press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
With a little over a week to go for the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Society meeting, there is much speculation on the campus if TV actor Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment as FTII chairman triggered the longest strike ever in the history of the premier institute, will head the Academic Council.
Students of the FTII had gone on a 139-day strike against the contentious appointment of Mr. Chauhan as FTII chairman. Sources told The Hindu that the Ministry’s move to appoint a separate Academic Council head could be to blunt the students’ resentment against Mr. Chauhan and help him take over as the chairman smoothly.
The FTII Society is scheduled to meet on January 7. A section of the media had last week reported that the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry was mulling over the appointment of Brijendra Pal Singh, an FTII alumni and creator of popular, long-running television series CID, as the chairman of the Council.
As per the FTII constitution, the Academic Council, like the Governing Council and Standing Finance Committee, is headed by the FTII Society president, who happens to be Mr. Chauhan.
“We do not know anything as we are not in contact with the Ministry,” said Vikas Urs, spokesman for the FTII Students’ Association (FSA). “But if this happens, it would be the first time in the history of the institute that someone other than the chairman will be heading the Academic Council.”
Student representatives said the move to appoint a separate head of the Council was in itself a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the Ministry that Mr. Chauhan lacked the “requisite qualifications” to helm such an Institute and that their decision to appoint him as chairman was “a grave error.”
“The chairman of the Academic Council is elected by this is contrary to the constitutional process and only serves to vindicate the student’s strike over Mr. Chauhan’s appointment,” said Ajayan Adat, another student representing the FSA.
Earlier, filmmaker and FTII Society member Rajkumar Hirani had said that he was offered the chance to helm the Academic Council by the Ministry, but had to turn it down owing to prior commitments.
“Even if he [Chauhan] does get elected as head of the Academic Council, the student representatives within the academic council would make his policies accountable,” said Mr. Urs.
From: The Hindu