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I&B officials, FTII students begin fourth round of talks


Mumbai : A fresh round of talks between Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials and agitating FTII students to break the impasse over appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the Pune-based institute’s Chairman, are underway today at the Films Division office here.

I&B Ministry Secretary Sunil Arora is presiding over the discussions, while others members are Joint Secretary K Sanjay Murthy, and Prashant Patharbe director of FTII.

The IB officials are currently engaged in a dialogue with seven FTII students including FTII Student Association (FSA) president Harishankar Nachimuthu.

This is the fourth time that the two sides are sitting together in Mumbai after the students and the Ministry decided to renew their dialogue to resolve the over 100-day deadlock.

Three rounds of talks held so far –the last one being on October 7–have remained inconclusive.

However, last time both sides had decided to take forward the talks and agreed to meet again today.

“Off course, we want to end this stalemate but we also want that our genuine demands must be fulfilled. We are going to meet the officers with a open heart and mind,” said one of the seven FTII students–who is part of the dialogue with I&B Ministry officials– prior to the meeting today.

Earlier, Vikas Urs, the spokesperson for FTII students had said that when both the sides would be meeting today, the two major demands would be the same -– to disband (the institute’s) society and remove Chauhan as Chairman of the institute.

While the students, who have been boycotting classes since June 12, are sticking to their demand for Chauhan’s ouster, the ministry has firmly backed his appointment.

An I&B Ministry-appointed committee had visited FTII’s Pune campus on August 21 and held discussions with students, faculty members and the alumni association.

The agitating students had called off their 18-day-old relay hunger strike on September 27.

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