FTII, SRFTI to get ‘Institute of National Importance’ tag soon

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) may soon be accorded the status of 'Institute of National Importance', Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari indicated Tuesday. Once the Act is passed in both Houses of the Parliament, it will ensure that these institutes will enjoy more autonomy and be equivalent to the IITs and IIMs.

Speaking on the same DJ Narain, Director FTII said, "It will allow more flexibility for our work. Instead of issuing certificates that are equivalent to Master's degrees, we will be able to issue our own certificates." While there was no talk on granting it the status of an independent university, work on making it an Institute of National Importance has already begun.

Narain said, "What I do understand is that the proposal has already been forwarded by the ministry and is currently in the Department of Legal Affairs for clearance. Once it comes back to the ministry, it will be tabled in both the houses. Usually this process does take a while, but the frenetic pace at which things are progressing, it seems that it will happen very soon." He also said that this was all a result of the work conducted by the Governing Council and also the recommendations in the Development and Planning Report (DPR), which was a topic of intense debate at the institute.

Narain also said that an important development, which would take place at the institute is, work on the Film Research Centre will progress faster.

"It was one of the recommendations of the DPR wherein we would set up a Film Research Centre that would work only towards studying the various aspects of the craft as well as understanding the importance of the medium that has been instrumental in society and its impact. At present, Professor I Bhattacharya is heading the work that is going on for the same. But once all the processes are in place even the Centre will come up very soon."

" I cannot put a time frame on it but it should not take anything like a year or so," he said.

On the issue of whether the country needed more government-run film schools he said, "There are currently only two schools ours and SRFTI and the demand is very high. Also the talent pool is vast. We have no intimation about any such plans but for film making and developing the craft that will be an important step that the government might consider in the future."

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