Floundering Film and Television Institute of India needs a change of script
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Narain, however insists that none of these concerns hold water as these are all in the process of being addressed. "There was a delay with the 2007 batch but this issue is being sorted out — we have got additional manpower, more shootings are being done. By 2014, there will be no backlog batches. The convocation is almost a historical problem but many students do not even complete their courses and leave as they get work while in the final stages," said Narain.
About the salary delay, he attributes it to a technical glitch and said it would be sorted out at a meeting to be held in Delhi on February 20.
"I wouldn't say that the above problems are fictitious but they are age old and are all being addressed. Also, the ministry has declared it an institute of national importance and will soon be granting a very generous budget that will turn it around in a few years," said Narain.
The stakeholders say they are tired of promises such as these that are mere platitudes. "The only option is to freeze admissions for a year or two and in that time, introduce a new syllabus that is less content heavy with more reliance on digital production systems," said Nair. "There are stories that the I&B Ministry wants the institute to go down so that it can being in private players. If so, that would be the beginning of the end."
Five-year Plan caters to planned expenditure of the institute such as on equipment and infrastructure. The FTII has sought Rs 80 crore from the Planning Commission now, a huge jump from the allocation of Rs 37 crore last time.
Every year, the government gives a non-planned grant, that is usually Rs 14 crore. Director Narain says this year it has been increased to Rs 18 crore. However, the FTII is waiting for Parliament session for the annual allocation to be disbursed.
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