Major disappointment is in store for creative young minds looking to getting a coveted seat in the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). As per the decision taken by the institute’s governing council on Thursday, admissions to all major post-graduate (PG) diploma courses will not take place this year. This was a ratification of the suggestions of the academic council.
“It is in the overall interest of the students and the education system of the country. The move has been taken to bring the academic session of FTII in sync with that at other universities and institutions. Besides, FTII is in the process of revamping its curriculum and the decision will give it the time to implement the new syllabus in the right manner,” said an FTII official.
The academic council of the institute consists of all FTII heads of departments, renowned academicians, alumni, student representatives and others. The chairperson of the academic council as well as governing council is Saeed Mirza, also a film director and screenwriter.
Every year, around 5,000 graduates from various parts of the country apply for admission to various PG diploma and certificate courses at FTII. The total number of seats in the 11 courses is 132, with each course having 12 seats. All three-year and two-year PG diploma courses won’t see new admissions for a year. These are direction, cinematography, sound recording and sound design, editing, acting, and art direction and production design.
However, admissions to all one-year certificate courses will take place as per schedule, which include feature film screenplay writing, direction (television), electronic cinematography (television), video editing (television) and sound recording-TV engineering (television).
On an average, television courses have 40-week classes in a year, while the film courses are spread over 44 weeks.
According to Sakshi Gulati, one of the student representatives at the academic council, the decision to put a freeze on 2014 admissions is important on various grounds. “Academic-session wise, it is very necessary for the institute to be on a par with the academic sessions of other institutes. It will streamline the admission process and open doors for students who leave their courses mid-way in case they get through FTII. Besides, I feel the move will also solve the problem of backlog,” she said.
The news, however, is a letdown for many people like city-based Yanala Radhakrishna, a 23-year-old IT professional, who was all set to appear for the FTII entrance exam this year. “I want to do something in the field of cinematography and was preparing for the entrance exam this year. Now, I have no option but to wait for another year,” she said.
A senior faculty at the institute said admissions should have been freezed much earlier when probably it would have helped to solve the problem of backlog. He said there have been occasions when FTII has had a zero-admission year, which was criticised by the students as well as Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. They felt a national institute going without admissions is a waste of resources.
“In fact, in early 2000, students had approached the high court with an appeal to prevent the institute from having a zero-admission year, and FTII was asked to go ahead with admissions. I am sceptical whether the ministry will favour the freeze of admissions this year because now we will have one admission process in two calendar years,” he said.
Some have also rued the loss of revenue in terms of fees, but records show that loss does not seem like a huge one, given that a student pays Rs 51,000 per year for any course at FTII. Going by a hold on the admission on six PG diploma courses — two being two-year-long and four being three-year-long — the total fee amount comes to Rs 8,16,000. An FTII official said it is an important corrective measure, adding, “The process of July 2015 admissions will begin late 2014.”