Even as the ongoing protest by students of the Government Film and Television Institute (GFTI) entered the 27th day, the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy (KCA) has come forward to take the institute under its wing, promising to develop it as a “world-class” film centre.
S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, chairman of the academy, wrote to Minister for Information R. Roshan Baig on Saturday.
“I have asked the government to first transfer the institute from the Department of Technical Education to the Information Department. It can be given autonomous status, and the academy can hand-hold it. The academy, with financial support from the government and technical support of the Kannada film industry, will make the institute a Centre for Excellence on film studies on the lines of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune,” said Mr. Singh.
Students have been staging an agitation and refusing to take exams citing non-completion of syllabus and lack of equipment for practicals.
They are demanding a comprehensive syllabus structure, adequate infrastructure and competent teaching faculty.
The students opposed the formation of a committee, headed by Joint Director of Technical Education, to look into the issue. They demanded that a committee comprising persons with technical knowhow on cinema and its modern technology be set up. “We want a committee headed by film personalities,” said Agin Basanth, president, Students Council GFTI. Student representatives, along with film-maker Girish Kasaravalli and Mr. Babu, met T.B. Jayachandra, Minister for Higher Education, and suggested formation of a 10-member committee comprising representatives from the Kannada cinema industry.
“Mr. Jayachandra, who agreed to the proposal earlier, later announced a committee headed by Joint Director, DTE. We will not accept that,” Mr. Agin said.
“When the protest began, a two-member committee from the DTE visited the institute to study the issue but did not submit a report. The fate of another four-member committee is no different. How can we believe another committee headed by Joint Director, DTE?” Mr. Agin said.
He said seven students had left the institute because of the uncertainty. “We are planning to meet the Minister again on Monday and explain the need of an experts’ committee,” Mr. Babu said.
“There is an urgent need to establish a full-fledged, autonomous film institute in Karnataka,” film-maker Girish Kasaravalli has said.
While neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have world-class film institutes, Karnataka has none.
“Adarsha, a private institute, is suffering because of its own limitations, and the GFTI is being run the way the Silver Jubilee Polytechnic was being run in the 50s. No attempt has been made to upgrade the institute with the fast-paced growth in film-making technology,” he said.
It is difficult for students from Karnataka to get entry into FTII- Pune because of the limited number of seats. Studying in institutes in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is an expensive affair for them, he said. GFTI has no industry connection too.
“In these circumstances, how can one expect quality from the students of the institute?” he said.
KCA is keen to adopt GFTI as it is worried about the future of students. Our intention is to establish a film institute on the lines of excellent institutes in other parts of the country.
S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu,
Date: May 9, 2016
Source: The Hindu