With Gajendra Chauhan at helm, fall in number of dropouts in FTII

The new admissions came as a breather considering the backlog — a three-year batch stretching over six years— had forced the institute to freeze admissions for a few years.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 23:10 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Mumbai, Hindustan Times
Gajendra Chauhan,FTII,Film and Television Institute of India
Film and Television Institute of India building in Pune.(File)

A report by Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has mentioned that non-completion of courses by the students at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has caused a loss of ₹11.83 crore to the exchequer.

While the report has once again brought the focus on backlog of students, recent records however, indicated that the situation improved during the chairmanship of Gajendra Chauhan.

The FTII, after a gap of two years, admitted fresh students in 2016 as previous batches could not complete their courses on time, leading to a major issue during a strike called by students to oppose Chauhan’s appointment in 2015.

The new admissions came as a breather for students as well as the premier cinema institute considering the backlog — a three-year batch stretching over six years— had forced the institute to freeze admissions for a few years, adding financial burden while denying an opportunity to prospective students.

Following the strike, FTII administration carried out corrective steps while introducing a new syllabus that aimed to finish the courses in a time-bound manner. Eviction notices were served to students from the 2008 batch to vacate hostel rooms.

According to FTII director Bhuopendra Kainthola, the exercise has helped the institute to clear the backlog to a large extent with the fresh batch, admitted last year, has managed to complete the course as per declared academic schedule.

“Students of 2016 batch are in sync with the declared academic schedule. They have completed two semesters in time,” said Kainthola.

When asked about the latest CAG report passing strictures on FTII, Kainthola said, “I haven’t read the report as I have been travelling since then.”

The director said most students admitted in 2014 have finished their projects and have completed the course while those remaining are in the process.

In the report tabled in Lok Sabha last week, the CAG mentions that FTII failed to ensure that 212 students enrolled for its prestigious Diploma course complete it within the prescribed duration and hence a large percentage of enrolled students continue to be on the rolls.

“This has not only created additional pressure on the limited infrastructure of the Institute but has also indirectly resulted in the opportunity loss for aspirants who were not able to get admission,” it said.

The report says these 212 students who continued to remain on the rolls and in hostels without paying fees resulted in the revenue loss and admissions being held up during the academic years 2010-11 and 2015-16.

The institute hit the headlines after students boycotted classes for 139 days in opposition to Chauhan’s appointment, whose tenure finished in March this year after 19 months.

While the government had made backlog as major issue during the strike putting pressure on the students to complete the courses on time, students opposed the move by holding the then director Prashant Pathrabe in captivity.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 23:08 IST