Prashant Pathrabe takes charge as FTII director, hopeful of positive outcome

Pune: FTII's new Director Prashant Pathrabe Friday said he would speak to all concerned to resolve the current impasse following the students' strike against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman and was hopeful of a positive outcome.

 Asked about the unrest on the campus, Pathrabe told reporters here, "I will first study the situation and speak to all concerned.  The situation is not a happy one but we are hopeful of a positive outcome."

 Pathrabe, the head of city's Press Information Bureau (PIB), has been given an additional charge as director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) by Information and Broadcasting ministry as incumbent D J Narain's tenure was ending this week.

 "I will do my best to resolve the issue," he added.

 Referring to his earlier stint as director of city based National Film Archives of India (NFAI), he said, "I have earlier interacted with FTII from outside. Let me first study the situation".

 Asked about the notice served on the striking students who continued their boycott of classes for 36th day today, outgoing director Narain said, "It was meant to be a statutory warning. There is not timeline (for action)."

 An ultimatum was served on the agitating students on Wednesday by him asking them to call off the strike or face rustication.

 He, however, maintained that the students should take the warning "seriously" and go back to their classes.

 Academic activity on the sprawling FTII campus has come to a standstill following the stir by the protesting students who allege that Chauhan, a BJP member, lacks credibility, stature and vision to head the premiere institute.

 They have also objected to nominations of some of the members on FTII Society which elects its governing council.

 The FTII Students Association (FSA) yesterday asserted that they will continue the strike notwithstanding the warning put on the notice board till the government responds positively to their demands that include reconstitution of the FTII Society and keeping in suspended animation the current body.

 A large number of Bollywood personalities including Rishi Kapoor and Salman Khan have come out in support of the students' demand for removal of Chauhan from the post.