The School of Media and Cultural Studies, (SMCS) of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (a Deemed University) is engaged in media teaching, production, research and dissemination. A unique feature of the School is the close linkage between its technical and academic work. The work of the School facilitates a synergy between research, teaching and production, all of which are informed by a keen sense of connection with local subaltern cultures of resistance and invention. Production is an important component of the School’s work. It has to its credit more than 50 awards for its documentary films at national and international film festivals. Its films are widely distributed and used. The School is also involved in media and cultural studies research.
The SMCS has done pioneering work in critical media education in the country. In 2007, it started a two-year Master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies, which focuses on professional media practice and research within a framework that enables the development of a critical perspective on media, culture and society. It seeks to enable the creation of a lively group of thinking doers and doing thinkers. Students produce documentary films and other video/audio/web-based texts. This is the first of its kind in the country and is a prototype for a socially responsive, multi-disciplinary media progamme that seeks to contribute to both mainstream media and the education and social sector. The Post Graduate Diploma in Community Media, introduced in 2012, is designed for social workers, community activists and cultural organisers who are engaged in grassroots level activities, with the goal of supplementing their field efforts with the knowledge, perspectives and skills that will enable them to work with communities and facilitate the expression of their concerns through the media.