AGM Decisions – IIMCAA to Organise Connections and Awards Separately | Scholarships on Hold | Membership Fee Hiked

Dear IIMCians, 

The Annual General Body Meeting of IIMC Alumni Association was convened at IIMC HQ, New Delhi on 29th October, 2023. IIMCAA President Mr. Kalyan Ranjan presided over the meeting which was attended by President Elect Ms. Simrat Gulati, Former Principal DG of PIB & DG of IIMC Mr. KS Dhatwalia and other alumni. It discussed various issues listed in the agenda and has decided as follows.

Minutes of the Meeting:-

Agenda 01. IIMCAA Awards Review: The General Body discussed the recommendations of the IIMCAA Awards Review Committee for adoption, which were approved by the central committee on 1st October and the governing council on 8th October. Recommendations were read out to the members and suggestions were invited.

Mr. Mehraj Dube presented two suggestions.

a. A few categories of IIMCAA Awards should be reserved for IIMCians only

b. Do not put any restrictions on eligibility to apply for a winner of cash award. 

The General Body deliberated recommendations and suggestions at length. It unanimously adopted the recommendations without any change. Here is the text.

*Recommendations of IIMCAA Awards Review Committee Meetings*

The following is a summation of the points on which consensus was achieved through discussions we have had on 27th August and 3rd, 10th and 30th September, 2023:

1. IIMCAA shall organise Connections and Awards separately.

2. The IIMCAA Awards shall be made open to all practitioners in their respective fields across the industry, and not be limited to IIMC alumni. This will help the IIMCAA Awards grow in stature and strive towards attaining a truly national footprint.

3. The fundamental objective being to expand the ambit from a smaller pool of contenders to a more representative one spanning the industry, rules shall be framed that define eligibility.

The two primary rules are as under:

A. The winner of a cash award shall automatically cease to be eligible for the next two seasons of IIMCAA Awards.

B. Three-time cash award winners shall cease to be eligible for the next three seasons of IIMCAA Awards.

The above two clauses shall come into operation immediately, with retrospective effect from the IIMCAA Awards 2023. That is, a cash award winner from 2023 will not be in contention for another cash award through the years 2024-25 and shall regain eligibility only in 2026. Similarly, an applicant who won his or her third cash award in 2023 will be eligible to apply for a cash award next in 2027.

4. Honorary awards, mentions and other such forms of recognition accorded to industry personnel, alumni or IIMCAA chapters – which will continue to be decided by the central committee – shall be given under the umbrella of ‘Connections Awards’. These will be delinked from the IIMCAA Awards event and will be given at the Connections event.

5. The main awards, which are decided by a jury and carry a cash reward, have been restructured into nine categories* as stated below:

A. Journalist of the Year

B. Reporter of the Year, Publishing

C. Reporter of the Year, Broadcast

D. Agriculture Reporter of the Year

E. Indian Language Reporter of the Year, Publishing

F. Indian Language Reporter of the Year, Broadcast

G. Producer of the Year

H. Ad Person of the Year

I. PR Person of the Year

* Of these nine categories, the first three — i.e. Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year- Publishing and Reporter of the Year- Broadcast – shall be selected from the same pool of applicants.

6. Further bars on eligibility for IIMCAA Awards Applicants

The question of whether aspects extraneous to an applicant’s body of work (such as conduct on public platforms or private spheres involving others) could be made valid grounds for disqualification was taken up for discussion. The key question was whether these should take the form of blanket rules or merely guidelines.

As an alumni association that represents the media industry, it is well within IIMCAA’s remit to stand for a public ethos that fosters the best communication practices. But it is difficult to clearly define the boundaries of such an ethos, except to say it would entail both a prohibitive attitude towards malicious acts/ behaviour and not be prohibitive towards open, democratic expression.

Consequently, it was decided that only acts or behaviour that run afoul of the law would be kept strictly within the framed rules for disqualification. Every applicant must give an undertaking to this effect, as framed by IIMCAA. Everything else shall be included within a broad set of guidelines, as stated below, and as adopted from the best universal practices.

IIMCAA Awards Guidelines

IIMCAA expects that an applicant for its awards will not be in breach of the principles of reasonable conduct* with regard to acts in the public (or interpersonal) sphere:

*Reasonable conduct shall include the following:

A. Not be committing or encouraging any violation of the basic laws that govern public and private good

B. Not be encouraging physical harm to individuals or groups or causing any other form of threat to public safety

C. Not be committing or encouraging acts of offence, insult or verbal violence in any form on any person or group based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, bodily or other intrinsic attributes, and ailments

D. Be refraining from weaponizing sexually explicit language and excessive profanity for the purposes of causing offence to individuals or groups

E. Not be engaging in behaviour that amounts to online harassment of any individual or group, including peers, through persistent verbal (or visual) targeting committed with the intention of causing insult, offence or harm

F. The phrase ‘individual’, ‘person’ or ‘group’ shall be taken to include the IIMCAA community as a whole or its members

IIMCAA shall reserve the right to disqualify an applicant if he or she is found to be in blatant breach of the stated principles or anything analogous to those. Such disqualification will be done in a transparent manner, through internal discussions or, if need be, a vote and the grounds for proceeding thus shall be made available to an independent ombudsman, if so required or demanded.

Agenda 02. IIMCAA Scholarships Review: The General Body reviewed the IIMCAA Scholarships scheme. IIMCAA facilitated 11 Scholarships in 2019, 27 in 2020, 28 in 2022 and 30 in 2023. Students received an assistance of 25000 INR each under this initiative jointly run by IIMCAA, alumni and well wishes of IIMC and IIMCAA. 

Members noted with pain that more than 90% beneficiaries of IIMCAA Scholarships chose not to become a member of IIMCAA after passing out from IIMC. IIMCAA received complaints every year that a few scholarships were given to students of well-to-do families. A proposal was moved to discontinue the initiative. 

Mr. Karan Seth suggested to retain the scholarship for special cases if the institute recommends a student in need. 

The general body, while discussing positive and negative aspects of the initiative, has decided unanimously to put the IIMCAA Scholarships on hold for now.

Agenda 03. IIMCAA Membership Fee Review: IIMCAA had fixed a 500 INR annual membership fee in 2012. A need to review it was felt after ten years. The General Body unanimously passed a resolution to raise the annual membership fee to 1000 INR plus taxes. Lifetime Membership will remain the same, 10000 INR plus taxes.

Agenda 04. Unlisted Agenda: Members of the General Body were requested to present an agenda/ a proposal for discussion if they have one. No one put an agenda or a proposal for consideration. 

Agenda 05. Central Committee Charge Handover: Outgoing IIMCAA President Mr. Kalyan Ranjan handed over the charge of the central committee to President Elect Ms. Simrat Gulati. Mr. Ranjan and Ms. Gulati signed the required documents as a token of transition of power.

Agenda 06. Vote of Thanks: IIMCAA Treasurer Mr. Badri Nath presented a vote of thanks to general body members who attended the meeting. 

Thanks & Regards,

Deeksha Saksena

General Secretary