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Anupam Kher’s appointment as FTII chairman was announced by the ministry of information and broadcasting on Wednesday. Photo: Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)
Anupam Kher’s appointment as FTII chairman was announced by the ministry of information and broadcasting on Wednesday. Photo: Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)

Anupam Kher replaces Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman

Anupam Kher will replace television actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan, whose two-year term at the FTII ended in March

New Delhi: Hindi movie actor Anupam Kher was appointed chairman of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Wednesday.

Kher, 62, will replace television actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Gajendra Chauhan, whose two-year term at the FTII ended in March.

“I feel deeply humbled and honoured," Kher said in a Twitter post. “I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities."

Kher, who runs his own acting school in Mumbai, has also served as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama (NSD) in the past. He is married to Bollywood actor and BJP member of Parliament Kirron Kher.

Kher has starred in more than 500 films including Academy Award-winner Silver Linings Playbook and Golden Globe-nominated Bend It Like Beckham. An alumnus of the NSD, Kher is a recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. He also received special jury recognition at the National Awards for his acting in the Hindi dramas Daddy and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara.

FTII has been running without a chairman since Chauhan’s term ended in March. His appointment in 2015 was marked by a 139-day strike by the then and former FTII students, who called him a political appointee and demanded his removal from the post. Multiple filmmakers also returned their National Awards in support of the students’ protest.

Earlier this year, six post-graduate diploma programmes at FTII were equated with a master’s degree by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry is planning to set up an FTII campus in Arunachal Pradesh and has earmarked a sum of Rs200 crore for the project.

For the year 2017-18, the government has set aside Rs207 crore for the film sector, up from Rs134 crore in the previous year, which will include spending on dissemination of film content, infrastructure development and the development of a National Museum of Indian Cinema, among other projects.

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