Chandigarh: 23 May:It was the turn of the department of Mass Communication today to sit on the chain fast seeking central university status for Panjab University.
Those faculty members who sat on the fast were Jayanth N. Pethkar, Mohanmeet Khosla and Archana Singh, supported by their students Neha Jindal, Neha Vig, Hemant, Arunpreet, and Deeksha Kadian.
Mohanmeet Khosla, Chairperson of the department disclosed from the dharna site that the department of Mass Communication is the oldest department in the whole of South Asia and was set up in 1941 when P.U. was in Lahore. During the last seven decades the department has produced a large number of media giants of the stature of Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief, Indian Express, Kanwar Sandhu, Resident editor of Hindustan Times, H.K. Dua, Editor in Chief The Tribune, and Pankaj Paul, Managing Director, Hindustan Times, naming only a few of them, disclosed Dr Khosla. The department has 100 per cent placement record, and all the students of the current session have already got placement in the media, told the Placement Officer Jayanth N. Pethkar. “It is a tragedy that such an educational institution is falling prey to petty political differences of the parties,” regretted Dr Khosla. She further added that ‘it is indeed a crime when intellect, hard work and the very spirit of enquiry is snuffed out by individual egos’.
When asked that what are the future plans of expansion of the department, Dr Khosla told that besides the introduction of new courses the department has on the anvil setting up of a community radio station, and a TV station linked with the Edusat programme. There are many other programmes and projects that are, at the moment, in limbo for want of financial resources. That is precisely the reason to protest by shunning food for a day while sitting by the roadside to make the people aware of the crisis-ridden future of the University. Nearly 300 students, teachers and other well-wishers visited the site of the chain fast to support the central university status for P.U. by putting their signatures in the visitors register.
Dissemination of information in no way is less important than the production of knowledge and information. Mass media, therefore, has a crucial role to play between the state, institutions and the people, said Archana Singh. It is the duty of the state to take cognizance of the crisis through which P.U. is passing at the moment and come out with a solution.