Even after 20 years of its existence, the prestigious Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata has failed to meet its objective of conducting undergraduate courses in film and TV, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said. In a report tabled in Parliament earlier this week, the CAG said that due to “improper” planning at the autonomous film school funded by the I&B ministry, batches of students were skipped and a number of seats remained vacant, leading to a loss of revenue of Rs 1.84 crore.
The auditor also rapped SRFTI for not carrying out any meaningful research in the field of films. In its report, the CAG said the objectives of SRFTI include conducting under-graduate diploma courses on TV and Film. The institute, however, said it did not conduct such courses due to inadequate infrastructure and manpower. “SRFTI had failed to achieve their stated objectives as it failed to introduce various courses viz undergraduate course for film and television, post graduate diploma courses in television and regular short term courses in films even after 20 years of its establishment,” the auditor said. It said that SRFTI conducts 3 year post graduate courses in five disciplines.
However, it skipped enrollment for academic session 2010-13 and 2014-17 to revise curricular design and syllabi. “SRFTI instead of continuing with the old syllabi decided to skip the full batch for two years until revision of syllabi. Due to non-enrolment of students for two years, SRFTI suffered loss of revenue of Rs 1.84 crore towards tuition fees, hostel rent, internet charges and library fees,” the CAG said. It added that students were also deprived of the opportunity to learn the art and craft of film making.
“Two batches of students were skipped and number of seats remained vacant due to improper planning,” the CAG said. The auditor also pointed out that as per objectives, SRFTI has to undertake research in film and television but had not established a research department till October 2015.
SRFTI had appointed one Film Research Officer in May 2011 but his services were being utilised for publications, festival assignments, film screening etc and no research work was carried out by him, the report said. “SRFTI stated (December 2015) that due to insufficient infrastructure research activity could not be undertaken. But the fact remained that SRFTI without ensuring the availability of infrastructure, fund and recruited manpower for research activity. Thus, due to improper planning the objective of SRFTI to undertake research in film and television remained unfulfilled,” the CAG said in its report.