With city-based premier institute Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) declaring the results of FTII Entrance Examination 2013,around 150 new students are likely to join the institute,which already has students of five batches,2007,2008,2009,2011 and 2012,on its campus instead of three.
The batches of 2007,2008 and 2009 are backlog batches,and should have finished their courses in 2010,2011 and 2012 respectively,making the three-year course stretch for five to six years. Thus,joining of another batch means an additional burden on students,faculties and infrastructure on the whole.
However,according to D J Narain,the institute is handling the issue and will soon be able to sort it out. “The 2007 batch will be out by August this year. And before 2014 August,even the 2008 and 2009 batches will be cleared. So,basically we will have two batches joining (in 2013 and 2014) and three batches going out, he said,adding that the three-year course of 2013 will commence by October-November this year.
On the other hand,according to students,there are two major problems caused when there are more than the required number of students on campus,accommodation and usage of equipment. Ideally three people should stay in one room but currently,due to lack of rooms,most rooms are being shared by four to five students. Besides,when more than three batches are working on projects,then there is a problem of equipment. Either the institute has to hire it or students have to wait for the equipment till the other batches finish shooting their projects, says Manoj Nitharwal,a student of the 2009 batch. The student adds that though the institute offers the best infrastructure in the country,its utilisation cannot be made by endless students.
Rakesh Shukla,a student of the 2009 batch,states a different point for backlogs. Though officially,the courses are for three years,the course structure is such that it cannot be completed in less than four to four-and-a-half years. Especially the courses of direction and sound are quite elaborate. The authorities should either revise and restructure the syllabus or officially make them four-year courses.
Around 70 per cent students from the 2007 batch have already left the institute. The remaining students,who will pass by next month,are far less than the 150 students,who will be at the campus by October-November, he says. According to Nitharwal,better inter-departmental coordination and cooperation can solve issues faced by the institute.
According to Indranil Bhattacharya,professor,Screen Studies and Research (FTII),the current situation at the institute not only has serious implications for students but for teachers too. Teachers are denied study leave,citing backlog as a reason. As there is no fixed academic calendar,we cannot plan the year and can’t use lean academic seasons for studies and research. If the teachers are not researching how will they maintain academic excellence? Even after 2011,when FTII introduced ‘corrective’ measures,the backlog has only increased, says the professor. Around two months ago,to understand the nature and extent of academic backlog,Bhattacharya exercised his right to seek information under RTI from the institute. As a public servant,I felt compelled to initiate a process where public money is not wasted to support students who keeping delaying the course,and an administrative structure that seems to have run out of ideas on how to control students or to take corrective measures, he says.