After never-ending protests by students marked the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, this time, the government is determined to avoid controversies when it chooses a new person for the post.
The name and reputation of the person will be key criteria in selecting a new chairman for FTII, as the tenure of current chairman Gajendra Chauhan ended on Friday.
Sources with the information and broadcasting ministry said that this time government would tread cautiously while selecting the FTII chairman to avoid any controversy, and for this the main focus would be on credentials and reputation of the candidate. A senior official said that Chauhan is unlikely to get an extension for a second term.
Amidst protests from various quarters, Chauhan was appointed as the FTII Chairman in June 2015. Students and others had alleged that the TV actor famous for his role in TV serial ‘Mahabharat’ didn't have the required credentials to head the prestigious film training institute.
However, the institute took some significant initiatives over the past few months to impart quality education. Recently, in a significant achievement for the FTII, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) equated six postgraduate diploma Programmes of the institute with a Master’s degree. The Master’s equivalence introduces a new dimension for students who can now leverage this attribute for higher studies, in India and abroad.
Moreover, the institute also introduced a syllabus to ensure timely completion of courses as the institute was forced to declare 2014 and 2015 as zero years due to protests and controversies, though the merits of such a syllabus are debated.
Apart from this, FTII has also taken a unique initiative to reach out to students in tier-2 cities through its SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) initiative, which was launched in Guwahati.