the importance of value based journalism and social commitment. Nava Bharat is publishing its editions from six centers in Maharashtra, two in Chhattisgarh, and six in Madhya Pradesh along with presence in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat ,Goa, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
Sub Editor Ms. Swati Pal gave the students an overview of the working of various departments and sections including news, features, regional, proof-reading, pagination, advertising, circulation and marketing.
The students were also introduced to the working of the different desks including main desk, business, education, crime, politics, cultural and sports.
 

19. Workshop on Inter-cultural Communication (Feb 27 to Mar 6, 2013)
In a fast-changing world where regional and national boundaries are becoming irrelevant owing to Information and Communication Technology, the students of Mass Communication have to be prepared to operate in multi-cultural environments and for multi-cultural audiences.
 

Also, in a country like India, where so many rich and diverse cultural influences operate on the society, it is very important to understand how communication is established across cultural boundaries.
Noted communication expert and former Head of the Department of Mass Communication conducted a five-day workshop on Inter-cultural Communication for the M.A. students.
He shed light on aspects such as Globalisation and culture, language and grammar of Inter Cultural Communication, Folk Media, Cultural Symbols, Western and Eastern Culture, and Social Effects of Inter Cultural Communication.

20. Expert lecture on Graphic Arts (February 28, 2013)

Extraordinary developments in graphic arts and printings technology have made life easy for those in the print medium and at the same time posed certain challenges. Journalists need to be aware of these developments and be able to use the new technology to their advantage.
Veteran printing technologist Mr. Abhay Banhatti was invited for the guest lecture on graphic arts. He spoke to the students about basic principles of graphics, elements and types of newspaper design, importance of page make-up, layout and graphic styles in newspapers, magazines and tabloid, types and styles of design, new trends in newspaper production and printing, role of artists and art-work in modern newspapers. Different newspaper design software & DTP professional software and fonts.

21. Learning visit to The Hitavada Printing Press (February 28, 2013)

With a view to get the students acquainted with the latest printing technology, they were taken for a visit to The Hitavada printing press in Hinga MIDC area.
Press In-charge, Mr. S.D.Sarode, gave them a conducted tour of the facility and explained each process and machinery in detail. The students saw the process right from the time the soft copies of the pages are electronically received from the city-based newsroom and digitally converted into plates, the colour printing and the final cutting, folding and packing.
Of the two units currently in use, one has a capacity of printing 25,000 to 30,000 papers per hour and the other has a speed of 30,000 to 36,000. Many of the students saw a newsprint roll for the first time in their lives. The various chemicals and colours used and the manner of their application were also explained.
 

22. Learning visit to State I & PR Dept. (March 7, 2013)
A good proportion of students who enroll for journalism and mass communication courses intend to pursue a career in the field of public relations. With globalization and the advent of multi-nationals, the field of PR offers many interesting and lucrative career opportunities.
To gain firsthand knowledge of the working of a government PR organization, the students were taken to the office of the Director, Information and Public Relations, Government of Maharashtra.
 

They were provided information by Mr. P.D.Khandare, Assistant Director, and Mr. Anil Thakre, District Information Officer. The office at Nagpur overseas the government PR work in the entire Vidarbha region, i.e., Nagpur and Amravati Divisions.
The main function of the department is to spread the information and inform to the people about the various schemes run by the government for the rural areas as well as urban areas.
During the winter session of the state legislature, the department is engaged in all media related activities of the various ministries and departments.
Its regular publications include Lokrajya, Mukhrajya and Urdu Lokrajya magazines. Besdies communicating to the target audiences through newspapers, magazines, television, radio and Internet, the department also uses the tools of banners and posters, events, film shows and street plays.
 

23. Learning visit to Melghat (March 16 to 18, 2013)
It was an eye-opener for the city-based students of the Department of Mass Communication to discover some realities about rural India. During the three-day learning visit to Dharni and Chikhaldara blocks of Melghat region in north-western Vidarbha, the future journalists absorbed details on issues such as child malnutrition, tribal lifestyles, forest and wildlife conservation, forest resources and eco-tourism.
They started out by staying in tents and enjoying the thrills of a camping expedition at the Nature Education and Community Resource Centre in Melghat Tiger Reserve. The centre is run by the Nature Conservation Society, Amravati (NCSA).
Named after ‘Muthawa’ a deity of the local Korku tribals, the centre was established in 2006. It has a scenic location on the Bori-Kotha road near village Harisal on the Paratwada-Dharni highway.
With the picturesque Sipna river running close by, the 8-hectare campus adjoined by forests on two sides giving a good view of the Melghat Tiger Reserve. There are around 80 plant species and it has become a paradise for raptors specially Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Shikra and Common Kestrel. The chital, four-horned antelope and blacknaped hare are occasional visitors at the centre as they get ample fodder and water.
Apart from all these wonders of nature, the students also witnessed the centre’s efforts at organic farming and agro-foresty. As part of its conservation-based employment model, NCSA has established three nurseries at Muthawa. For example, the nursery of forest species can become the source of income generation of tribal families and also useful in restoring degraded habitats around villages.
 

