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This petition had 196 supporters

‘Film Studies’ comes under the vast umbrella of Journalism & Mass Communication as per UGC (University Grants Commission), India. It is merely a subject-leg according to the most trusted institution in the country. This fact has made it extremely difficult for film scholars to crack the overall syllabus of Journalism & Mass Communication. Of course, the dynamics of the Film Studies are vast in itself.

Most of the foreign countries today have a separate division of film studies/cinema studies/ screen cultures. In contrast to UGCs point of view, Cinema Studies as a discipline is different from Mass Communication in all its sensibilities.

While some universities in India like Jadavpur University, Calcutta; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and Film and Television Institute of India, Pune do understand this fact and have a separate department/s for Cinema/Film Studies, the unfortunate and unpleasing fact is that UGC India makes it mandatory for film scholars to crack this exam in other disciplines in order to teach and pursue higher education in the field of cinema.

However cracking NET/JRF in Journalism and Mass Communication requires separate preparation for a film scholar and thus, limits options for him/her to pursue a career in research and teaching at university level.

What we as cinema studies scholars/researchers/academicians make a case for the introduction of a separate NET/JRF exam in Film/Cinema Studies. Scholars who dedicate crucial years of their lives to understanding this one art form might not be able to qualify to teach and pursue other forms in theory.

Since there is the NO-OTHER choice, scholars today are unfortunately bearing the baggage of this old-school thought and it limits their career options.  Imagine a Neurosurgeon being asked to perform a cardiac surgery reasoning both the organs part of one body. Undoubtedly the result would be calamitous.

This is also a crucial reason why most of the scholars of Film Studies gradually move to foreign countries to pursue their Ph.D. as they cannot bear the agony of this little understanding offered by UGC.   Film Studies no longer needs this step-sisterly treatment and requires its right status as a separate discipline.

To conclude, Cinema/Film-studies NET/JRF examination must entirely be conducted separately from any other field. It will give serious scholars chances to contribute to the field of Cinema, Film and Cultural Studies.

Those of you agree, please sign it! 

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