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25 March, 2010

ACJ offers scholarships for SC/ST students

Mr. Sashi Kumar, Chairman, Media Development Foundation, Chennai ( writes:

I write to you to seek your assistance in meaningfully enabling and enlarging the scholarships we have instituted for candidates from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for study at the Asian College of Journalism.

As you know, the intent and purpose of these scholarships are threefold:

(a) to make the composition of our student intake for our postgraduate diploma programme each year more diverse and inclusive,

(b) to bring the impinging inequality, injustice and deprivation in our society - which tends to be marginalised in the mainstream news media - in sharp focus into our radar; and thereby

(c) make for a demographic change in the class and caste character of practising professional journalists.

I have no doubt that to realize these aims we must be able to draw the attention of talented candidates from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who see in journalism the potential to make a difference. Unfortunately our experience over the last years has been that there are not enough applications to select candidates from for the four scholarships we already have. These are full scholarships covering the tuition fees and, wherever required, also the board and lodging for the duration of the course.

In fact, the paradox has been that while we have offers of more scholarships (beyond the four already available) we find we do not have enough takers for them. This may partly have to do with the requirement that candidates must have a comfortable functional grasp of English to cope with the programme, which is tested in ACJ's entrance exam for admissions. But I suspect the real reason for the inadequate response to our scholarship scheme is that we have not really been able to connect with, and interest, the target group which can beneficially avail it.

I rely on you to try and initiate interest in these scholarships so that we have a talented pool of applicants to draw from, and can really make the difference we hope to.

Admissions for the academic year 2010-2011 have been announced and the details are available on the ACJ websites: or

Please do spread the word to your colleagues and enlist their support in this cause. If there is anything you think we should do to facilitate the process, please don't hesitate to let me know.

The ACJ Registrar, Ms. Malini ( can also be contacted for any clarifications in this regard.

I hope we will be able to make a break through this year.

With warm wishes,

Sashi Kumar,
Chairman, Media Development Foundation & Asian College of Journalism,
Second Main Road
(T) +91-44-22542840 / 42-47
(F) +91-44-22542839

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