My good wishes are with Anupam Kher: Gajendra Chauhan, ex-FTII chairman

Anupam Kher and Gajendra Chauhan

Anupam Kher and Gajendra Chauhan

"My good wishes are with him", added the ex-FTII chairman, while speaking with ANI.

The 2016 batch of students, the first ones to be exposed to a new syllabus introduced a year ago, said they were being used as "guinea pigs" to experiment with the changed syllabus and evaluation system.

Actor Anupam Kher was today appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), succeeding the controversial Gajendra Chauhan whose appointment had run into rough weather from the first day itself as questions were raised about his credentials.

"We sincerely believe that the short-term courses which are being run can not impart knowledge on film making in such a short duration". A group of students from second year have chose to boycott an academic project called "dialogue exercise" citing that the fact that the administration reduced the number of days for the exercise from three days to two while the administration also remained firm on its stand that it will not give more than two days to complete the exercise.

Read the letter for the full text of student concerns.

Assistant professor of direction Sudipta Acharyya said, "These are efforts to augment the timeline issues and to enforce a sense of discipline in students to complete their exercise on time". However, there are enough instances when they had worked for six or seven days in a week. Students have alleged that the iconic institute has become an "institute for short-term courses' and contractual faculties".

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-Faculties are hired on contractual basis and fear that they could be sacked any moment. The faculty members and staff in the institute are not even getting salaries on time. This results in dearth in the number of staff for the institute to run properly. However, the protesting students have chose to boycott the exercise stating earlier, the students would get three days where they could shoot the film working eight hours a day, however with changed norms, the administration has reduced the days of shooting from three days to two days but they have increased the working hours from eight hours a day to twelve hours a day. "But the students of the third semester chose to continue with the boycott despite the solution we offered regarding the schedule".

Students said that although they had brought these issues to the notice of Dean (Films) as well as the Director of the institute, and requested them to ensure that the learning aspect should be given priority over enforcement of timelines, they had been told that the norms would not be changed.

- Since February 2017, student representatives have been excluded from Academic Council discussion which is against the Constitution of the institute.

In extension of this issue, the letter drew attention to how "students are being forced to sign undertakings to finish their courses "on time".

FTII has been producing filmmakers who are working on various platforms.

Jay said, "The question is how can a person, who heads a private enterprise, can be asked to head a government institute". Some choose not to work in industry and others find alternate ways.

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