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Film shooting: Sacked by IP varsity,teacher says he had all permissions

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University has terminated the contract of a faculty member accused of organising the April 19 film shoot on campus.

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU ) has terminated the contract of a faculty member accused of organising the April 19 film shoot on campus.

Ambrish Saxena,who was consultant at the University Centre for Media Studies (UCMS),was asked to leave on April 28 after an enquiry committee that looked into the incident found that he was,“mainly responsible for this incident which ultimately created an embarrassing situation for the University,thereby,leading humiliations and damaging the prestige/public image of the University.”

The incident happened on April 19,when the crew of the Vidya Balan-starrer ‘No One Killed Jessica’ shot for a day in the Kashmere Gate campus of the University. Shooting started at around seven in the morning,and trouble started with the arrival of Vice-Chancellor D K Bandyopadhyay,who was not allowed in initially by the bouncers accompanying the crew.

A confused Bandyopadhyay made inquiries,only to find out that a major film was being shot on the campus. He insisted that the team leave immediately,but several negotiations later,they were allowed to stay till seven in the evening and complete their schedule.

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The University administration was quick to pinpoint Saxena,who was the liaison between the film crew and the University and had informed the former that he had obtained requisite permissions. However,GGSIPU claimed that Saxena had not obtained the requisite permissions.

Saxena on Tuesday contradicted this claim by producing documents that showed that he had written to,and obtained permissions from the right officials. The letter,dated March 25,asking for permission,moved between a number of officials,starting from the then UCMS Director Saroj Aggarwal.

Saroj Aggarwal,who happens to be the wife of former V-C K K Aggarwal,forwarded the letter to the Registrar,who forwarded it to Joint Registrar (General Administration). The Joint Registrar forwarded it to the Dean of the University School of Information Technology (USIT),since the crew wanted to shoot in USIT.

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“Allowed to shoot on April 19 without disturbing class work,” wrote the Dean,USIT on April 6. “The concerned authorities have accepted your request and you are allowed to conduct your shooting in the corridor of the University School of Information Technology on Monday,April 19,2010 from 6 am to 7 pm without causing any disturbance to classes,” wrote Saxena to the producers of the movie on April 13.

“I had followed the right procedure; the students of Film and TV Production were able to get a first-hand experience of how a movie is shot. The Director of the movie had even promised a one-on-one session with the students,but it had to be abandoned amongst the melee,” said Saxena,who helped set up the UCMS in 2007.

“It was up to the Registrar to send the file to the Vice Chancellor if he felt the need. The University should have acted against such officials instead of behaving as if they wanted me out deliberately,” he added.

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“The only blame that can be ascribed to me was the confusion created when the V-C was stopped at the gates. I did not know that I was supposed to man the gates just because I tried to do something good. However,what no one mentioned was that a new security agency had just taken over on April 16,a Friday. April 19,a Monday,was their first working day. The security guards failed to handle the situation well,” said Saxena.

His students pulled out all the stops for Saxena. “We appeal to you as students that you kindly look into the case yourself and the termination letter should be withdrawn. Putting a stigma on a sincere teacher who has worked hard to bring up his department is shameful and degrading for a Vice Chancellor of a University,” said a May 11 letter signed by 15 Master of Journalism and Mass Communication students,addressed to Lieutenant-Governor and Chancellor of the GGSIPU,Tejendra Khanna.

DUTA wants V-C held for Mayapuri episode
The Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) organised a protest on Thursday demanding the immediate arrest of Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental for his negligence regarding the sale of a gamma irradiator containing radioactive Cobalt-60 as scrap.

“The V-C has flouted all statutes of Delhi University (DU). As a scientist,he has shown carelessness in disposing of the 3000-kg gamma irradiator as scrap. We don’t accept his moral responsibility,he should have resigned on his own,” said DUTA president Aditya Narayan Misra.

“It has been two-and-a-half months,but the V-C has not submitted the report of the internal committee nominated by him. Even when the radiation leak at Mayapuri became news,the V-C and the others concerned didn’t come forward to disclose that DU had sold the radioactive material,” alleged Amardev Sharma,a former Academic Council member. “The committee was given a month to investigate and submit the report. But we don’t know if they have met or what their findings are. Such incidents present India as an irresponsible nuclear power,” claimed Sanjay Varma,member Academic Council. ENS

First published on: 09-07-2010 at 02:15:29 am
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