MCJ Department preparing students to get jobs, Urdu an advantage
Hyderabab: Najmunneesa Chempayil, 25, who passed out from the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) of Maulana Azad National Urdu University is now an Assistant Professor in the same subject at C.H.Muhammed Koya Memorial Government Arts & Science College in Mallapuram, Kerala. She is also qualified in the UGC conducted NET Exam. Iftekhar Alam, 29, is presently working in the Press Information Bureau (PIB), New Delhi. He has also qualified the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). Aamir Badar, 27, is employed with the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), New Delhi. He has cracked the UGC conducted NET Exam. These are some of the young achievers who have passed out from the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, where the medium of instruction is exclusively Urdu.
These professionals have broken the stereotype belief that those who pass out from MANUU would not be accommodated in national media organizations because their medium of instruction was Urdu. The Department is slowly coming of age and proving that Urdu as a medium of instruction is certainly not a barrier. We get students mostly from weak socio-economic background and they are the first generation learners in their families. The other commonality among them is that they usually come from the hinterlands. Making them market ready is a challengeâ€™, says the Dean and Head of the Department Prof. Ehtesham Ahmad Khan.
The Department of MC&J at MANUU was established only in 2004 but is taking sure steps in creating a niche for itself. It is well equipped with modern infrastructure to provide students with training in Electronic and Print Media. Students of the department get hands on access to Video Studio, Audio Studio, associated control rooms, and a comprehensive postproduction facility by way of audio and video edit suits, teleprompter, computer graphics and animation. The department also boasts of 15 high-end graphic workstations with sophisticated software for the usage of 2D & 3D animations at its Graphic & Animation Lab. The Print Lab has 14 high-end computers to publish the in-house Journal Izhaar produced and edited by the students themselves.
â€œThrough internships we try to put students in situations that condition them for real life reporting experiences. Such exercises hone their skills for actual industry requirementâ€, says Associate Professor Mohammad Fariyad. He reveals that recently the Directorate of Audio-Visual Publicity (DAVP) has offered internships to the students in New Delhi.
â€œCinema studies was another crucial gap which we could finally plug in 2013-14â€, says Assistant Professor Dr. Meraj Ahmed Mubarki.
Recently the Department organized an International Conference that saw the coming together of renowned journalists from across the globe including renowned journalists like Najam Sethi, N Ram, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shekar Gupta, Memhal Sarfraz, Imtiaz Alam, Kamal Khan, Swapan Dasgupta, Ved Pratap Vaidik and Sheshadri Chari among others.
â€œThe Department has gone a long way in dispelling notions of arrested underdevelopment usually and quite erroneously associated with the Urdu languageâ€™, opines Dr. Durgesh Tripathi, former member of the Central Board of Film Certification, New Delhi. â€˜But a visit to the university was an eye openerâ€™, he says.
â€˜The general perception is that students opting for courses in journalism through Urdu medium would be good enough for Urdu newspapers only. That has changedâ€™, says Md Jehangir Alam, 28, who passed out from the department and is a sub-editor with an English news web portal.
Professor Shafey Kidwai, chairman, Dept of Mass Communication, AMU, Aligarh reiterates that â€˜employers are apprehensive about the viability of Urdu as a language of mass communication but a beginning has been made. Letâ€™s not forget film scripts and screenplays for the Hindi film industry are majorly written in Urdu even todayâ€™.
Anjum Rajabali, script writer of successful Bollywood films like Ghulam, Satyagraha, Raajneeti, and Aarakshan who recently delivered a lecture in script writing at the Department feels that Urdu language is no barrier to a successful career in Bombay cinema. â€˜Most of our successful script writers came from an Urdu Backgroundâ€™, he points out.
To augment research, the department has started to offer PhD courses from 2014 with emphasis on minority and contemporary media issues. I left my job at ETV Network and enrolled for a PhD at the department. Now I have also been qualified for the Maulana Azad National Fellowship to continue my research work at the departmentâ€™, says Abdul Qadir Siddiqui, a native of Kolkata.
Professor Dr. Dipak Shinde, Director, School of Media Studies at Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University Nanded agrees that media students from vernacular background often face unfair treatment and are prejudged. Agrees well known former BBC South Asia correspondent Satish Jacob, â€˜I noticed that journalists from vernacular background have to prove themselves more than their missionary schooled colleagues. But given an opportunity, these students are no less than anyone in the professionâ€™.
The MCJ department at Maulana Azad National Urdu University seems to be changing that. Urdu has become the source of employment for students hailing from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. And that is a welcome change.