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Jamia Millia Islamia Students to Visit Malkangiri Forest to Enhance Forest Based Economy

AJKMCRC and BIPP collaborate to empower forest dwellers through the MA Development Communication program.

Shivangi Rai
National Forest Policy of India aims to keep forests on 33% of the country's total land area. (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash)
National Forest Policy of India aims to keep forests on 33% of the country's total land area. (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash)

The AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (AJKMCRC) at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and the Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) have joined forces in an exciting collaboration aimed at transforming the lives of forest dwellers and local communities.

Their inaugural project, which began with the first cohort of the MA Development Communication program this year, focuses on building a scalable and sustainable forest economy with a special emphasis on Community Forest Resource Rights (CFR) and Women-led Enterprises.

To kickstart this endeavor, an orientation program for the MA Development Communication cohort was held on May 15, 2023, at JMI's Mir Anees Hall, inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Najma Akhtar.

The Vice Chancellor said that students will become catalysts for change and to view forests as spaces of opportunity and sustenance.

This holistic approach will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the forest economy and develop effective communication strategies to engage stakeholders at different levels.

Following a six-day immersive workshop, the MA Development Communication students will embark on a transformative field experience in the Malkangiri forest area.

Accompanied by ISB experts, they will conduct extensive research, produce documentaries, provide training and capacity building, and advocate for forest rights and the forest economy. Faculty members from JMI will join the students after a week, further strengthening the collaborative efforts in this crucial initiative.

The program's focus is to nurture future leaders in development communication, equipping them with the skills required to drive positive change in society. Throughout the workshop, students will actively work on diverse topics such as forest opportunities, historical perspectives on Forest Rights in India, and the success stories of women-led enterprises in Jharkhand and Odisha under the Mission Shakti initiative. They will also explore the democratic governance of forests and gender roles.

This joint venture between AJKMCRC and ISB-BIPP sets the stage for innovative research, transformative experiences, and a collective effort towards sustainable development. The impact of this collaboration is expected to extend beyond academia, with the potential to create lasting positive change in forest economies and empower local communities.

Briefly, the National Forest Policy of India aims to keep forests on 33% of the country's total land area. By taking into account national interest, the policy focuses on the ecological and social elements of forestry. The National Forest Policy of 1988 was the most recent version of the policy, which has undergone several revisions.

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