Government efforts will continue to support FTII

New Delhi July 4, (ANI) In the context of agitation by the trainees of the Film and Television Institute of India, one should recall the report of the expenditure reforms commission, popularly known as the Geeta Krishnan Report, which recommended that both SRFTI and FTII be handed over to the film industry.

According to sources, the Ministry, however, while not having implemented this recommendation, has been endeavouring to support these institutions to become centers of excellence and has even prepared a legislative framework towards this end.

Sources said the proposal is at an advanced stage of consultation with the Ministry of HRD which has been mandated to examine proposals of all Ministries including that of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to include all three institutions under the Ministry namely FTII, SRFTI and IIMC as institutions of national importance under the existing schedule of the Central University Act, enabling them to have the requisite legislative backing for truly becoming centers of excellence.

The above step needs to be appreciated in the light of the massive infrastructure investment made in the institution, whereby Rs. 37 crores has been allocated in the Plan for upgrading its entire technical equipment in terms of cameras, studios and post production chains.

In addition to this, an investment of around Rs. 43 crores has been planned for physical infrastructure tendering process for most of the projects has been completed.

Sources further said two sites have already been handed over to the builder. A massive infrastructure revitalization programme is in full gear. The entire infrastructure expenditure within the five year plan is to the tune of Rs. 80 crore which is supplemented with an annual non-plan budget of around Rs. 20 crore every year, leads to an annual allocation of Rs. 40 crore a year and Rs. 200 crore in the five year plan period.

This huge investment is exclusively for FTII caters to only around 350 students in all its courses at a time in the campus.

According to sources, the reports of Chief Advisor Cost in their review of the institute have observed that the extent of recovery through fees/subscription/ hostel rent/ a percentage of expenditure on academic activities in FTII has gradually decreased from 25 percent in 2006-07 to as low as 11 percent in 2010-11.

They had also highlighted that due to the delay in completion of courses, students lived in the hostels beyond three years without even paying anything extra for the extra duration.

The issue of the institute not being able to have convocation since 1997 was another issue of grave concern. The scars of an unsavory incident in 1997 involving to the unbecoming behavior of students, has prevented successive Governing Council from having further convocation.

This was also followed by spate of strikes and zero admission years as Institute attempted to restructure the syllabus for bringing in greater academic discipline.

The history of the institution, in spite of having such eminent people, on various councils, had not been able to conclusively restructure the academic curriculum till date. This could only been done in 2015 after consistent efforts by the institute in recent years after having roped in eminent people of various disciplines along with other academicians.

Committees have been formed to formulate the post production norms and disciplinary norms which are essential for successful implementation of the syllabus. Institute is now at a cusp of a change. A lot has been done during the last three years.

In the government’s intention of nurturing FTII was reiterated and any suggestion which would strengthen the processes of creating these centers of excellence in all scope and ambit would be welcomed for reference while making the appropriate legislative framework.

In the meeting the delegations had submitted a report about forming a committee to look into the matters concerning FTII. The delegation was informed that all suggestions were welcome for the further development of the Institution.

The delegation was also reassured in no uncertain terms that there would be completely academic independence and no untoward interference of any kindby anyone would neither be encouraged nor allowed.

It was also highlighted in the past too the Ministry had always nurtured the functional and academic autonomy of institution and would continue to do so.

Sources further said the average cost of education for the FTII student funded by the state, being in excess of Rs. 10 lakh per year per student, needs to be seen in the context of the commitment of the institution, alumni and students in completing the course in time.

FTII in the past many years has had to financially bear with delayed batches. The oldest batch of 2008 is still pursuing their course in the institute and should be a cause of concern to all. (ANI)

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