I&B ministry forms committee to resolve FTII logjam

New Delhi: The ministry of information and broadcasting has formed a three-member committee that will visit the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on August 21 to assess the situation and interact with the students. The committee will also look into the agenda for the assessment of the projects of the 2008 batch of students, FTII director Prashant Pathrabe said on Wednesday.

Pathrabe said that a group of students kept him in illegal confinement for 8-10 hours and vandalised his office, forcing him to lodge a police complaint. Post midnight, police arrested five FTII students from the campus for rioting, damaging property and other charges.

The students have been protesting for over two months against the appointment of actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the FTII. On April 27 last year, the FTII Academic Council decided on an “as is where is” or “pro rata assessment” of 2008 batch’s pending projects since the students had been repeatedly given time to comply.

Later, the audit team raised objections by saying that despite two zero years and extension of the course, the projects remained incomplete, adding to the backlog. Accordingly, the FTII decided to initiate action, starting with the oldest batch of 2008 which had 49 students.

After the developments of recent days, the assessment decision has been put on hold, Pathrabe said. Meanwhile, the students have threatened to agitate further against the police action and the arrest of five students. Many students alleged that the police action was meant to break the students’ strike going on since June opposing the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan.

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