With not enough candidates opting for journalism course at its centre in Aizawl, the Indian Institute of Mass Communication is mulling to provide travel fares to encourage students to join the facility in the northeast.
"Seats at IIMC, Aizawl, have in the first two years gone vacant and it is felt that the reason is that journalism aspirants from other regions may be finding the campus distant and the travel expensive," a source said.
"So, a proposal is being considered that a part of the travel expense be provided by the institute to make it more convenient for genuine aspirants," he said.
Indian Institute of Mass Communication, which has its headquarters in the capital, had started its regional centre in the Aizawl University campus in Mizoram from August, 2011, where it offers post graduate diploma course in journalism for fifteen students.
Sources told PTI that in the first two years of its functioning, the available 15 seats could not be filled up at IIMC, Aizawl. The institute had seven students in the first batch and in its second batch only four students joined, officials said.
As per sources, the proposal states that every student be offered up to Rs 4,000 for air tickets to reach Aizawl from Guwahati or Kolkata as well as a similar amount to return.
"There are two semesters, so the maximum amount that may be spent is Rs 16,000 per student and overall Rs 2.4 lakh per year. There is a view that it will be worthwhile if this assistance can help in making the institute more popular," the source said.
The government had set up the Aizawl campus keeping in mind the proliferation of newspapers and television channels in the northeast, and the fact that there were hardly any centres for media training in the region.