Rajdeep Sardesai? Who is he?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016




downloadAppalling GK levels of final year Mass Media students!
A Vikypedia Exclusive By B N Kumar
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Rajdeep Sardesai? Who is he?
No, I am not asking this question in the context of Arnab Goswami Vs Barkha Dutt episodes.
I am just trying to narrate my experiences at a Bandra (Mumbai) college that teaches Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) course. I was flabbergasted when a final year student of BMM asked me this question!
Talking of crisis situations, I said any one could face crisis, people like Rajdeep Sardesai included. A well built, bearded young man, stretching his legs from the front row asked me: Who is Rajdep Sardesai.
Shocked though, I thought he was trying to tease me. But one of the college coordinators quickly said: “It’s okay. Not all of us know everything, right?”
Then, I quickly regained my consciousness and proceeded with my talk which part of the efforts by a Guest Faculty Pool that we at PRCI set up to share our experience and knowledge with the GenX.
When I asked the students as to what they wanted to know from me, there were several blank faces. I had to literally prompt them: “Seek, though shall get. Unless you ask, you won’t be able to communicate. After all, you are the final year students and tomorrow you will be facing the world.”
One girl mustered up courage to ask: “What are the various categories of PR or communication? What is corporate communication?”
I asked myself: Are these the questions that final year students of BMM should be asking? What was the college doing for two years?
As I went on addressing the blank faces, I dealt with the importance of following current affairs, depending on one’s interest “because you will be tested for your knowledge”.
Some nodded, some yawned, while the rest kept looking at me as though I am the cousin of that Penguin which landed in Mumbai zoo!
I asked: “Guys, general knowledge is important. How many of you read newspapers?”
Not many hands went up. One bold girl raised her hand.
No, she didn’t say Bombay Times. She said: Mumbai Mirror.
I asked: “So, Mumbai Mirror? How many pages do they devote for City news?”
Ummmmm…..and more murmurs in the hall…as the students exchanged blank looks, this girl in blue said: “two or three.” (Sorry, Meenal Baghel, to shoc you!)
I gave my audience some tips on reading the newspapers. “You can get your Mirror free if you buyThe Times of India and if you don’t want Mirror, you have the choice of getting ET or Maharashtra Times!”
For a second, I felt like Gajodhar addressing his village folk in the Eastern UP, narrating his experiences in an escalator in Mumbai!
Won’t they like to know about career prospects?
One boy asked: “Yes, sir. How difficult or easy is it to find jobs in PR or media?”
I spoke about the need for communication skills, knowledge of basic, grammatical English and so on and so forth and continued with my adventure: “How many of you have heard of Wren and Martin?”
Few hands went up! Not bad, I thought.
Appalling, it may sound. Most of this bunch of students did not appear to be serious about their course and from their attire they appeared to be out on a monsoon trek or a stroll in the Fashion Street, next door.
Finally, I gave one piece of take-it-or-leave-it advice: “Your parents can afford to pay for your higher studies. Consider yourselves to be lucky. I sincerely hope they are not looking at depending on you.”
(The author is Executive Director of Concept PR and National President of Public Relations Council of India – PRCI)

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