Patna University (PU) will start a two-year postgraduate degree course in journalism, a first in the state. Vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh will inaugurate the course on Saturday.
The course will be run from the postgraduate Hindi department at Darbhanga House. A postgraduate diploma course in journalism, which was being run by the department, will also continue.
Singh said: “The degree course is being launched to meet the demands of the students. No other university in Bihar offers a degree course in journalism and most of the students, who pursue a postgraduate diploma in journalism, are left with no other option but to move outside the state to pursue a masters degree.”
The VC said a degree in journalism is required to teach at any university.
While several private institutes and state universities offer diploma courses in journalism, most of them are faced with a faculty crunch, as a masters’ degree is mandatory to appear in University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test.
PU, which issued the notice inviting applications to the two-year course in June 12, conducted the entrance test on July 12. Results were declared on July 23 after interviews on July 13 and 14. Forty-five candidates enrolled for the course.
University sources said the reason behind the low turnout of students for the course was late approval from the chancellor’s office.
Course director and head of department, Hindi, Amar Kumar Singh said: “A student from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi, topped the entrance test, while the third position went to another IIMC, New Delhi, passout.”
Amar said the syllabus has been designed according to the standard of syllabi followed by premier institutes like IIMC, Jamia Millia Islamia and other central universities. He said apart from PU teachers, 22 faculty members, comprising senior journalists from media houses in Patna, will also guide the students.
The varsity also plans to conduct practical classes of the journalism course from the language lab. Set up at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh, the lab would have facilities similar to premier institutions and would start functioning in a month. Amar said: “The students will be taught page making, layout designing, editing, news reading and other aspects of modern-day journalism at the lab.”