The students were given a conducted tour of the nurseries by trained volunteers who explained the details of each. NCSA set up the first nursery in 2009 and has raised around 20,000 saplings (in three such nurseries) of mango, karwanda, Mahua, Karanj, Amala, Jamun, Custard apple, orange, Neem, Jack fruits, Behada. One nursery is exclusively for growing medicinal plants.
The students were also shown a vermi-composting manure unit that converts one tonne of agriculture waste per month in to organic manure.
Later, the students had a leisurely interaction session with noted conservationist Mr. Kishor Rithe who is the founder and executive director of NCSA and has been involved with wildlife conservation initiatives of various state and national bodies including the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of India. He explained various aspects of environment related to forests and wildlife and give detailed replies to queries from the students.
After a unique experience of staying overnight in tents at the centre, the students set out the next day for another path-breaking initiative in the region – the Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra in village Lavada also on the Paratwada-Dharni highway.
The centre has been founded by social workers Sunil and Nirupama Deshpande in the mid-90s in the tribal village of Lavada in Melghat forests. The initial objective was to solve the malnutrition problem in the region and to help improve upon the many other social problems that plague the region. Today, it has evolved as a beacon for the campaign for self-sustaining economic welfare of the local population with the mission goal: “Restablish respect & honor for artisans in society”.
 

Addressing the visiting students, Mr. Sunil Deshpande explained that with the advent of mass produced goods, artisan based products are having a hard time competing at these price points and hence artisan communities around the world and in India are dwindling. The artisan communities at one time formed the base of a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable decentralized industrial economy, unlike today’s western industrialized economies, which aren’t nearly as socially or environmentally sustainable. It is this economy that is based on artisanry that they would like to resurrect.
They are engaged in developing a model for this in Melghat that would subsequently be replicated across India.
In Melghat, they are providing training in bamboo handicraft and housing work to ST and SC youth. Bamboo was chosen as it is an eco-friendly sustainable renewable resource with remarkable strength and flexibility, locally available throughout India and has infinite applications. They are involved in marketing of handicrafts through an artisan cooperative, building awareness of bamboo applications, working to organize artisans on a local, state and national level through Karigar Panchayats in order to fight for artisan rights and working to change government policies to be more artisan supportive.
Apart from the bamboo livelihood work, SBK is involved with other social development work in areas such as rural credit generation, village-level micro-planning, SHG group creation and crèche center operation, all targeted at the local Melghat population.
Mr. Deshpande also enlightened the students about details of the pre-dominant Korku tribe in terms of their origin, first appearance in Melghat, their traditions, customs and lifestyle, their local governance practices and various issues facing them.
From SBK, the students moved a few kilometers further towards Dharni where they met Dr. Ashish Satav who, along with his ophthalmologist wife Dr Kavita Satav, has been running the Mahan (Meditation, AIDS, Health, Addiction and Nutrition) trust for over two decades. The trust operates a general and an eye hospital and has proved a boon for the local tribals.
The doctor couple has particularly been engaged in the area of child malnutrition. Interacting with the students, Dr. Ashish Satav explained that Melghat is known to have a very high maternal mortality (300 per 1000 live births) and infant mortality (more than 60 per 1000 live births). Melghat has the highest maternal death cases as compared to rest of Maharashtra.
 

As a medical student, doing his M.B.B.S from Government College, Nagpur, Dr. Ashish visited various rural and tribal health projects run by Dr.Prakash and Dr.Manda Amte ; Drs. Abhay & Rani Bang, Dr. Ravindra Kolhe, Dr. Sudarshan, etc. His visits to tribal areas helped him realize that the tribal areas need medical facilities to a much larger extent as compared to rural areas in our country. In 1998 he resigned from the MGIMS, Sevagram and registered a voluntary organization named MAHAN and started hospital in Melghat.

The students also visit a tiny village called Berdabardi in Dharni tahsil where they interacted with a female health volunteer and a nursing midwife attached to Mahan. They were taken to a household with a malnourished infant where they also spoke with the mother and other family members in order to understand the problems first hand.
From Dharni, they returned to Semadoh and thanks to the hospitality extended by Field Director Mr. K.P.Singh, they were taken on a safari of the sanctuary. They were thrilled to experience the pristine wonders of the forest and also got to see a herd of Indian Gaur, peacocks, wild fowl and other creatures. Before that, they had enjoyed the panoramic view from the vintage Kolkaz guest house.
 

At Semadoh, the students visited the Nature Information and Interpretation Centre which added to their knowledge of Melghat Tiger Reserve and its varied flora and fauna.
Situated in northern Maharashtra in the Satpuda landscape, the Melghat Tiger Reserve was once the logging and hunting grounds for British people. The river Tapti in the north and five rivers which actually contribute huge amount of water to Tapti flows through Melghat Tiger Reserve and enrich the flora, birdlife, reptiles, butterflies, spiders and many more creatures.
This is rather one of the best places in the country to see raptors in good numbers including the newly discovered family of spider and endangered Forest Owlet.
The last leg of the three-day tour featured a relaxing visit to the idyllic hill station of Chikaldhara. The students were offered hospitality by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and visited various places of interest to study different aspects of tourism.
The place that most fascinated the students was the Gavilgarh Fort. Cradled in the mighty Satpuda range at a well over a thousand metres above mean sea level, the fort was build in the 12th century by the local Gawli King. In the 14th century is was taken over by the Bahmani rulers.
 

The Subhedar of Warhad, Fateullah Imad Al Mulk, carried our major restoration works on the fort in 1488. For different periods of time, the fort was under Imadshahi, Nizamshahi, Mughal and British rule. The massive walls are embedded with at least seven doors of which Delhi Darwaza and Fateh Darwaza are the tallest. The entire fort campus has five man-made water bodies that provided for the needs of its inhabitants.
Although deserted by humans today, the fort is home to a variety of wild life including sloth bears and leopards.
On there way back to Nagpur, the students witnessed yet another thrilling aspect of Vidarbha’s rural life – the Shankarpat. This one was on in full swing at an open field outside Valgaon near Amravati.
Shankarpat, or bullock cart racing, is popular in Vidarbha region. It is an occasion for the villagers, particularly the menfolk, to shed all worries and have a fun day screaming, cheering and laughing their lungs out. It also helps in fostering brotherhood and sometimes acts as ideal venue for matchmaking. Even the court had noted that the event was like IPL matches in terms of popularity. In fact, many women participate in the race and last year a woman had clinched the title.
However, in September 2011, the government of Maharashtra issued a GR banning the sport after the union ministry of environment and forests placed bulls on a list of animals whose performances were not allowed. Punjab and Goa had already imposed such bans.

 

While the animal rights activists maintain that forcing bulls to race amounts to cruelty, the local Shankarpat committees are heart-broken. They feel robbed of an important social and cultural event that was one of the few sources of entertainment for the rural masses. It is their contention that the races would amount to cruelty only if the rider uses the ‘aru’, a pointed stick to prod the bulls as they ran. Otherwise, the racing bulls are very well taken care of. They are massaged with oils and fed expensive food like cashew and raisin.
Some of the committees approached the Supreme Court against the ban. The apex court lifted the ban but imposed certain riders.
Earlier this year, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court quashed an order by the District Collector prohibiting the race at a village in Saoner tahsil. The court, however, asked the organizers to wilfully comply with the Supreme Court guidelines and take every precaution to avoid any untoward incident during the event.
The students, thus, got to know about one more interesting aspect of rural life.

24. Release of Lab Journal ‘Campus’ (April 6, 2013)
“Campus”, the lab journal produced by students of the Department of Mass Communication, RTM Nagpur University, was released at a function on Saturday at the hands of Mrs. Aasawari Shenolikar, Deputy Editor, The Hitavada.
The student newspaper is conceived, designed and produced entirely by the students and features articles of various subjects and news of the different activities undertaken at the Department of Mass Communication.
 

 Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Shenolikar spoke about the thrill and excitement of a career in Mass Communication and urged the students to work towards their career goals with passion and dedication.
In an interactive session with the students, she spoke about the challenges in producing magazines and the perpetual hunt for story and feature ideas.
She also explained some finer points in the art of reviewing and shared her experiences.
She expressed interest in the cover story of this year’s issue of ‘Campus’ which deals with the students’ experiences on a learning visit to Melghat. During this visit, the future journalists got acquainted with issues such as child malnutrition, tribal lifestyles, forest and wildlife conservation, forest resources and eco-tourism.
Mrs. Shenolikar congratulated the students and the Department for the wide variety of learning experiences and practical training opportunities they had created.
 

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