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Instant Karma

The Top PG courses – for a career in television

Jamia Milia Islamia university, New Delhi
Mass Communication Research Centre
Sophia Polytech, Mumbai
Social Communication media (SCM)
Sarojini Naidu institute,
Asian College Of Journalism, Chennai
XIC Mumbai
Xavier Institute of Communications,
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication,
Senapati Bapat Rd., Pune
Pune University, Dept of Mass Communications
Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute,

FTII, Pune has not been included because of late it has been facing several problems which have paralyzed the day to day functioning of this once premier institute.

After class XII NID, Ahmedabad
(4 yr program with specialization in video programs after 10 + 2)

There are smaller, upcoming institutes also which may be worth going to in order to learn the basics. Yes, diplomas from the reputed institutess carry some weight but unlike the MBA scene where the IIM grads corner all the good jobs, there’s hope for one and all to make a mark in this field.

New institutes
Of late many new institutes have come up. There is COMMITS (Convergence Institute of Media Management and Infotech Studies) and another called ICONS, both formed by the ex director of Symbiosis. Another new institute in Bangalore called IIJMN. In Mumbai there is SBC (School of Broadcasting and Communications).

But these are yet to make their mark – saying you’ve done a course from these institutes is not going to ring a bell anywhere. Hence the rather high cost of doing the course isn’t really justified.

Indian Institute of Mass Communication, in JNU campus, New Delhi.
Studying at IIMC is supposed to be big honor, at least they told me so when I was selected for IIMC. Indeed it feels so as you have to give an all India test and then if u get thru that the interview board grill you to death.

The course duration is just nine months-Aug to April with a month of internship. There are four courses:
1) Print media
2) Electronic media
3) Advertising & PRtions
4) Regional journalism (Hindi,Oriya and Urdu).

I had tried for the electronic media course but made it to the print one only. The reason: there are only 25 seats for the Electronic media course and with TV booming big-time it’s very much in demand. And yes, the print course is cheaper – just Rs 1500 while the electronic media and advertising courses cost Rs 35000 and Rs 22,000 respectively. There is a lot of work to be done with practical and theory assignments. But business can be mixed with pleasure too.. JNU campus is lovely and romance can bloom with the lush greenery as backdrop. But only girls have a hostel in Delhi. (Incidentally, IIMC has a branch in in Orissa also at Cuttack. The institute on a small hilltop there looks like a resort! They provide acco to both guys and girls. But the reputation and opportunities from the Delhi branch are no doubt far greater.) IIMC used to have campus interviews at one time. But we – the batch of 2002 – were not so lucky. Blame it all on the “recession”.
– Murchona Hazarika,
IIM batch of 2002

Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi
2 year full time degree If you are more inclined towards film-making Jamia’s 2 year full time degree is highly recommended.

Anirban Bhattacharya, Producer Channel [V] and a Jamia graduate says, ”Jamia is the best in India.” He feels doing the course gives one an introduction to the technical side of things and sharpens the aesthetic sense. Jamia is the toughest mass communication course to get into, and applicants must go through an extremely rigorous admission procedure. To begin with you must have a portfolio connected to the media in some way. It could be an internship with a newspaper, being part of a theatre group or some still photography you’ve done in your spare time. Of the 6000 odd who apply, 600 are called to Delhi to give a written exam spread over 2 days.

Day 1 is a 3 hour exam consisting of GK and media questions. Day 2 is a 6 hour long exercise where you are shown a movie and a documentary and asked to answer questions based on the. Around 300 students make it to the interview stage where they are grilled by an 8 member panel (including a psychologist and media heavyweights). “It’s like facing the firing squad”, recalls Bhattacharya. The course is highly subsidized by the government (it was Rs 24,000 for 2 years in 1997) which is why the institute is keen to admit only very talented and motivated students with a high sense of ethics. Students use of state of the art equipment and are even provided expensive raw stock for their projects.

Year 1 consists of 7 subjects -media theory, still photography, theatre, radio production, even puppetry. There is a 50% project component in every subject.

Year 2 concentrates on Film and TV production. Students are exposed to the best of world cinema and each student makes a documentary on Beta as well as a film using 400 feet of raw stock. Every year Jamia produces longer films using 1200 ft of raw stock (approx 32 mins) for which there is an intense competition. Only 5-7 scripts scripts are selected for production. If your script is selected you become a “director” (considered very prestigious) . The rest of the students opt to be sound recordists, camera people etc on these films.

The Downside:
There is no placement cell and no internship as part of the course. A Jamia degree does carry weightage in the market but you have to hunt for your own job. Every Jamia graduate’s ultimate ambition is to make films – a television job is a kind of in-between stop gap. While the industry acknowledges the quality of Jamia graduates some feel they have an attitude problem and find it difficult to adjust to the commercial constraints in TV. But this of course depends on each individual.

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