The world is changing fast. New trends are redefining the old concepts. Knowledge is packaged in new templates. Though the elements stay same, but the methods of dissemination are getting re-modelled. Far away from the chalk and talk method of teaching and learning the process of education witnessed a major change in 1985. This was the time to take it out from the confines of a classroom. The change was all pervading. It levelled up everything that came its way. It brought all rich and poor on the same plane. The education that was meant for all, reached all. The concept of Countrywide Classroom proved a success in being creative in approach, scientific in spirit. Today, after two decades, this classroom is past many landmarks. The one hour daily broadcast on DD is now a 24 hour higher educational channel, the VYAS. With digitization and convergence of communication technologies the educational television keeps reading material available in the form of e-content, besides providing opportunity to the student to interact with experts through network connecting virtual classrooms across India.
Sanctioned in 1987 by University Grants Commission, EMMRC, University of Kashmir, is one amongst the 22 centres all over India with the sole aim of reaching out to the viewers at national level with quality educational enrichment programs through Countrywide Classroom. Established in 1992, the Centre started making educational documentaries as a regular feature. Till date over 1100 Educational Films have been produced and telecast over Doordarshan National Network, Gyanvyas & Gyandarshan educational channels. The quality of the programs produced by the centre has been recognized at National level in annual video festivals of University Grants Commission. The films produced at the Centre till date has bagged 8 national awards.
The Centre was shifted to its new building in May 2008 engineered on professional lines to accommodate a huge production house like EMMRC. This new building is fully air conditioned, has start of the art auditorium having seating capacity of more than 200 people, studio, PCR, editing suites, radio studio, multimedia lab, tape library & more space for office & the faculty. Equipped with the latest gadgets of TV & film production, the Centre has shifted from standard definition to high definition technology in terms of cameras and editing suites. Keeping pace with the ever changing trends in the video production technology, EMMRC has procured a high end multimedia lab with 4 Apple Imac systems, high end cameras like Sony XDCAM PDW-F800, PDW-510P & editing machines of Apple FCP, Leitch DPS Velocity, Grass Valley Edius, Digital Audio/Vision Mixers, Professional Sony LMD monitors, Genelac/Bosh Speakers, Tri-caster 3D virtual setup & Sony XD Cam Recorders PDW1500. Efforts are afoot to make a tape free system at the Centre. The centre in order to ensure dedicated power supply has 125 KVA Servo stabilizer, 150 KVA Generator as well as 2 UPS of 30KVA & 10KVA Capacity for power backup. Also, for surveillance & security, the Centre has installed CCTV cameras & fire fighting system.
The centre has expanded its canvas of functioning. Besides producing documentaries and studio based education programmes it is engaged in:
- Developing E Content on syllabus of Botany
- Converting the existing ETV programmes into E-content.
- Production of Syllabus based Video Lectures with Multimedia inputs.
- Developing of Educational Multimedia & Learning Object Repository (LOR).
- Kashmir University Radio Digest (KUD) broadcast on Radio Kashmir Srinagar.
- Producing weekly video magazine programme QUEST telecast on DD Kashmir &
- Conducting communication research & promoting audio visual culture in the university.
There is always a substitute to reality. When you can’t see things happen, you can make them happen. Normally classrooms are all literal demonstrating a teacher-student relationship. But here it is different. Of course, there is a teacher, there are students but there are waves in between. Teachers deliver from a far off place and students reap the benefit without actually being there. It’s a live two way process aided by all the required digital machinery. Students have the facility of choosing a subject and the experts in the same field are requested to deliver a lecture at his own place. This is called `lecture on demand’ which has been a success all these years.
What makes it possible is Satellite Interactive Terminals (SIT) for virtual classroom operation. The virtual classroom operation functions through EDUSAT, which connects more than 100 satellite interactive terminals & receive only terminals all across India. A project in collaboration with ISRO/UGC-CEC/Media Centres and the University provides a lot of opportunities for our teachers and students to share knowledge. On scheduled days teachers/subject experts deliver lectures to the students, ask questions and participate in a discussion with the expert at our SIT. The two way process adds a new dimension to the whole process of teaching and learning.
The present staff strength of the centre is 25 including Director, 3 Producers, one Research Scientist, one Assistant Engineer, 3 Production Assistants, two Cameraman, one Graphics Artist, one Technical Assistant & 3 Technicians, one Personnel Assistant as well as ministerial staff.
With the infrastructure and expertise available, EMMRC contributes towards the realization of a dream called “Knowledge Society”. It has many long and short term plans to become a centre of excellence. The areas identified are production of educational and enrichment films, imparting education, giving training to media professionals, conducting intensive research in all the spheres of media education and launching job oriented technical courses like MS in Electronic media and Broadcast Journalism.
EMMRC is a platform for those who have a passion to contribute. Teachers, engineers, technicians, writers, artists and designers – wherever you are, in whichever capacity you can do, the centre offers services to one and all. In this world of technological revolution you have a chance to reach a wider, a bigger audience. All you need is a will to do and deliver. Unlike entertainment that hogs all time and space in media, our job is focused and typical in nature. We have an audience of exclusive taste and bent. No trumpets blown to catch attention, our appeal is silent but serious. The minds we reach out make our market. Through us ideas and not products are exported. Glamour is not our province, though we believe in the beauty of knowledge.