Maruf Alom is an Indian Information Service (IIS Sr. Grade) officer posted in Publications Division (DPD), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, New Delhi. This filmmaker turned public servant hails from Hojai Assam. A media planner, PR expert, practitioner of development communication for almost a decade Maruf Alom is a trained Photographer also. He has worked as Editor of the prestigious weekly “Employment News” and Ministry of Rural Development’s monthly journal “ Kurukshetra” after moving to Delhi. Presently he is in-charge of the Business Wing, DPD in Soochana Bhawan and also Member Secretary of the Committee for digital marketing of publications and other business related issues. He was also heading the social media wing of DPD for a long time.
Early life and education:
Born and brought up in Hojai, where his father is a social worker, Maruf was the middle of four children. Maruf started writing from school days and was involved in many social activities. He studied Commerce at Hojai College and then left home to study Mass Communication at Dr Bhupen Hazarika Centre for Mass Communication and Journalism (BCMJ), Cotton College (Formerly known as MCSC, EDC Cotton, College) Guwahati. He contributed in many dailies, magazines and weeklies like The Sentinel, Aji, Ganaadhikar, The Telegraph, Trisnature , Sadiniya Jamiat etc. He worked as a local correspondent for many papers also. Along with fellow friends he joined Leo Club (Junior wing Lions Club of International )in Hojai and nominated as the founder President. He also studied Chartered Accountancy and then Law at J.B Law College for few days.
Passed out matriculation from a venture vernacular school, where thirty candidates appeared for HSLC exam and only three came out successfully. At first, he was put in Hojai Donbosco School but on midway he migrated to Assamese medium LP School, though two of his siblings continued in convent.
His father insisted him for Chartered Accountancy career and enrolled him to foundation course. He deliberately escaped it and pursued only Bachelor of Commerce in compulsion. Inauguration of Media and Communication Centre Cotton College was a blessing for him. By that time he moved Guwahati from Hojai to become a lawyer, the 2nd aspiration of his father, but consciously it was also deferred. He only continued his hobby subject Mass Communication.
Maruf has successfully cleared the all India level Tax Return Preparer Scheme (TRP Scheme) screening test in the year 2007 and became the first certificated TRP of greater Hojai, he got training from NIIT and Income Department, but he did not continue the tax profession. TRP Scheme is managed by the Income Tax Department. The Scheme was launched by the Government of India during the year 2006-07 to train unemployed and partially employed graduates in order to assist small and medium taxpayers in preparation of their return of income and other income tax related issues. Initially government trained around 4500 TRPs across the country. Later on in 2009, he also successfully completed Service Tax Return Preparer Scheme (STRPs).
Just after his Post Graduate in Mass Communication & Journalism he joined National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of Assam. It was in year 2006 he joins as District Media Expert (DME)in NRHM Dhubri district, here he worked for four years. Then he got transferred to NRHM Nagaon, his home district in the year 2010. He started Guest Lecturer in Nagaon College IGNOU Centre, Dept of Mass Communication alongside his service, though he continued his study and completed MBA (specialization in Media Management) in distance learning. As a government servant, he first received recognitions in Dhubri for his innovative ideas and strategic planning. He remained with NRHM from 2006-2013 and a visiting faculty at Nagaon College. He was also a resource person at SSA, NYK and NRHM. He was instrumental in setting up and launching many projects in NRHM Assam. He was also nominated as Observer, Assam Assembly Election 2011, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee, District Administration.
He was merely 23 years old and got appointed as district officer, the one and only government officials in their family tree, even in entire village and its adjoining areas. Overnight transition student to executive taught him the real essence of government communicator. Six and half years in NRHM were great learning experiences for him. It nourished his understanding of development communication. He was fortunate to work with a number of top bureaucrats of Assam, who had broad understandings of participatory communication and public awareness campaign. Shri. Prateek Hajela, Dr. M Angamuthu, Dr. P Ashok Babu, Dr. Om Prakesh are few of them. All these practical experiences were instrumental in qualifying the UPSC. In the year 2013 he joined Indian Information Service (IIS) through Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
He had a stint and association with many media houses and cultural organization of the State including guest lecturer in many mass communication centres. He is also member of Nagaon Fine Art Society and also a member of Hojai Press Club for few years. He is also nominated as member in the Committee of Strategists for the Information, Communication and Awareness Campaign constituted by (USIPI) US India Policy Institute & (CRDDP) – Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy.
Training & Professional Courses :
Maruf Alom has successfully completed his foundation course “Media & Communication” from the pioneer institute of country, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), JNU Campus, New Delhi in the year 2014 by securing 1st rank in the final examination. IIMC is an autonomous Institute under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt of India. In the same year he has also undergone National Level Media Workshop on Forestry and Wildlife Conservation conducted by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.
