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Webinar on Development Communication in India – Summary of GCEC on 22 nd December

The event started with Ms. Florence Handique Rabha and Mr. Ujjwal K Chaudhary
welcoming Dr. Ankuran Dutta. Dr. Dutta is an Associate Professor and Head, Dept of
Communication and Journalism, Gauhati University, Assam.
Dr. Ankuran Dutta spoke about the Global Communication Conclave which is celebrated for
the first time in the country. He discussed about the Developmental Communication in India
and Indian Media. The term development is a multi-faceted phenomenon to numerate and
evaluative goals which varies from one region to across the globe, the term has a significant
value in communication that upholds the democratic architecture not limited only to the
use of term, it must be understood that contents of both development and
underdevelopment issues are covered in media and experimenting to greater benefit of the
Development and Communication are two terms profoundly loaded with different concept
and richness of uses and functions saved by their theoretical foundations such richness
often leads to integrities and lack of clarity that affects the field of Developmental
Communication. The concept of Developmental Communication arose within the
framework of the contribution that communication and its media myth development in the
third world country like India. Defining development is not quite easy because of the
multiplicity attach to it is a process of its positive change, growth, progress or the addition
of physical, environmental, social and democratic components in human progress.
Development refers to the process of articulating knowledge and power through which
particular culture steps theories for social change are created and introduced.
Dr. Kuladhar Saikia, the honorable chief guest for the evening, started off defining
developmental communication as a process through which we facilitate the development
mechanism. He pointed out the actual stakeholders in the whole process of development
communication. As per Dr. Saikia, a very important aspect of developmental communication
are the ‘people’, who act as the mediators, such as the media people, the development
agencies, developers and beneficiaries.
He enhanced the meaning of development through stating the example of Global Hunger
Index Report. However, Dr. Saikia made a very good differentiation. He pointed out that
development is not just schemes of the government and its communication. But those
taken and executed by the people and the community, which matters more. Even if those
are based on government schemes. People’s engagement is the key point. He also put
forward a key message, “your schemes do not make development, unless they engage the
people creatively.”
Furthermore, he focused on how development has to percolate down to
reach out to the grassroots and how community decisions play an important role. Until and
unless we take community with us, we’ll not get the required developmental fruits. Saikia
stressed on certain challenges and issues faced by a developmental communicator in the
world. According to him, research biases arises when we focus people with digital
connectivity only to understand our society. Feedback mechanism is a very important
element for a decentralized system for participatory development where people are the

main stakeholders of development. Development communication has become a very
important part of the whole sector of development process. Until and unless one allows a
two-way communication between the developers and the participants in the development
process, then development communication is meaningless, said Dr. Saikia.
Sandeep Marwah thanked Prof. Ujjwal K Choudhary and Florence Handique Rabha for
introducing him to GCEC. He congratulated Prof. Ujjwal K Choudhary for taking GMEC to
absolutely new heights and for making it such a vibrant organization in the shortest period
of time. He believes that the scope for improvement is always there. In Marwah’s school of
thought, the ‘E’ in education stands for entertainment, excitement, and enthusiasm. In
today’s world, every education has to be entertaining. It must get into the bloodstream of
the students. They should be eager and anxious to come back to classes. Bringing back the
excitement into the system is important for the effective functioning of the education
system. ‘D’ stands for discipline, which is a part and parcel of the education system. ‘D’ also
stands for dedication. In Marwah’s terms, it’s very important to focus on punctuality,
regularity, and sincerity. The letter ‘D’ also stands for determination and development.
According to Marwah, every education, class, the subject must see to it that there must be
some kind of development in the old setup. ‘U’ stands for working under controlled
The luxury part of the education system is somehow spoiling the way of living of
the students. They are losing the value of money, time, and the value culture. Marwah went
ahead and elaborated this statement by giving the example of the UN and how it has
started talking about Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) to all the 196 countries of the
world to start working under controlled conditions. “Cutting corners and revamping
everything and anything we are in”
, should be the new policy. ‘C’ in education stands for
communication. It plays a very important role in education. The three important aspects of
communication- speaking, writing, and listening are very essential for a proper education
system to function. Marwah quoted-” Boli ek anmol hai, jo koi bole jaani, hiye taraju tauli
ke, tab mukh bahar aani” ; “aisi baani boliye, man ka aapa khoye, aurun ko sheetal kare, aur
khud hi sheetal hoye.” 
It becomes very important about what we talk and speak once we’re
in media. During his childhood, Marwah’s father taught him –“zaban-e-shirin-mulk-giri”,
which means, if one knows how to speak well, he/she can be the king of the nation. He
further elaborated by giving a beautiful example of our Late Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari
who had nothing when he joined politics but was successful in earning the respect
of the people through his wonderful words. ‘A’ stands for being ambitious. ‘T’ for transfer of
knowledge. Only filling the classes with faculties should not be the ultimate goal. ‘T’ also
stands for techno-savvy. ‘I’ stands for information. Right information must be given to the
students at the right time. ‘O’ stands for the overall development of the students. And
lastly, ‘N’ stands for being nationalist. An education system should take our students to
being nationalist and patriotic so that we have better human beings and better citizens in
this country. Marwah concluded his speech by thanking the Government of India for
nominating him as the National Chairman for the Media and Entertainment Upgradation
Committee under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs with almost 60 officers and 60 people
from the industry.
Then The Vice Chancellor of The Assam Royal Global University addressed the webinar. Prof.
Dr. S.P. Singh
elaborated about the social inputs and developments which facilitate social
change and thus it reminded him of several NGOs in his young days and made him aware of
the work he performed at that time which could be considered as a development activity,

along with Oxfam, Unicef and State Urban Development Agency (SUDA). In his young days,
around 1993-1995; he actually learned about Development Communication in detail, and
the communication was for people, for their development, and in association with them.
Furthermore, Singh addressed that he has been trained by UNICEF to perform Participatory
Rural Appraisal (PRA)
& Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) for the villages of Uttar
Pradesh and slum areas with SUDA and DUDA. Sitting on the ground, on the floor while
working for these organizations has made him cognizant of the people he talked with and
many of them have become MLAs, Teachers, Corporators at present which he perceives as a
fruit of development communication. Singh concluded his speech on a merry note by
imparting a message of being more active for an association that helps to empower people.
Thereafter two research scholars presented their papers.
Vineet Sudhir a student of Manipal Institute of Communication presented his research work

Vineet Sudhir a student of Manipal Institute of Communication presented his research work

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