March 4, 2017 2:44:19 am
ACTOR Gajendra Chauhan ’s tenure as the president of FTII Society ended on Friday, after there was no communication from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry about an extension of his tenure, which lasted 14 months.
Before his tenure ended on Friday, Chauhan chaired a meeting of the Governing Council on Thursday; during the meeting, two key decisions were taken. One pertained to an increase in the students’ scholarship and the other was about excluding student representatives from Academic Council meetings during discussions on “key issues”.
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During Chauhan’s short tenure, he visited the FTII campus only once, on January 7, 2016, to assume charge, two months after the four-month strike by students against his appointment had ended. The protesting students had argued that Chauhan was “unfit” to head the institute and he had been appointed to the post only due to his “proximity to the RSS”.
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Criticised for staying away from the campus, Chauhan had promised that the 130th meeting of the GC would be held in Pune. However, it was finally held in Mumbai.
Chauhan said several “important decisions” were taken at the meeting, including an approval for opening centres in seven cities to conduct short-term courses.
“Teams from the institute will go to Jaipur, Vizag, Lucknow, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Guwahati and find out if basic infrastructure and hostel facilities to run such courses are available. Several states had put forward proposals to start short courses at their universities. We have also given in-principle nod to some of these proposals,” Chauhan told The Indian Express.
He said annual scholarships given to class toppers has been increased from Rs 22,000 to Rs 25,000 per year. “Earlier, when there was a tie between two students, each of them used to get half the amount. Now, both of them will get the full amount,” said Chauhan.
He also said that till date, he had not received any communication from the I&B ministry about an extension of his term.
Institute director Bhupendra Kainthola confirmed that the Governing Council also took a decision about excluding student representatives from meetings of the Academic Council when issues pertaining to exams, disciplinary matters, fees and faculty were discussed.
FTII students alleged that students would no longer be part of any important discussion, and the decision was aimed at removing them from the decision-making process.
When asked if the Governing Council, the highest decision-making body of the FTII, had discussed the future of the acting diploma project being directed by acclaimed director Gurvinder Singh, Kainthola said it wasn’t on the agenda.
The feature film project had been stalled by the FTII administration, which claimed that Singh had deliberately violated the “shooting ratio” norm.
While the administration had asked the director to edit the footage already shot by him, Singh said it made no sense to edit a half-shot film.
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