Photography was his passion since childhood and in the year 2013 he completed a special course on DSLR Photography at the famous Delhi School of Photography, New Delhi. Prior to this he had participated in many Photography exhibitions. In the year 2012, his few photographs were selected for an Exhibition-cum-Sale organized by Nagaon Fine Art Society, Nagaon.
Maruf Alom is an expert in community participation approach, and a resource person of development communication too. He was selected for a national level workshop “Right To Act ! Exploring Participatory Theatre to Advocate for Rights & Entitlements of Children & Young People”, organized by Media Matters, Maharashtra and UNICEF Delhi had sponsored Maruf’s participation. This unique training was held in the month of January, 2012 at Fireflies Ashram, Bangalore.
National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, (NIHFW) New Delhi is a reputed institute in the country for imparting various training on community health policy related issues. Maruf has been undergone several residential courses under this institute during his days in health departments. National Level course on “Stress & Conflict Management” and National Level Training Course on “Capacity Building in developing State Specific BCC strategy” are few of them. He has also done courses on “Infant and Young Child Feeding Cum Baby Friendly Hospital Initiatives”, “Monitoring & Evaluation of BCC Activities” , “Routine Immunization” etc and became a trainer of the subjects. These courses were conducted by UNICEF Assam and State Institute of Health & Family Welfare (SIHFW) , Govt of Assam jointly. Behaviour Change Communication ( BCC) is one of the specialized areas of Maruf. He had joined the course “Effective Strategies for Behaviour Change” conducted by Public Health Foundation India, (PHFI) New Delhi for enhancing the skills and understanding on the subjects. In the year 2010 and he successfully completed the short term course also.
Maruf did his mass communication in electronic media, so filmmaking was his area of interest. He applied for national level Cine Film Appreciation (FA) course at prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune in the year 2010; he was the solo candidate from Assam to be selected for the FA course that year . The course was jointly conducted FTII and National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt of India. Maruf started to directing documentaries since student of Journalism. He directed the documentary “ A Night With Guwahati” in the year 2005 (as part of course). His debut direction “Rengnoni” (An Assamese Short Film ) produced by NRHM, Nagaon was released in the year 2012 and got censor certificate (CBFC) also, the film is highly acclaimed by critics. It was about maternal and child health issues. Veteran actors of Assamese film industry Brojen Bora, Jatin Bora, Barsha Rani Bishaya etc were worked in the same project.
International Training :
Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) in collaboration with University of Mumbai introduced International Postgraduate Certificate Course on Health & Human Rights (IPGCCHHR) in the year 20111. Maruf Alom was nominated for the course and he had successfully completed it; his participation was sponsored by Nagaon district administration in recognition to his service to the District Health Service.
Maruf Alom is among the few privileged officers of Assam who had gone through the “Leadership Development Programme” conducted by University of Washington, USA in collaboration with New Delhi based international body Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ). The course was held at Assam Administrative Staff College (AASC) Guwahati and Regional Resource Centre (RRC)- North East unit supported the same.
Prior to these, in the year 2008, Maruf was nominated for the national level training programme “Strengthening State Plans for Human Development: Dist Level Vital Statistics” by Govt of Assam, only two officers were selected from Assam and Maruf was one of them. It was his first national level training outside of his home state. The high profile training was organized by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)- Deemed University, Mumbai and Sponsored by Planning Commission , Govt of India and UNDP.
After joining ministry in the year 2013, Maruf Alom is being entrusted with many challenging responsibilities and assignments. He was associated with a prestigious project of DPD “Legends of Indian Silver Screen”, an anthology on Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner’s profiles; the book was released by the Hon’ble Minister of Information & Broadcasting at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa in 2015. Maruf has Co-edited this bestselling book and for the first time eminent authors from Assam, West Bengal and South India has contributed in one book of DPD. The Reviews of book were also published in many esteemed dailies.
Shawachh Aranyar Katha- Aaitar Xadhukatha in four volumes brought out by DPD very recently is edited by Maruf Alom. These children literature is being published in all Indian languages as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign.
Currently Maruf is busy with one more prestigious project, translating “Gandhi A Pictorial Biography” into Assamese, he is designated as editor of the book.
Recognitions & Foreign Deputation:
In the year 2016 Publications Division won Best Book Display Award from India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in connetion iwthy DPD’s participation in the Delhi Book Fair, the designing and layout of stall was prepared under the supervision of Maruf.
For his commitment to works and attitudes towards goal orientated strategy Maruf Alom was nominated for an official foreign deputation in the month of November 2016 along with three other high level officers of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. To be included in an official deputation team to foreign country in such a young age of service is undoubtedly great achievements for him. The team visited UAE and attended several events and important meetings etc in Sharjah, Dubai and projected Indian soft power.
On 27th March, 2017 the first citizen of India, hon’ble President of India invited team of officers from Publications Division who were associated with the project “Books on Rashtrabati Bhawan Series” to welcome their effort and dedication. Maruf Alom was in the team and President of India appreciated him during the visit.