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IGNOU programme for 'grassroot level' media professionals

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), in collaboration with UNICEF, has launched a unique programme aiming to help "grassroot level" media professionals disseminate government-sponsored social schemes effectively.

The programme, which was launched early this month simultaneously in Delhi, Bhopal and Jabalpur, intends to educate the media professionals about the schemes that have a direct bearing on rural masses like the immunisation drive.

The programme will be executed by exploiting IGNOU's infrastructure and through video-conference mode and faculties pooled in from IGNOU and the industry.

The week-long exercise involves several brain storming sessions, helping the grassroot-level media professionals develop a proper perspective of social-driven schemes so that they can effectively disseminate them and create awareness.

The candidates are provided with a certificate at the end of the course jointly by IGNOU and UNICEF.

IGNOU intends to provide its robust video-conferencing facilities to reach out to national, state and district media in strategic and interactive workshops in the coming months.

Focussing on the immunisation aspect is the prime objective of the mission so as to increase its penetration level.

A survey published by UNICEF in 2009, states that the single biggest reason behind India's low immunisation coverage is that mothers do not feel the need to immunise their children (28.2 percent), followed by a lack of knowledge about vaccines (26.3 per cent).

IGNOU had earlier also tied up with UNESCO to jointly certify the former's course in journalism and communications.

The media education mapping programme with UNICEF will also reach out to the targeted candidates in states like Bihar, Assam, West Bengal etc, selected through a screening process.

The exposure gained, he said, would also raise the level of confidence among the scribes to contribute their best for the uplift of the masses.

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