Wednesday, May 03, 2017

New Media: a field of ample opportunities

New media technology is an emerging field. This media is more pervasive than the older one. It has revolutionized almost all fields of human action and endeavor from education to news from court to parliament. It has also enhanced the capabilities of old medium like radio, TV and newspaper. Now radio, TV and newspaper can move more close to their audience and keep in touch with them through different channel round the hours by keeping them informed regarding the main task of the medium.

I see new media not a competitor of the older medium. They are compatible and in a way working for each other. The most exiting feature of the new medium is that it can help the content to be shared over a long distance with the flick of wrist to the divergent audience and seek feedback in many ways that’s too in the meantime.

Therefore, it is expected from a student of new media that he/she must not keep himself limited to the knowledge of audio or video production. He always is required to go beyond that with the goal to master all the skill required in the field of new media.

There are basically three parts of new media. First is technical one. The second is aesthetics and the third is theoretical part. A student of new media is required to have equal knowledge of all the three to develop a holistic perspective of the medium in this changed and fast moving environment of digital media. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Populism Finds the Way: Trump, Pollsters and the People’s Choice

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 1 New Delhi December 24, 2016 - ANNUAL 2016
Originally published in Mainstreamweekly 

In the aftermath of the American presidential elections, streets in several cities of America rocked with the slogan “Not My President”. This sloganeering rose against a person who went into election (and won the same) with a campaign catchphrase ‘Make America Great Again’. The protestors termed his win ‘unusual’, ‘unexpected’ and ‘unconventional’ and feared the ways he would realise his dream of making America great again! Mr Donald John Trump, a real estate mogul, businessman, pageant owner and a billionaire reality TV star is the new President of United States of America. Defeating all pollsters’ predictions, crushing the media agenda and undermining the popular votes, he surged to victory and set a new paradigm of the American character of the presidential candidate. His win should be looked at with a deeper insight and meaning crossing beyond the Democratic and Republican Party politics.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

People in Politics: The Dynamics of Polarisation and Power

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 14 New Delhi March 25, 2017
Originally Published in Mainstreamweekly

In 1998, while being the head of an alliance of 26 political parties, the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpaee, once frustratingly said that India should look for the possibility of adopting the presidential system which, in his view, would be more permanent and representative. However, amongst all the political compulsions and political opportunism, some of the electoral arrangements at the Centre and in the various States went on for another decade by making coalition politics almost a permanent feature of Indian politics. But the BJP’s sweeping majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections brought this trend to a halt. Political pundits were left with no option but to redo their political calculations. Nationwide data of the Assembly elections substantiate this point by making a strong case for a one-party rule. The first half of the second decade of the 21st century has witnessed a political scene in which 23 States, including Delhi, have one party in a position to form a majority government while there are only six such States where governments are being formed by pre- or post-poll alliances.

The Idea of a ‘University’: What it should or should not be!

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 18, New Delhi, April 22, 2017

Originally Published in Mainstreamweekly

“A University is a place ... where students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge; ... a place for the communication and circulation of thought ... It is a place where inquiry is pushed forward ... discoveries verified and perfected, and ... error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge. ... Thus is created a pure and clear atmosphere of thought, which the student also breathes”. 
                                              John Henry Newman, 1854, The Idea of a University
John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University is a classic work on university education which conceptualised university as a society in which the student absorbs the graces and accomplishments of a higher form of life. It is a place where the pursuit of truth and the active discussion of its meaning integrate into a wider culture, in which the ideal of the gentleman is acknowledged as the standard. (Ker, 2011:19)
This commentary appreciates Newman’s idea of ‘University’ and the analysis of universities in India being ‘steered’ from outside and ‘managed’ internally to accept changes as per the political anticipation of the ruling parties. For the last five decades, after every general election, whenever there is a change in government at the Central and State level, universities are the first to be affected by the ideology/policy-related ambitions of the political party which forms the government. This trend is in fashion since long and is not specific to India alone. Even in Germany, when Hitler seized political power, Frankfurt University was the first one targeted for ideological reasons, owing to which the liberal democratic-minded professors and intellectuals were forced to leave Germany. This eventually benefited the UK and US universities not only in making their higher education more liberal with the help of these intellectuals but also enriching their scientific research and inventions in the post-World War period.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Gandhi and Governance: Relooking Development at Grassroot Level

Mainstream, VOL LIV No 41 New Delhi October 1, 2016

By Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Originally Published by Mainstreamweekly

The Gandhian idea of governance and development at the community level is a people-centred approach that combines a number of activities to ensure people (rural people) access to relevant information so that they shall collaborate and participate in development. Through information and knowledge, the rural voices may express their expectations and can share their know
ledge. Here community governance is a powerful driver, especially for the marginalised people, to change their lives for better. The Gandhian idea of government and governance is about to enhance rural communication services at the grassroot level so that it can empower the local people to plan and manage the development processes.

Any government—whether of Nehru, Gandhi (Indira and Rajiv) or Modi—in its policy docu-ments/election manifestos highlights what rural people need in order to move up the socio-economic ladder. Prime Ministers in India never fail to mention ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Village’ in their promises. They feel happy to speak about invest-ments and technologies that would improve rural livelihood. But in practice, the efforts are not really sufficient to sustain the desired change at the grassroot level. The failure is because of two primary reasons—lack of participation and ineffective communication. This commentary appreciates the Gandhian understanding of governance and is evolved with an analysis that how relooking this concept of governance could help the formal and informal agencies of development and governance to build a platform for dialogue and common understating for rural communities who are the real decision-makers in good Read More