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FTII contractual staffers face the axe

The FTII building in Pune.  

With the functioning of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) crippled by a 47-day indefinite strike by its students, the institute is planning to lay off a sizable number of its contractual staff, informed FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe.

While an official circular has yet to be issued to this effect, Mr. Pathrabe said that the presence of the contractual staff was rendered superfluous in view of the students' intransigence to back down from their strike. 

With no resolution on the standoff between the students and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry over the controversial appointment of TV actor-turned-BJP politico Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the FTII Governing Council, nearly 80 among the 150-odd contractual employees are set to be axed, said institute sources. 

These include light boys, electricians, camera attendants and craftsmen among the technical personnel and several assistant and associate professors among the academic faculty.

According to sources within the institute, the FTII was hard-pressed to pay these staffers wages as practicals and academics have been thrown awry by the indefinite strike.

As per procedure, a 'work done' certificate is issued to every contractual staffer by the concerned department which in turn forms the basis of his or her payment. As classes have come to a standstill owing to the strike, the administration was considering taking this step, said sources.

"No decision has been taken yet but discussions are on," said Mr. Pathrabe. Reacting to the development, the FTII Students' Association (FSA) said it was a pressure ploy on part of the Ministry to get the students to call off their strike.

"We are alarmed at this development to arm-twist the stakeholders at FTII by applying coercive measures. This is undesirable and uncalled for," said Harishankar Nachimuthu, president, FSA.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:10:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ftii-contractual-staffers-face-the-axe/article7473935.ece

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