Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

NEW DELHI: Anil Kumar Saumitra, the former MP BJP functionary who was suspended from the party for referring to Mahatma Gandhi as the “Father of Pakistan”, and who was appointed by IIMC to teach Indian Language journalism at the media institute’s Delhi campus last month, has now been moved to IIMC’s Amravati campus.
Interestingly, the Amravati campus of the media school teaches only two courses; English and Marathi journalism, neither of which Saumitra is equipped to teach.
Sources in the know, however, told TOI that there are plans afoot to start Hindi journalism courses in both Amravati and Jammu next year. In line with this, while Saumitra has been sent to Amravati, former journalist Rakesh Goswami has been sent to Jammu. For now, Saumitra will teach Hindi journalism to Delhi students online, since the first semester classes are to be held remotely.
A former editor of ‘Charaivati’, BJP’s mouthpiece in Madhya Pradesh, Saumitra was suspended by the party for his comments. Though he deleted his social media post and apologised, the party said his comments had dented the image of the party.
The institute, facing pressure due to the controversy his appointment triggered, decided to move him out of the public eye, to the Amravati campus. TOI has learnt Saumitra is expected to replace Amravati campus’ regional director Vijay Satokar, who is due to superannuate in January next year.
Apart from sending Saumitra to the Amravati campus, IIMC’s November 16 order also appointed Pramod Kumar Saini as professor of English Journalism and gave him additional charge of Urdu journalism. A former chief news coordinator at Organiser, Saini was appointed as assistant professor to the Central Himachal University in Dharamshala after the coronavirus-induced lockdown was announced. He was still on probation when he applied for and was elevated, in under 6 months, to the post of professor at IIMC. According to UGC norms, people under probation are ineligible to apply for fresh appointments, much less elevations.
In the same order, Sangeeta Pranavendra has been appointed to the TV journalism department in Delhi. She is the daughter-in-law of VHP leader Acharya Dharmendra Dev. Virendra Bharti has been appointed to the publications department, and former journalist Rakesh Goswami to the print media department in the Jammu campus.
Last month, TOI reported the string of controversial and anomalous appointments firmed up by the premier government-run mass communications institute.
When contacted, IIMC Director General Sanjay Dwivedi said “no comments”.

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