NEW DELHI: Asking protesting FTII students to resume classes and not block academic activities, the government today said it is willing to continue discussions with them to end the stalemate.
"I think it is in the interest of the students that if they have a viewpoint, which they have, they must not block the classes for it. They must allow the classes to go on. And a group of students is always welcome to continue discussions with us," Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said.
He said that the ministry's priority is to resolve the ongoing agitation at FTII, where students have boycotted classes protesting the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute's governing council.
"They are students and our intention is to strengthen the FTII, administratively, academically, infrastructurally," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by Prasar Bharati on the occassion of Indian Broadcasting Day.
Responding to a question on disruptions of proceedings in Parliament on the Lalit Modi and Vyapam-related issues, Rathore said the Parliament is an institution which decides how the country moves forward and not letting it function is not good.
The government is clear that if any illegal activity happens, action will be taken, he said. "But to use something as an excuse to not let an institution work is just a kind of strike," he added. Earlier speaking at the event organised by the public broadcaster, Rathore said that his ministry is committed towards the autonomy of Prasar Bharati and to strengthen it.
Prasar Bharati, he said should not be compared to any other media organisation as it puts the spirit of public service before commercial angles and also nurtures local talent.
Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash, CEO Jawhar Sircar and several eminent persons were present at the event. In his speech, Prakash said that the All India Radio had played a major role in the campaign in making India polio- free.
He said that the public service broadcaster will also play a leading role in campaigns like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' and 'Swacch Bharat' also.
Speaking on the issue of sanitation, Prakash said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up some of these issues and Prasar Bharati has also taken it up in a big way. Calling All India Radio a credible news source, he said today there are 300 news channels in the country and added that "God knows what happens in those channels during prime time, let's not go into that." Sircar said "emotional unity" has happened to a large extent with the help of the national broadcaster.
Vijay lauded the high standards of language maintained by the public broadcaster and said it was way ahead of the that followed by private broadcasters who often distorted language. He also said that India should have a world broadcasting service, like some other countries have. He also favoured strengthening broadcasting in border areas of the country.
India Broadcasting Day is celebrated on July 23 as on this day in 1927, the Indian Broadcast Company (IBC), Bombay Station inaugurated by Lord Irwin, marking an important milestone in the country's broadcasting history.