IIMC axes its Sanskrit Journalism course

Launched with much fanfare, the three-month advanced certificate course in Sanskrit Journalism rolled out by Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in collaboration with Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth under HRD Ministry has died a premature death.

The IIMC management has apparently withdrawn the course soon after the exit of Director-General KG Suresh, much to chagrin of students and Sanskrit lovers even though there were takers for the course, it is learnt.

According to an IIMC official, of the 15 students in the first batch 12 have successfully completed the course with a few of them working in reputed organisations such as All India Radio. “The purpose of the course is to promote Indian languages. We have started courses in Urdu, Marathi and Malayalam journalism. This is the first of its kind course in the world,” KG Suresh had told Indus Scrolls at the time of launch.

Talking to Indus Scrolls, Prof Kamla Bhardwaj of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit University said the IIMC has not yet intimated the university authorities “about the current status of the programme”. “We are going ahead with the programme, as it is a successful initiative. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with IIMC for the course and they cannot scrap it unilaterally. I hope they will not do that. We will take it up with the new IIMC Director-General.”

The course should be seen in the perspective of the vision that seeks to turn the premier media institute into a hub of mass communication. If there is a journalism course in Urdu, what is wrong with having a course in Sanskrit journalism, asked a student who has passed out. “Why should they stop a course which has been running successfully? Where else can we expect Sanskrit to be promoted? This is very disappointing,” he added.

“The Sanskrit Journalism course does offer job prospects,” said the IIMC official. Besides Doordarshan, which runs a Sanskrit news bulletin called Vaartavali, AIR also has news programmes in that language. Some Sanskrit news sites are also in the pipeline.