NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind attends all award functions for a maximum of one hour and this was conveyed to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said today following "11th hour" protests by some of the recipients of the National Film Awards.
The awards are being conferred this evening.
The statement comes after more than 60 National Film Award recipients decided to skip the award ceremony because the president will be presenting only 11 awards.
"President attends all award functions and convocations for a maximum of one hour.
This has been the protocol since he took office.
It was conveyed to Information and Broadcasting Ministry several weeks ago and the ministry knew this all along.
Rashtrapati Bhavan is surprised by the 11th hour questions that have been raised," said Ashok Malik, press secretary to the president.
The artistes, from across the country, have written a letter to the Directorate of Film Festival, Office of the President of India and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to express their disappointment.
They said they were "disheartened" on being informed at the last minute that the president will present only 11 awards.
The rest will receive it from Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani.