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Kerala film institute students call off strike

Search committee appointed to identify new director, says Higher Education Minister

January 23, 2023 07:33 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:07 am IST - KOTTAYAM

The students of the K.R. Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNNIVSA) on Monday called off their indefinite strike, two days after Shankar Mohan stepped down as director of the State-run institution.

The strike was formally called off following talks with Higher Education Minister R. Bindu in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. “The talks were held by taking into consideration the suggestions and recommendations in the reports submitted by the government-appointed commissions. A direction has been issued to resume academic activities at the institute today (Monday) itself,” she said.

Official sources, however, said it might take a while for the classes to resume as a few more employees of the institution, including its Dean and Administrative Officer, too had tendered their resignations.

Maintaining that a search committee has been appointed to identify the new director for the institute, the Minister promised steps to fill up the seats for reserved communities currently lying vacant. “The norms of reservation will be specified in the prospectus ahead of the admission process before the next academic year begins,” she said.

Describing the practice of deputing the institute staff to the director’s residence for domestic work as “highly improper”, the Minister said steps would be taken to ensure that such actions did not recur. A student welfare committee will be constituted as a permanent mechanism for timely redressal of general concerns and grievances of students related to administrative and academic activities. The chairman of the committee will be a senior faculty member, she said.

A social justice committee will be formed to investigate and redress the grievances of students and employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other marginalised groups. An expert committee will be constituted to look into the complaints regarding academic matters such as revamping of courses, fee structure and workshops.

The Minister also promised steps to issue diploma certificates in a timely manner and to award the certificates to those who have already completed the course over the years. The students will be accorded adequate representation in key governing bodies of the institute and a mechanism will be set up for amicable resolution of cases wherein students have approached the court.

The government will also ensure that meetings of the executive committee are held regularly. Issues raised in connection with the students’ complaints over bylaws and bonds too will be examined, said the Minister.

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