Satyajit Ray Film Institute students meet Ambika Soni about grievances

Kolkata, Sept 16 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Discord awaited Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni as she made her way to the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata on Friday to attend the convocation ceremony of the institute.

Following her meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday as she reached SRFTI,  a group of students and alumni confronted her with a set of demands over the administration of the film school.

Before the ceremony could begin, a section of the students, both present and former, met the minister about their grievances over the current league of faculty and also regarding alterations in the curriculum.

The students group complained that key portions of the curriculum had been abruptly chopped off. They also demanded new appointments for the posts of the institute’s Director and Chairperson, who were working part-time or largely disassociated.

Soni assured the students that she would look into the issues and invited their representatives to meet her in New Delhi to work them out.

“Yes there were certain complaints from the students and I have said we will take them up as soon as we can manage,” she said.

“We have plans to introduce three new wings here of study soon. New courses on animation, production design and acting, which were so far absent from the SRFTI will soon be part its curriculum. We have big plans for the institute,” she told reporters.

“We also have plans of giving the institute, University status. And also we plan to make its diplomas recognised nationally and internationally. We hope to introduce new bills regarding this in the parliament as soon as we can,” she said.

Soni, the chief guest at the convocation that also saw the presence of veteran Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen, director Rituparno Ghosh among others, handed over diplomas to the students of three batches.

She said that SRFTI, which along with the Film and Television Institute of India (FTI), Pune, was the leading film school of the country, should host convocations annually. Since its inception in 1995, SRFTI has held only three convocations, including this year’s.

(Reporting by Divyanshu Dutta Roy)

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