‘Director is yet to be named although the selection procedure was completed months ago’

Eminent theatre practitioners and academicians from across the country have written to the Ministry of Culture expressing concern over the delay in appointing a director to the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi.

The memorandum, signed by 29 of them, said the director’s appointment was yet to be made although the selection procedure — from advertising the post to submitting the shortlist of selected candidates to the Ministry — was completed seven months ago by an experts committee. They have urged the Ministry to act “without any further delay.”

The process of selecting a director was initiated by the NSD Society (the apex governing body of the School) with the approval of the Ministry of Culture by end of August 2012.

It was completed in October, and as per the committee’s unanimous decision, Arundhati Nag was placed on top of a prioritised list of three names. It was forwarded by the NSD Society to the Ministry in November.

The selection committee of experts comprised Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Satish Alekar, Govind Deshpande and Amal Allana.

The memorandum noted that the Ministry is delaying naming the director even though the term of the outgoing director Anuradha Kapur ended came in July 2012. Ms. Kapur, who was on extension at the NSD Society’s request, stepped down by the end of April this year. In the meanwhile, the term of chairperson Amal Allana also ended.

“Undermining institution”

“The Ministry’s delay and continued silence on the matter can only be interpreted as disregard for, and lack of responsibility and accountability towards, a reputed national arts institution. Further, the delay has undermined the status and eminence of the Selection Committee and allowed rumours to run rife, vitiating the atmosphere and affecting the running of the School,” the memorandum stated.

The signatories to the memorandum are: Roysten Abel, B. Ananthakrishnan, Keval Arora, Rustom Bharucha, Seema Biswas, Neel Chaudhuri, Veenapani Chawla, Anita Cherian, Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Prasanna, Khalid Tyabji, Mahmood Farooqui, Shanta Gokhale, Anamika Haksar, Adil Hussain, Jyothish M.G., Ram Ganesh Kamatham, Sohaila Kapur, Atul Kumar, Abhishek Majumdar, Mallika Prasad, Ramu Ramanathan, Maya Krishna Rao, Amba Sanyal, Deepan Sivaraman, Mohit Takalkar, Swar Thounaojam and Sankar Venkateshwaran.

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