The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) that was much in the news after its former Chairman Gajendra Chauhan was appointed for the post back in 2015. Now, six months after Chauhan’s tenure has ended, the institute is functioning without any head. According to an Indian Express report, former Chairman of FTII Gajendra Chauhan’s tenure ended on March 3 earlier this year. He was appointed to the post back in June 2015 for three years with a retrospective effect from March 2014. But as soon as he was appointed, a vehement protest conducted by the students of the institute took place against him due to which he could assume office only in January 2016, thereby getting only a 15-month tenure.
However, as Chauhan’s tenure ended in the month of March, the premier institute is still running without any head as the FTII Society has failed to appoint the former Chairman’s successor. The FTII Society is responsible for electing the Governing Council and the Academic Council, which then takes a decision on important matters pertaining to the administrative and academic matters concerning the Institute.
Both FTII and the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry have still not commented anything in the regard. According to Indian Express, when asked under the Right to Information Act, both the offices have refused to share any information about the reconstitution of the FTII Society. Varun Bhardwaj, the FTII registrar disposed of any appeal above the same and said, “FTII is not authorized to disclose the relevant proposal, as it is under submission to the ministry. In any case, disclosing information at this stage is reasonably likely to prejudice the appointment process itself. Secondly, the sought information also includes personal information which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of individuals at this stage.”
Indian Express quoted sources privy while saying that the ministry doesn’t seem eager to reconstitute the society, as running the Institute directly via a bureaucrat was much convenient than “inviting trouble”, like it did in 2015 by appointing the society members and a chairman with relatively lesser control over their functioning due to the autonomy enjoyed by the FTII Society. An insider on the request of anonymity said, “I think the I&B Ministry is finding the present arrangement much comfortable and would want to it continue as long as possible.”