Diplomas & Gajendra Chauhan Out? Good News For FTII Students

Six courses at FTII, Pune will now be given the Master’s degree.

2 min read
Hindi Female

It may well be the best news that the beleaguered students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, may hear in the 57 years of the nation’s premier chequered existence.

In a chat with The Quint, a top film expert has disclosed that from the next batch of graduates onwards in 2019, students in six courses (cinematography, editing, direction, screenplay writing, sound recording and sound design) will be accorded the equivalent of post-graduate degrees. A formal upgrade maybe but a vital one.


The abstruse nomenclature of ‘diploma’ is to be done away with. In effect, the degrees will be equivalent to master’s degrees from the country’s recognised Universities.

Consequently, post-graduates from the FTII will also have the option to work towards Ph D degrees.

The much-needed upgrade of the FTII follows the deliberations at the Pune campus of a committee led by Dr Ranbir Singh of the National Law University, New Delhi. The committee also comprised a University dean from Hyderabad, a director of feature films and documentaries, besides observers from the central government.

Lately, a government official informed the committee that its recommendations have been formally accepted.

This is in diametric contrast to the report submitted last year by a committee, helmed by stalwart filmmaker Shyam Benegal, on film censorship and solutions for the currently chaotic functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification. Benegal, on being quizzed about the report’s implementation, has reacted with cautious statements that there has been no progress on the report’s front.

Six courses at FTII, Pune will now be given the Master’s degree.
Filmmakers including Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan return their awards in support of the FTII students’ agitation against the selection of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman in 2015.
A key side-effect of the FTII being acknowledged as a bona fide University, is that the government’s controversial appointee, actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the governing council, may no longer be formally qualified to lead the institute. After all, a University’s dean or chief has to be equipped with academic credentials.

The government has had to face considerable flak for selecting Chauhan to lead the institute, which had resulted in a 139-day-long strike by students, which ended in October two years ago.

At the deceptively sylvan FTII campus, Dr Ranbir Singh’s committee met with several prominent acclaimed former graduates of the institute, who pressed for a complete overhaul of the FTII. The student associations did articulate their apprehensions over the upgrade since it could entail higher fees and expenses but after stormy discussions, assented to the committee’s recommendations.

The proceedings of the high-power committee, its recommendations and the final seal of approval from the New Delhi decision-makers, have all been kept hush-hush so far.

A phone call to some of the committee members from a top government officer in New Delhi, has confirmed that the make-over has been approved and will be implemented. Touchwood, perfectly emblemised by the legendary ‘wisdom tree’ on the Pune campus.

(The writer is a film critic, filmmaker, theatre director and a weekend painter.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from entertainment and bollywood

Topics:  FTII   Gajendra Chauhan 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More