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Social networking tools connect Jamia students, faculty and alumni

Students of Jamia Millia Islamia are harnessing various tools of social networking in order to keep the university fraternity connected and up to date with various events around the campus.

Jamia's quarterly newsletter “Jauhar” details how some technologically savvy and creative students have driven the use of communication platforms such as SMS, Facebook and the websphere in general to bring together and connect students, faculty and alumni.

SMS service

The “Jamia Info” SMS service for instance, an initiative of Hafiz Shakiluz Zaman who did a Masters in Education, came into being because Hafiz felt that “like him students did not know what was happening on the campus”.

This service which runs free of advertisements has come to the assistance of a student suffering from throat cancer by raising funds for his treatment, while it spread the word when another student's brother was in urgent need of blood.

More than 3,500 individuals subscribe to this service. A M.A. previous year Political Science student Khalid Jaleel with a flair for writing and managing websites purchased a domain name www.jamiajournal.com as well as space on the internet. Several students have been roped in to write, report for, edit and manage the website. Content includes opinion regarding Jamia's minority status, seminar reportage, opinion polls and a range of student issues. With the tagline Jamia's “independent student newspaper”, the website contains the latest updates about the university drawn from a host of sources.

Facebook community

Asad Zaidi who studied B. Tech. and also management from Jamia set up the Facebook community “Jamia Live” the aim of which is to develop a sense of belonging among students and to provide a forum for students, alumni and faculty to interact. Jamia Live has over 850 members and highlights socially relevant events and job alerts.

Website

The Association for Community Research and Action website which was started by Ph.D. student Shahid Siddiqui aims to “create awareness among students using new media”. Research scholars and students from Jamia, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Hamdard too have been roped into the initiative.

The “Jauhar” newsletter notes that technology served the “urge to stay connected meaningfully” while isolated attempts are being made to reach out to students through the print medium since costs can be a “tad forbidding”.

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