Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vartika Nanda

Vartika Nanda is among India's foremost writers on media and women centric issues. A trained journalist, Dr. Nanda has carved a niche for herself in the field of media studies, communication training and women empowerment.

On the occasion of International Women's Day, she was conferred the Stree Shakti Puraskar, 2013 ( Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award) by the President of India, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee. This award was given in recognition for her contribution in creating awareness of women's issues through media and literature.

Dr. Nanda has also been actively working with the women inmates of Tihar Jail, Asia's largest prison, and taking their voice outside the walls of the prison. A poem from the book, 'Tinka Tinka Tihar', co-edited by her and DG-Prisons, Vimla Mehra now adorns the walls of Tihar Jail along with 16 works of art. The art work done by graffiti artists from all over India,was inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung in March 2014.

She is also the honorary editor of "Media Dunia", a section dedicated to news media industry views and analysis, run by Web Dunia. Web Dunia has the distinction of being the first Hindi web portal in the world.

Nanda was co-opted on the expert committee on Prasar Bharti constituted in 2013 by the Government of India under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda.

She holds a PhD in Journalism and during the course of her dissertation she analysed the coverage of rape cases by Indian media. Dr. Nanda currently is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, Delhi (India). Nanda has previously taught TV journalism for three years at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) as an Associate Professor.

Dr. Nanda belongs to the league of journalists who pioneered television news in India. Her association with television news started in early 90s. In her experience of more than a decade, she has held various journalistic assignments with prominent news organisations such as, Zee News, NDTV and Lok Sabha TV. Her association with print journalism began with her engagement as Associate Editor with a quarterly journal on media, Communication Today. She continues to oversee the journal. As a regular columnist, she contributed for over two years to The Pioneer and Hindi Outlook till 2007. She continues to contribute a regular column to Gaon Connection, India's first rural newspaper.

In September 2012 Nanda and 24 Frames Films collaborated to launch a film "Nanakpura Kuch Nahi Bhoolta" centred on domestic violence. She recently produced a thematic representation of violence against women 'Sshhh.....'. A unique initiative which aimed to challenging the perception that domestic violence is limited to the lower strata of the society and raising the question whether the society and the system truly supports women in breaking the silence, through a dramatic dialogue of dance, music and theatre with soaring live vocals and percussion. This presentation marks the beginning of a national campaign to generate awareness about the issue of domestic violence which will culminate with the launch of the book ‘Raaniyan sab jaanti hai” by Dr. Vartika Nanda next year.

As a trainer, she held specialised media training workshops for civil service officers at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. She organised two special workshops on gender sensitisation for Delhi Police in 2013. She was also a trainer in a media programme conducted by Tehri Hydro Electric Power Corporation in Rikhikesh (2012) and The Institute of Criminology in New Delhi (2013). She held a workshop on 'Action Plans for Mainstreaming Gender Concerns' in Media at the Staff Training College, AIR, New Delhi in April 2011 and June 2012. Similar workshop was organised for the officials at Airport Authority of India, New Delhi in 2011. She has held several training programmes for stingers and budding journalists in TV news medium in Delhi and also held a number of workshops in Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Ranchi, Nainital and Patna. Her training workshops on anchoring and reporting as well as consultancy to students for their entrance tests to premier media teaching institutes like IIMC, JAMIA, ASJ etc. are increasingly becoming popular. She also organised a Media Training Workshop for Coast Guard Officers' at IIMC, New Delhi in 2004. The same year, she conducted a specialised course on 'Handling Media in Crisis' for Senior Railway Officers' at IIMC, Dhenkanal, Orissa. She is also a trainer for training school teachers on media. This is organised by CIET, NCERT to popularise media literacy and to enable them to teach Journalism to CBSE students for ICSSE.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Stree Shakti Puraskar, 2013 ( Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award) to her on the occasion of International Women's Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 8 March 2014. This award has been given in recognition for her contribution in creating awareness on women's issues through media and literature. These awards, instituted in 1991, are given to six illustrious women very year for their distinguished services for the upliftment of women. These awards are given by the President of India on the occasion of International Women's Day.

