New Delhi: The University Grants Commission has recommended the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to grant deemed university status to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

The institute, one of the prestigious journalism schools in the country which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, offers diploma courses in journalism, advertising and public relations.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had formed a four-member committee last year headed by BK Kuthiala, the vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Bhopal, to analyse the proposal by the IIMC.

"Based on the committee's recommendation and inspection team's feedback the UGC has recommended that the ministry should issue a Letter of Intent (LoI) to the journalism school under the 'De Novo' category. The status will enable the institute to grant degrees instead of diplomas," a senior UGC official said.

'De Novo' refers to an institution which focuses on teaching and research in emerging areas of knowledge.

The idea to grant deemed university status to the IIMC is not a new one. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had also approved the plan in 2016.

During a review of higher education institutes by the Niti Aayog in June, it was recommended that the IIMC be merged with either Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre for Media Studies or Jamia Millia Islamia's AJK Mass Communication Research Centre. However, the institute, as well as the Information and Broadcasting and the HRD ministries, had rejected the idea.