Government to upgrade FTII, will bring the institute at the same level as IITs and IIMs

Information and Broadcasting ministry would give Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) ‘the status of institute of importance’ along the lines of IITs and IIMs, thereby disproving the theory of privatization or shutting down. In the middle of deadlock between ministry and students of FTII who are striking for the removal of Mr Gajendra Chauhan from the post of chairman, this major announcement from I&B had come.

As per Times of India report, a meeting was called by the cabinet secretary Mr PK Sinha, I&B and HRD ministries were asked to include FTII in Common Universities Act which would make the institute autonomous and would allow it to issue degrees to students.

Earlier there were some reports stating that when few protesting students of FTII met Union Minister Mr Arun Jaitley, the minister had warned students by threatening that FTII would be privatized if students did not cooperate.

Indian Express newspaper also quoted saying that when brought to the notice of minister that an institution personifies a vision that the current society cannot provide and if students continued in their demands of reconstitution of the society, they may have to face shutting down and finally privatization.

Director of FTII, Mr D. Narain firmly denied and stated that the minister did not talk about privatization and shutting down of institute. He further said students association misunderstood what minister had said in reference to Geetha Krishnan (sic) committee report regarding the privatization of institutions like SRFTI and FTII in late 90s by handing over these to film industry which the I& B ministry did not accept, but in contrast to that the ministry provided more funds to FTII.

Investment of amount 80 crores is planned by the I&B ministry for major infrastructural renovation of this institute. Information and Broadcasting Ministry is planning to modernize studios, cameras and post production equipments with total expenditure of Rs 200 crores over five years of time.

According to Daily News and Analysis, if the ministry spends peoples’ money in renovation of the institute then the ministry has right to appoint a governing council for transparency and accountability in working. Famous film personalities like National Award winning Jahnu Barua and actress Pallavi Joshi had relinquished as members of FTII society citing their reasons.

Pallavi joshi in support of the agitation by students stated that if students are not happy, then there is no point in continuing as member of FTII society. She even resigned

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