Manipal : A two-day National Conference on ‘Communication Research in India: Perspectives, Challenges and Prospects’ which was organised by School Of Communication (SOC), Manipal University commenced at Fortune Inn Valley View here, on March 4.
Delivering the keynote address of the conference Founder-Director of MICA and former Vice–Chancellor of Himigiri Zee University, Dr Binod C Agrawal, provided a detailed insight about the development of communication research in India. Tracing the developments of communication research from the pre-Independence period to contemporary times he strongly felt that time had come for the media researchers to focus their attention largely on ethics and media laws. Communication ethics and communication laws have received lukewarm attention from the researchers. But constant invasion from the sky, internet and digital media have put communication laws and policies in disarray this has called for a serious research he felt.
Detailing about the ever expanding growth of digital media he said that the other area the researchers should concentrate today is the influence of digital media. Digital media and information technology have swept the feet of social scientists across the world. The trend of the papers presented in many international conferences have convinced observers that India is the single most important country for communication research in Asia today, that can reach out to the English speaking world. The shift of focus of the researchers from newspapers, radio and television to social and digital media signifies its important role in our day to day life.
He stressed on the need for research and said, “It is a means to sharpen our understanding of communication as a whole.” Applauding the theme of the conference, he added “A discussion on communication research is most appropriate and timely today.” He stressed that communication research as a field of study was rapidly growing and was indeed blossoming in India. He illustrated the rapid growth of communication, as it took less than two decades for the number of mobile phones in India to reach a billion.
Delivering the presidential address Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University Dr H Vinod Bhat, felt that communication being a universal concept needed to be researched constantly as it would provide answers to a number of intriguing questions regarding its role in our lives. Since publication of research promoted change, he stressed on responsible publication. This applied more seriously to the media as it had to be interdisciplinary and it advocated change. He lamented that we blindly follow the methodology set up elsewhere instead of looking into the possibilities of exploring methods to suit our requirements.
While revealing the details about the commitment of Manipal University in promoting and encouraging research culture amongst its faculty members working in various Centres and Institutions under the banner of Manipal University he said that research bent mind alone could bring the University to one of the top 200 universities in the world.
Director of SOC, Dr Nandini Lakshmikantha, welcomed the guests and delegates to the conference. Explaining the premise for organising the conference, she highlighted the need for a discourse on Communication Research. Dr Padma Rani, Associate Director of SOC and Organising Secretary of the conference delivered the vote of thanks.