Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (CCMG, henceforth) in collaboration with Academic Staff College, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi conducts and organizes every year the University Grants Commission Refresher Course on Media Studies, Culture and Governance for the in-service faculty across the country. The first such RC was organized in February 2013.
The 2nd Refresher Course 2014 on Media Studies and Governance started on 14th January and will continue till 4th February, 2014.
Day 13/ 29 January 2014
As per the RC programme, Dr. P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan spoke on “ICT and Public Service Delivery”. Dr. Sunetra Sen Narayan, the next speaker, delivered a lecture on “Globalization and Television in India” Then, Prof. Ananda Mitra delivered a lecture on “Analyzing Big Data/ social media narratives”.
1st Lecture : ICT and Public Service Delivery
Dr. P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan is a faculty at Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He spoke on “ICT and Public Service Delivery”. The Information Communication Technology (ICT) has made a difference in the administration and governance in India. This is called as E-governance. The Services that government provides through ICT is mainly for public good. Earlier, one has to go to any government office for seeking any information. Further, it was expensive, poor in delivery and non-responsible. But with the coming of ICT the information is available online, that is making the system more efficient. It is automatic as we have seen in online railways reservation system, where the information about trains is available without any hustle and hurdle. This has helped government towards result-oriented administration and service delivery as it is cheaper, quicker, productive, and innovative and of high quality. For example, the subsidized LPG delivery system, anybody can track the availability and delivery of his or her gas cylinder. It has helped bring some kind of social order as everybody is getting the same services without any kind of privilege, social or political.
2nd Lecture : Globalization and Television in India
Dr. Sunetra Sen Narayan of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi delivered a lecture on “Globalization and Television in India” According to Dr. Narayan, there has been a change in nature of interaction in the twentieth century. She quoted Joseph Stiglitz in terms of integration of the countries of the world on the sphere of communication and transportation. The man-made barriers have thinned out due to mobility of people, capital, ideas, knowledge, etc. The globalization has brought the debate of global vs. local or globalization as homogenizer or hetrogenizer. Herman and Machesney (1997) discuss emergence of global media market in form of television broadcast since 1980s.
Advertising has increased the importance of television. It has also reduced the importance of Public Service Broadcaster. If we compare United Kingdom’s British Broadcasting Corporation with India’s Doordarshan (DD) then we will find that DD is not PSB rather it is national broadcaster. The source of fund is important for the impartiality of television. The BBC is funded by TV license revenue by the British citizens, whereas DD is government funded.
Broadcasting and globalization is same thing when it comes to television. The government opted terrestrial mode for public broadcaster and satellite mode for private operators. The TV stations were set up around 1970s. The television was used for creating a ‘national identity’ and was successful in it. Till the 1990s, Doordarshan was the most watched channel. With programmes like Krishidarshan, it was mainly providing information and education, later on it added entertainment too.
The 1980s witnessed the emergence of sub-nationalism on caste, communalism and regionalism lines. The 1990s exposed people to new ideas by satellite television and cable industry in India. The people were thirsty for different types of content. Channels like STAR and ZEE provided them with options. In order to control and regulate the television network in India, Prasar Bharti was established in 1990 and the Cable TV Network Act in 1995. The emergence of regional language based channels led to flooding of local language programmes. The film industry as a source of content made ways into living room in form of movie channels. The television is also used in political propaganda as the audience of TV is larger than any other medium. But there has been a decline in the volume of rural themes and the programmes are increasingly more urban- centric and glamourized as per the tastes of the middle class audiences.
3rd Lecture : Big Data
Prof. Ananda Mitra is a Professor of Communication at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem; North Carolina, USA. He delivered a lecture on “ Big Data”. He began his lecture by citing some facts about data, like at present there are 2.7 zeta bytes of data in World Wide Web. Forty Eight hour of new videos are being uploaded on the YouTube every minute. More than seventy percent of data is coming from the individuals. These user generated data has become a heap of gold for many institutions like National Security Agency, corporations like Target and Shopper’s Stop and Academic Researchers. These voluntarily user generated data is called ‘Big Data’.
There are two types of big data: structured big data and unstructured big data. The structured big data are number or characteristics like age, gender and similar things about an individual. The notion of privacy is over and gone. The youngsters are providing all information about them on Facebook. The human resource personnel are depending on Facebook in order to know about any person of their concern. The unstructured big data are the statements on Twitter; status update on social media, blogs, in short individual’s identity as human being in virtual world.
All the institutions and corporations are now concentrating on an individual instead of focusing on groups, with a handy rule, ‘if we know the attitude; we can predict the behaviour’. In order to fulfill this, these gazing groups are developing a Natural Language Processing System that will help them break and decode the digital discourse happening on the social media sites. They are making a backdoor entry into the social media from the countries where the cyber laws and regulation are weak.
The scenario that emerged after the 9/11 Bombings has led to construction of a world, which is unsafe and prone to terrorist attacks. Instead of monitoring fragmented groups and collectives, the security agencies have now zeroed on individuals, the real life organic and analogue person. They try to understand what and why of the individual and predict his or her behaviour, belief and attitude, in short, they predict the person. Now the big question is: how to cope up with the big data? It is impossible to go away from internet. But it is possible to provide clothing to our thoughts as we cover our private parts. We have to curtain our brain, to think before making any unstructured big data, it is the man’s ability to ‘think’ that has been under scrutiny. It is an irony that the freedom of expression has made man to reveal his mind which the State and corporations are using as capital to govern, control, regulate, suppress, and profit.