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Govt Proposes FTII Revamp But Student’s Body Opposes

The government’s anthem Mera desh badal raha hai, Aage badh raha hai is also applicable to the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).  The 62-year iconic institution is going in for a major revamp. This move follows after I&B Minister Anurag Thakur had a closed door meeting with FTII chairman Shekhar Kapur.  According to sources, FTII will become somewhat of a polytechnic school taking away the halo of film aesthetics and world film studies. The new effort essentially is to make it a digital multi-purpose market-driven media university without segregating film and TV sections. “I will not be surprised if it is renamed as Digital Art Institution of India,” commented a FTII professor sarcastically. With a view to generate more revenue, plans are to offer short-term courses like broadcast journalism, video games, dubbing and voicing, advertising, makeup, special effects and others. Critics says that the government by drawing outside talent — essentially IAS and IIS officers — may compromise with FTII’s core values and DNA, and it may not be able to produce great talents like Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anupam Kher, Shyam Benegal.  It is learnt that Shekhar Kapur is torn between students’ continued oppositions towards revamp and I&B pressures to remodel FTII.  To do or not to do is Kapur’s dilemma.