New Delhi: Premier media school IIMC is mulling to enforce Central Civil Services Conduct (CCS) Rules for its teachers, who termed it as a bid to “gag them” and an assault on “academic freedom”, reports PTI. The Central Civil Services Rules bar government servants from criticising any current or recent policy or action of governments, central or state. Three Janata Dal United Members of Parliament have also written to Smriti Irani, Information and Broadcasting Minister, alleging the administration of the State-run mass communication school is “politicising” academic issues raised by the teaching staff.
Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC)’s Executive Council meeting scheduled for today, and the issue figures on the agenda where a decision may be taken to include Code of Conduct, Professional Ethics and Disciplinary matters in the IIMC’s bylaws.
When contacted, IIMC Director-General KG Suresh declined to comment, reported Press Trust of India.
JDU MPs Ali Anwar Ansari, Ramnath Thakur and Kahkashan Perween, who wrote to minister Smriti Irani, have asked, “is this attempt to snatch the academic freedom of teachers in higher educational institutions appropriate?”
Two faculty members of IIMC, on condition of anonymity, told PTI that they are not against any code of conduct but it would be a “transparent contradiction” that teachers of journalism are not allowed to express their opinion and critique on public policy and other relevant social, political and economic issues in the media.
Eight of 11 faculty members had last month written to the Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, who is also Chairperson of the institution, accusing IIMC Director General KG Suresh of “targeting and defaming” them.
On June this year, the journalism school removed a teacher from the position of a course director who was critical of the institute’s head.
Shashwati Goswami was removed as course director of radio and TV journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). According to The Telegraph, sections of the faculty of IIMS alleged the moves against Ms Goswami “as part of a pattern of “victimising” staff “critical” of the institute’s “arbitrary” style of functioning in the past year”.
Following this, the alumni of the institute IIMC created an online petition requesting the I&B ministry to withdraw the removal order of the professor from the position.
Recently IIMC released a new code of conduct for its students, with a special emphasis on the guidelines for using social media. The codes which featured the disciplinary policies for the students highlighted the expectations of the institute in terms of academics and behavior as well.
‘As any post even made in personal capacity on social media has risk to become public in view of the nature of social media, the students of the IIMC should be careful and maintain highest ethical standards and integrity in behaviour while posting any material on personal social media accounts,’ said the code of conduct from IIMC for the students.