USTM announces fellowships and other programmes for North East journalists
USTM, Ri Bhoi, January 18, 2018: With a strong conviction that media plays a pivotal role in educational development of the region, the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) announced several media fellowships for journalists of the region at a Round Table held on 18 January 2018 in the University campus amidst a galaxy of editors of newspapers and television channels as well as stalwarts and opinion makers from different states of the Northeast. Titled “USTM-Media Round Table 2018”, the event was organised by the University to seek advice and suggestions from the media personalities on how USTM can contribute to the media fraternity and to the society as a whole by offering free education to the aspirant children of journalists as well as by way of offering fellowships.
Addressing the distinguished media personalities in the Round Table, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor, USTM said, “We must acknowledge the contribution of both print and electronic media towards knowledge dissemination and for building public awareness for the need of education in order to develop oneself and one’s society, and the country as a whole. We believe that we have to learn a lot from the veterans and thinkers working in the field of media, on an on-going basis”. He said that an Academia-Media Committee will be formed as a follow up to the Round Table to finalise the topics and other details of the fellowships to be awarded by USTM to journalists from the North East. He also informed that the fellowships will be formally launched by USTM in July 2018.
Appreciating USTM’s role in education and research initiatives, the veterans of media houses agreed that the efforts of the University for development of education among the poor section of the society by way of providing various scholarships and also free education to 35 per cent students of the total enrolment in the University is really laudable. They greeted the Chancellor of USTM for his educational entrepreneurship through relentless endeavour towards development of education among the people. The presence of 55 per cent girl students in the University too is a sign of support towards women empowerment, agreed the participants in the Round Table.
During the brainstorming session, the editors of the print and electronic media from the North East suggested different topics for both the major fellowship programme leading to PhD and the minor fellowships. The topics suggested for the major fellowship include floods and erosion, lack of livelihood options in the North East, healthcare needs for senior citizens, use of alternative media, sufferings of women in conflict zones, crises before the media industry, human resources drain from the North East, gender sensitiveness, environment and wildlife issues etc. For the short term fellowships, it was proposed that issues relating to promotion of positive news by media, customs and food habits of North East, development of tourism, entrepreneurship and skill development, community resistance to conflicts, and effects of globalisation on small communities could be considered.
While PJ Baruah, Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune suggested that traditional methods adopted in flood control and future of small newspapers could be topics of research, Wasbir Hussain, Chief Editorial Advisor, North East Live, said that there has to be research on lack of livelihood options in the North East which is causing brain drain. Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press stressed on new media standing as a challenge in the media world. Eminent journalist Naba Thakuria said that there should be some study in the healthcare sector in the region while Maini Mahanta, Editor, Nandini emphasised on gender sensitiveness as an issue. Samudra Gupta Kashyap, Assistant Editor, Indian Express emphasised on human resource development in the North East. Some of the distinguished media personalities present in the Round Table were: Jarpum Gamlin, Editor, Eastern Sentinel, Arunachal Pradesh; Rajib Baruah, Assistant Director, Regional Office, All India Radio; David Laitphlang, President of Shillong Press Club; Sujit Chakraborty, IANS correspondent, Agartala; Paragmoni Aditya, Editor, News 18; Ravi Shankar Ravi, Editor, Dainik Purvoday; Dilip Chandan , Editor, Asom Bani; Zodin Sanga, Editor, Newslink, Aizawl; Emilo Konyak from Nagaland Post; Nasreen Habib, Editor, The Eclectic; Basistha Pandey, Editor, Purvanchal Prahari; Samim Sultana from Dainik Agradoot, Ratul Baruah from Meghalaya Guardian, Utpal Bhuyan from Gana Adhikar and Monmoromi Mahanta from Prag Channel. The interactive session was moderated by Ashim Kumar Kazi, Senior Programme Executive, All India Radio.
In course of his presidential remarks, Prof NK Choudhury, former VC, Gauhati University and Principal Adviser, USTM said that this academia-media interface would go a long way to help the society as a whole in a meaningful way.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Dr RK Sharma, Pro Vice Chancellor, USTM while the introductory address was made by Rani Pathak Das, PRO, USTM. The programme came to an end with the formal vote of thanks offered by Dr Alaka Sharma, Dean, School of Social Sciences & Humanities, USTM. The Round Table was supported by the ERD Foundation, Guwahati.
It must be mentioned here that USTM is one of the fastest growing Private Universities in the entire North East India having all the statutory approvals of UGC, AICTE, NCTE and BCI. At present, USTM is running seven schools of study viz. School of Applied Science, Biological Science, Business Science, Engineering & Technology, Education, Law & Social Sciences and Humanities. Currently, 4,700 students are pursuing their education in the University.