Chandigarh, Feb 23 (IANS) It has produced some of India's finest journalists many of whom will get together here Saturday to raise a toast to the department of mass communication of Panjab University.
The alumni of the department - earlier called the department of journalism - will reunite for the first time on such a large scale.
Set up in 1941 in Lahore (now in Pakistan), the erstwhile department of journalism is the oldest in Asia. It has churned out scores of professionals - many of them now holding top media positions in the country - over the last 65 years.
The reunion of the alumni this time is entirely the effort of the present batch of students of the department.
'After getting into the department, we found there was very limited interaction between the present batches and the alumni of the department. Our effort to host the alumni reunion is in this direction,' said department representative and second-year mass communication student Satyender Dhull.
On their own, the students got personal resources together to get the event going.
'We have tried to get as many people on board for the reunion. Many of them have promised to come. But we could not contact all of them for want of latest contact numbers. But this event will ensure a link to many more people in future,' said Vinni Issar, one of the students on the forefront of organising the event.
Saturday will see the alumni converging on the department with Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Chaitanya Kalbag as the guest of honour.
Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta, who studied at the department during the mid-70s, is also expected to be part of the reunion. So were many other distinguished alumni.
Professor H.S. Dilgir, himself an alumnus of the 1948 batch, will be part of the reunion and will, perhaps, be the oldest student participating.
The department was originally set up in Punjab University in Lahore with professor P.P. Singh being its founder. His name still tops the honours board of the original department, now located in University of Punjab, Lahore, in Pakistan.
Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar was associated with the earliest batches of the department.
After India's partition in August 1947, the department was also divided and a new entity came up with classes being held in Hoshiarpur, Delhi and finally Chandigarh where the present Panjab University is located.
A group of students from the present batch, on their own, last September visited the original mass communication and journalism department at Lahore to connect with it.
No one from across the border is expected to attend Satufday's reunion.