Bhupendra Kainthola, an Indian Information Service (IIS) officer of 1989 batch, has been appointed as the new Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
The Directorate of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued an order to this effect on Saturday. This appointment process, which commenced in February 2015, took over a year to finish. Since D J Narain, former institute director, completed his term in July 2015, the post was being occupied by a part-timer, Prashant Pathrabe, a director with the Press Information Bureau for last nine months. A great part of Pathrabe’s tenure went into handling the agitation by students’ to oppose appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman of institute’s Governing Council.
Kainthola, who holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Mumbai, is presently serving as Director (News Room) with DD News since January 2015 and has been responsible for ‘management of news operations and output’. Previously, he has worked with PIB, Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Film Festival (as Director, National Film Awards and Indian Panorama) and Lok Sabha Television.
Speaking to The Indian Express over phone from Delhi after his appointment, Kainthola said, “I will take up the post in one or two weeks once I finish the formalities in Delhi.” In February 2015, interviews of the four shortlisted candidates were held by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in New Delhi in presence of Chairman Chauhan. Kainthola’s appointment is for three years from the date of appointment.
Besides Kainthola, three other candidates who underwent interviews, were Mayank Aggarwal, an Additional Director General with Press Information Bureau; V Ravi Rama Krishna, a Director with Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) and Devendranath B Kasar, a Chief Security Commissioner (Railway Protection Force) with Western Railway. Of the four, only Aggarwal (52) has had a prior association with the institute. He has done a Film and Television Production Course from FTII. He had two short stints with All India Radio too.
Asked for a comment, Gajendra Chauhan said he was not aware of the appointment.
“We conducted the interviews in February and all the four shortlisted candidates were present. I am not aware if the appointment has been made or not,” said Chauhan.