Stu­dents write open let­ter to Kher

The Asian Age - - Nation -

Pune, Oct. 12: The stu­dents of FTII have writ­ten an open let­ter to newlyap­pointed chair­man Anu­pam Kher, voic­ing their op­po­si­tion to the short-term cour­ses started by the act­ing school and draw­ing his at­ten­tion to a slew of is­sues be­ing faced by them.

The 62-year-old veteran was on Wed­nes­day ap­pointed chief of the city-based Film & Tele­vi­sion In­sti­tute of In­dia (FTII), an au­ton­o­mous body un­der the Union min­istry of in­for­ma­tion and broad­cast­ing. The FTII was started to im­part learn­ing on dif­fer­ent as­pects of film­mak­ing, but it is now slowly be­ing turned into a school that runs short­term crash cour­ses for “gen­er­a­tion of funds”, said the let­ter.

The let­ter has been signed by FTII Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (FSA) pres­i­dent Robin Joy and gen­eral sec­re­tary Ro­hit Ku­mar.

“We sin­cerely be­lieve the short-term cour­ses be­ing run (by FTII) can’t im­part knowl­edge on film-mak­ing in such a short du­ra­tion,” it said. A govern­ment in­sti­tute that ex­ists to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion to stu­dents from all sec­tions of the so­ci­ety shouldn’t be driven by the agenda of funds gen­er­a­tion, which cur­rently seems to be the aim of such short-term cour­ses, the as­so­ci­a­tion al­leged. In the let­ter, the FSA took ob­jec­tion to events like Foun­da­tion Day and Open Day started by the in­sti­tute and stated that over the past one year the ad­min­is­tra­tion has spent “large amounts” of money on such events.

“We, stu­dents, be­lieve the amount of money be­ing spent on lights, erect­ing set pieces in front of the cam­pus can be spent on the in­fra­struc­ture and in buy­ing and re­pair­ing equip­ment which would only help us in fin­ish­ing our projects on time.”

Ex­press­ing ap­pre­hen­sion about the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new syl­labus, the FSA said there is a con­fu­sion among the fac­ul­ties on the new cred­it­based se­mes­ter sys­tem (which re­placed the ear­lier an­nual as­sess­ment sys­tem).

“Stu­dents are be­ing forced to sign un­der­tak­ings to fin­ish their cour­ses ‘on time’. How­ever, the ad­min­is­tra­tion is not pro­vid­ing the re­sources es­sen­tial to fin­ish their projects on time,” said the let­ter ad­dressed to Kher.

The FSA took strong ob­jec­tion to the ex­clu­sion of stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dis­cus­sion per­tain­ing to is­sues such as aca­demics, syl­labus, dis­ci­pline, fee struc­ture, staff and fac­ul­ties in the aca­demic coun­cil meet­ings.

“Con­sid­er­ing the fact that the stu­dents are the pri­mary stake­hold­ers and vot­ing mem­bers in the aca­demic coun­cil this move to ex­clude the stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives is un­con­sti­tu­tional,” stated the let­ter.

Anu­pam Kher

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