March 12, 2018, G D Goenka University, Gurugram, Haryana: The School of Communication of G D Goenka University, organised a Joint Seminar in association with the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) on the “Role of Media in Conflict Reporting & Peace Building: Prospects and Challenges for India”. The seminar organized at the university campus on March 12, 2018, culminated in a successful interaction between the eminent guests from Defence and Media along with the students of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The seminar was chaired by Air Marshal Vinod Patney, SYSM, PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), Director General, CAPS as the Chief Guest. The other distinguished panel of guests included, Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM (Bar) (Retd), Air Marshal P K Roy PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM (Retd.), Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow CAPS, Mr. Jayadeva Ranade, Distinguished Fellow CAPS, Dr. Manpreet Sethi, Senior Fellow and Head of Nuclear Security at CAPS, Mr. Javed M Ansari, veteran journalist and political analyst and Mr. Jugal R Purohit, Senior Broadcast Journalist BBC.

Prof (Dr.) Ritu Sood, Dean, School of Communication welcomed the guests and attendees with her address note focusing on the 360° approach for the students of Communication. Dr. Sood outlined the objective of the seminar to understand the challenges faced by media in the country today, particularly in the defence segment.

The Vice Chancellor of G D Goenka University, Prof (Dr.) Shrihari greeted the guests and expressed his positive take on the joint seminar. He said, “All our students will have a wonderful exposure towards the nuances of media in the field of national security, which will be a path breaking learning from other schools of journalism”.

Air Marshal Vinod Patneyin his keynote speech mentioned the importance of being effective communicators and emphasised on the quality of sincerity to be adopted by the budding journalists. He exclaimed, “I wish you all to be successful communicators rather than mere journalists”.

The joint seminar was divided into two sessions; both sessions were moderated by Air Marshall Vinod Patney. The first session revolved around the contemporary India centric conflict issues related to the South Asian region.

Mr. Jayadeva Ranade, spoke elaborately on the Indo-China relationship particularly involving the media management in both countries. He further shared his extensive inputs on the new presidential leadership of China and how it could impact India in the sub-continent.

Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain, touched upon the western borders of India, talking extensively about Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationship with India. He spoke about the reasons for Pakistan’s strategic confidence being high, ISI and ISPR as Pakistan’s force multipliers, FATF(Financial Action Task Force) and India’s current concerns on Pakistan. Lt. Gen. Hasnain mentioned Afghanistan as a crucial geographic element in the history between India-Pakistan relations. “The role of media is extremely critical when it comes to field reporting”, he expressed.

Dr. Manpreet Sethi, discussed Contemporary Nuclear Challenges to India where she commenced her address posing a question whether Nuclear Power was just for status and prestige or for security. She touched upon the complex threat environment that India was placed in and also narrated India’s response options towards the unpredictable threats from across each of our borders. She drew a contrast between the highly predictable Pakistan V/s the passive role of China in context to Nuclear weapons policy adopted.

The second session was focused on the role of media in conflict reporting and peace building in the region.

While addressing the seminar, Air Marshal P K Roy, spoke about the rise of Asian countries such as China and India and told, “The world is looking at the Blue (Sea) economy. The role of media should not only focus on India, Pakistan and land, but also on the seas and their challenges”.

Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur commented on the times before modern journalism and the contrast of current reporting done. Speaking about the theories of Media-Military friction, he suggested how defence journalism should be a part of every school of communication, including live-in visits to training establishments.

Mr. Javed M Ansari focused on the sensitivity to be maintained while reporting and advised the students, to focus on truth and not value judge as a journalist. He quoted, “We are in an era of unguided social media missile”.

Mr. Jugal R Purohit expressed that the role of media as a gatekeeper had been diminished with the advent of social media today and students of communication should adhere to truth and public interest.

The seminar was concluded with an interactive Question and Answer session between the eminent panel and students of communication.

The event is supported by its main sponsor B3B Real Estate Pvt. Ltd, (one of the fastest growing real estate brands in North) and associate sponsors Indian Military Review (IMR) Media Pvt. Ltd. (leading publication for national defence issues), SB Consulting (for Life Skill & Motivational Coaching), and Capt Ayush Purusartha Foundation (CAPF- a charitable voluntary organisation for social cause).

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