Virtual Manthan
A view of the webinar.

A three-day Virtual Manthan, bringing together chancellors, vice-chancellors and departmental heads of central and state universities around the country, began at Itanagar on Tuesday.

The event is being organised by Media & Entertainment Skills Council (MESC) for discussing the significance of integrating skill-based media programmes in formal education introduced in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 and on developing easier access routes to formal media education.

Addressing the participants, MESC chairman and noted film producer-director Subhash Ghai said “even with the input of the same knowledge, information and passion into learners, there is a difference in quality between two professionals.“

“One has to look beyond the obvious and recognise that this difference is because of a connectedness with the universe and universal forces,” he said, adding that art and artistic skill separates the outstanding performers from the others.

Stressing on internal human development, he called for distinguishing knowledge and information from wisdom and spirituality and suggested incorporation of these values within the structure of formal education.

Rajiv Gandhi University vice-chancellor Saket Kushwaha said that in many senses the teacher and the researcher must act like an actor or a director.

Equating it to the process of filmmaking, he said that the element of creativity changes the entire outlook to the teaching or research process.

“If a researcher does not dream big about his thesis, he cannot write a good thesis,” he said.

“The NEP also addresses the goals of creating good human beings. The emphasis has now moved from extra-curricular or co-curricular activities and this has instead become a ‘core’ curricular activity,” Kushwaha said. He also outlined RGU’s goal of infusing social values in an academia-industry interface.

The VC said RGU would be engaging with MESC to offer skill-based courses in animation, graphics, gaming, VFX, filmmaking, performing arts, etc., which will provide the students with a comprehensive and hands-on knowledge in their chosen trades and equip them with job-ready skills for the current media industry requirements.

RGU’s head of mass communication Moji Riba lamented the inexplicable gap between the media industry and media education and questions of relevance arising on both sides.

Calling for a hybrid model of synergies between academia and industry, he said there was a need for integrating research with industry and in turn integrating communication faculty with the media.

R R Tiwari, vice-chancellor of the Central University of Allahabad and coordinator Dhananjaya Chopra charted the vast changes that have come about in media, particularly in the Hindi media, and gave a detailed account of how the institution was incorporating the components of skill development in the curriculum.

Pondicherry University vice-chancellor Gurmeet Singh, elaborating on the NEP and calling it ‘India-centric’, said time has come for the media industry to integrate with academia and join hands to create policy and its implementation. His counterpart at the Central University of Himachal Pradesh had a similar view.

Dean Pradeep Nair, however, pointed out that the Indian media education, by and large, has no connection with what is happening in the media industry.

Hosting the session, MESC chief executive officer Mohit Soni called for grooming of a new generation of master trainers.

Earlier, Whistling Woods International vice-president Chaitanya Chinchlikar gave an overview of higher and technical education in the media and entertainment industry and discussed the challenges and possible solutions for media and entertainment education.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com