New Delhi: IIMC, country's premier mass communication institute, may soon join the league of IITs and AIIMS with the government contemplating granting it the status of 'national importance'.

Plans are also afoot to introduce advanced academic programmes in the institute such as M.A, M.Phil and Ph.D.

According to the strategic plan formulated by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for the next six years, legislation would be enacted to "declare IIMC an institute of national importance such as the IITs, AIIMS, NIFT, etc., thereby also giving it degree-granting powers".

The plan also calls for holding dialogues with state governments for opening new branches of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in their states.

The states would be pursued to allot at least 10-15 acres of land free of cost and also make available temporary accommodation for start of the courses from 2015-16.

The IIMC presently has a branch at Dhenkanal in Orissa apart from the main campus here and it proposes to set up four new regional centres in Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Mizoram and Maharashtra.  The plan has proposed to enhance the brand appeal of IIMC and its programmes by focussing on interaction with top international universities and institutes in the field.

The strategic document has also proposed creation of IIMC affiliates abroad and correspondence with international media institutions for opening of centres in their countries.

Besides, it has stressed on access to research and training funds from national and international funding bodies.

The institute could also introduce two-year post graduate programmes in development journalism and corporate communication and media management.