The UNESCO Chair on Community Media, the only one of its kind globally, established at University of Hyderabad in 2011 has been renewed for a fourth term of four years.
The Chair headed by Prof. Vinod Pavarala and supported by faculty fellows, Prof. Kanchan K. Malik and Prof. Vasuki Belavadi, and Ph.D. students, all at the Department of Communication, has been involved in policy advocacy for community radio, research and documentation, and building the capacities of communities to do broadcasting on their own, not only in India and elsewhere in South Asia, but also in East and West Africa, and parts of Europe.
While conveying the news of the renewal to the University, UNESCO Paris headquarters complimented the Chair for “its wide range of activities and capacity building programmes, demonstrating innovative and powerful ways to promote community engagement and human empowerment, while forging partnerships, promoting South-South and North-South cooperation.” They also noted with satisfaction that the Chair plans to focus on marginalized groups, gender equality, and indigenous communities during this new term. Mr. Hezekiel Dlamini, Officer-in-Charge and Advisor for Communication and Information, UNESCO South Asia, pointed out that the Chair has continued to grow in strength and influence over the last twelve years. He said he recognises and welcomes the work of the Chair beyond India, “to enhance the capacities of community radio stations and practitioners in Bangladesh, Bhutan and other countries in South Asia as well as globally through dialogues and network meetings, such as those with community radio stations in the UK in 2022.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B. J. Rao, responded that he was happy to accept the honour for University of Hyderabad and welcomed the extended engagement with UNESCO on this programme. He also complimented the UNESCO Chair team for the renewal and encouraged them to continue the good work that they have been doing to promote community media across the world.