Nanda is the recipient of the Youth Icon of the Year Award, 2013. This award was given by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. She is also the recipient of Dr. Radhakrishnan Memorial National Media Award for the year 2012. She also received Rituraj Parmpara Samman for the collection of poems–Thee. Hoon.. Rahungi. In the year 2005, she was conferred the Bharatendu Harishchandra Award. Bhartendu Harishchandra awards are given by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since 1983 to promote original writings in Hindi on Journalism and Mass Communication. Nanda has been given the award for her book "Television and Apraadh Patrkarita". In 2007, She received the Sudha Patrakarita Samman for outstanding writing on media issues.

Vartika Nanda has contributed to several books. She has written a specific media unit for a MA level course taught at the Anter Rashtreey Hindi Vishv Vidyalaya, Wardha and University of Uttarakhand. Nanda has written several chapters on various aspects of crime reporting. As a member of the NCERT text book committee on media studies, she co-authored a chapter on Understanding Media for class XI in the year 2010. Nanda has written the foreword for the book 'From News to Infotainment to Tamasha' written by Amit Nagpal in the year 2011. Nanda has contributed a chapter titled 'Ek paati Facebook ke naam' to the book 'Social Networking: Naye Samay Ka Sanwad' in 2013 and 'Ek Minute ka Media Prashikshan' to the book 'Media Shiksha-mudde aur apekshaayein' in 2011 both authored by Dr. Sanjay Dwiwedi. Other contributions are chapters titled 'Patrkarita' in Uttarakhand Mukt University,'Mahela Aur Vimarsh Ki Jameen Kay Beech' in 'Naya Samay Main Mahela' authored by Vinit Utpal (2013), 'Light, Camera, Action, Anna' in 'Annaandolan: Sambhavnayein aur Sawal' by Arunoday Prakash, 'Crime Reporting' (2009) and 'Television aur Apraadh Reporting' in 'Electronic Media' edited by Prof Sanjeev Bhanawat (2005). In 2005 she also authored a chapter 'Buland Bharat ka Buland Radio' in 'Sanchar Madhyam aur Electronic Media', edited by Gyanendra Rawat and 'Samudayik Radio ke beech Vikas kee Goonj' in 'Bharat mein Sanchar Madhyam' by University of Rajasthan.

Nanda had her initial education in Punjab. In her school days, she authored a compilation of poems titled, 'Madhur Dastak' (1989). She has won many laurels at school and at the college level. Notable among them being First Prize in Story Competition conducted by The Dainik Tribune and Himachal Pradesh Government and also a special prize in story competition held by The Language Department of Punjabi University, Patiala in 1991–92. In the year 1990, she received the Prem Chand Silver Medal Award from Punjab University. She was also the youngest anchor for Doordarshan Jalandhar for almost a decade.

Nanda worked with Zee for one and a half-year (1994–1996) and then joined an organisation that later become the leading news channel in the country – NDTV. She worked with NDTV for 8 years and before she quit, she was the Chief of Crime Bureau. She had become a house hold name and was commonly known as Prannoy Roy's crime reporter. After this she taught at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication for three years as an associate Professor for Television Journalism.

In 2006, she joined the world's first television channel by the Parliament of a country, Lok Sabha TV as the Executive Producer. She has played an instrumental role in the setting up and running of the channel. She, in addition to her responsibilities as the Executive Producer, used to anchor one of the most popular programme of Lok Sabha TV 'Sansad Se Sadak Tak'. In March 2008, she joined as the Programming Head of all the news channels of Sahara India Media, including 'Samay', a 24-hr national news channel which broadcasts in over 66 countries.

Nanda has travelled to Canada in 2012 as a media analyst. She was also the official delegate to the 'Vishwa Hindi Sammelan' at Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012. She also travelled to UK in 2011. In 2007, she travelled to Germany as a delegate of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (India). The objective was to promote Indo-German Strategic Partnership and Media Education. She was also a part of the Young Leaders Forum (India) to explore possibilities of strategic partnership between EU-India and visited Brussels (Belgium) in 2008 as a part of this program. She also holds a certificate in Change Management conducted by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 2008.

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