Students see 'conflict of interest' in Anupam Kher's FTII position

13 October, 2017, 06:08 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
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Even as veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher is yet to officially assume charge of his new responsibility as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India, the students of the institute have written a letter to him raising issues that are now "affecting them".

"Dear sir, while you must be busy accepting congratulatory messages, we would also like to bring to your attention the issues persisting in the iconic institute that you will be heading as Chairman".

The letter, signed by Robin Joy and Rohit Kumar, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the Students' Association, was posted on FTII Wisdom Tree's Facebook page on Thursday. "My good wishes are with him", the ex FTII chief said.

It cited the case of a new course launched earlier this month, titled "a short Course in Fiction Writing for Television", with a 20-day duration."Every student is being charged ₹20,000, which we find very expensive for such a short-term course and also for students from certain sections of the society". 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.

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The letter further elaborated on this contentious issue, alleging that students were being "forced to sign undertakings to finish their courses on time" with the administration not providing the necessary resources to aid them. It has been a year since the syllabus has been in place so a proper audit of the new syllabus has to be done and such issues need to be rectified.

"It has its issues like workshops and classes being cut down from the syllabus during the course of the semester arbitrarily, confusion existing even among faculties on the new credit-based system". However, the protesting students have made a decision to boycott the exercise stating earlier, the students would get three days where they could shoot the film working eight hours a day, however with changed norms, the administration has reduced the days of shooting from three days to two days but they have increased the working hours from eight hours a day to twelve hours a day. There have been instances when lightmen haven't been paid for their work. In the third semester, students from Direction, Cinematography, Sound Design, Editing and Art Direction courses are supposed to shoot films as part of their curriculum and the exercise is called "dialogue exercise". Given they are on contract and are temporary, they do not enjoy benefits and job security of the permanent staff.

"The institute runs five-days-a-week".

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