Gajendra Chauhan hasn’t visited FTII office since appointment: RTI activist

Pune, Oct 12 (IANS) BJP member Gajendra Chauhan, whose credentials have been questioned by students and alumni of FTII to be the chairman of the prestigious institute, is yet to attend office since his appointment – of which there are two dates – says Right to Information (RTI) activist Anil Galgali.

Galgali had sought information from the Pune-based Films and Television Institute of India (FTII) about its chairmen in the past 15 years, including their attendance and also the length of their term.

According to a statement shared by Galgali, Chauhan was appointed as the chairman on June 9 this year, but the RTI reply states his appointment date as March 4, 2014. Whichever his date of appointment may be, he is yet to pay a visit to his office.

In response to Galgali’s querry, FTII administrative officer S.K. Dekate said nine chairmen have held the position since 1999.

Writer-critic U.R. Ananthmurthy held the position for three terms over eight years, and attended office 26 times. Filmmaker Saeed Mirza was the chairman for three years, with an attendance record of 20. Actor-director Girish Karnad attended office six times during his one-year stint.

Actor and BJP MP Vinod Khanna was appointed the chairman twice for two years but attended office only twice. Actor Pawan Chopra, who had the shortest term of three months, attended office for a single day and that too on his last day of his term on December 16, 2002.

Galgali had also sought information about the educational qualifications and other eligibility details for the chairman’s position.

The students of the premier institute have been on strike for over 100 days, with four meeetings between them and officials of the information and broadcasting ministry being inconclusive. The students are tentatively scheduled to meet Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in New Delhi on Tuesday.

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