Pioneer In Journalism Studies Vepa Rao Passes Away At 78
Hyderabad, Oct 31 (TNA) Prof Vepa Rao, one of the most respected and renowned teachers of Journalism and Mass Communication in India passed away in Hyderabad on Monday afternoon. He was 78 and had been ailing for some time. His last rites will take place on Tuesday morning.
Prof Rao was born in Andhra Pradesh in 1946. He completed his education from Andhra and then subsequently Kolkata and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi. He was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Literature (D. Litt.) for his achievements. He was the Editorial Advisor of The Statesman Committee and was associated with the newspaper for a very long time.
He worked as an Assistant Editor of The Tribune and then also in Hindustan Times, New Delhi as its Sunday Editor. He has been known to have introduced several ground-breaking ideas and columns during his tenure. Prof Rao worked for a long time in Hindustan Times and then moved to academics in 1987.
Prof Rao joined Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla, as a Resident Fellow to work on Communication and Development. He completed his research that led to publishing of his book titled, “A Curve in The Hills.”
In 1990, Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) asked him to head its Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. He retired in 2006, but was brought back by the HPU under the UGC’s re-employment scheme to assist the department. He retired from the University in 2010.
With his path-breaking out-of-the-classroom teaching, Prof Rao instantly touched all his students in IIMC, Dhenkanal where he was appointed as a Guest Professor during 1996-1997. The very next academic session, HPU created a position of professor and elevated him to the role in 1997. Prof Rao was bestowed with the State Award for Development Reporting by the Himachal Pradesh government the same year.
Among the many hats that he donned, Prof Rao continued to teach at other universities as a guest professor, and also took part as member of their selection committees and boards. Prof Rao has also evaluated a number of Ph.D. thesis on behalf of other universities. He also served as Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, member of Executive and Academic Councils of HPU. He headed the IIMC Dhenkanal in 1996-97.