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FTII students cry foul over reservation seats

The students claim that there is no transparency about how figures are arrived upon and by whom and the validity of the criteria is disputable.

Chaitraly Deshmukh-Tajane

Pune : The Film and Television Institute of India published its final merit list for the academic year 22-23 on Tuesday. Students, who are visibly annoyed over the list, of the institute claim that, “It is painfully visible for us to see that yet again, the authorities have made a gross mockery of the provisions of reservation by which these admissions are to take place. Many seats as well as wait-list positions in the OBC, SC and ST categories have not been filled, citing reasons of ineligibility,” said the press release.

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When questioned by the students’ association of film and television, the authorities mentioned that many candidates did not pass their cut-off percentages 45% for OBC (NCL) and for general category of Economy weaker section 40% for SC and ST and Gen PwDand 50% for General. The students claim that there is no transparency about how figures are arrived upon and by whom and the validity of the criteria is disputable. The students claim that ‘as a consequence of this arbitrary rule, every year the authorities can claim that they did not find suitable candidates in these categories and fill in the reserved seats with students from the General category. It is also highly questionable why only candidates from privileged, upper castes aspiring for the General seats are able to clear the cut off, while those belonging to OBC, SC and ST categories aren’t. By this process, the seats supposed to be left open for all in the General category also remain closed for those from other categories.”

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The students further highlight to Pune Pulse that, “the Orientation and Interview process accounts for 80% of the total grade for the admission in our institute. This leaves the process ambiguous to those who want to question the reasons with which some candidates have been deemed ineligible. Even so, it is evident that a bias exists in how candidates are evaluated and deemed ineligible as our reserved seats remain unoccupied by aspirants from those categories across different departments.”

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They further claimed, “Additionally, the Orientation and Interview was conducted online this time, highlighting further inequalities with which candidates were attempting their admission. In the larger concern of following the Reservation policy, similar irregularities recur in the faculty recruitment of our institute. This is a consistently growing trend that we have observed over the years as an effort to put a filter on the incoming members in the institute as well as to mute our voices against their attacks on our basic social rights. The student community considers this a blatant violation of the laws of Reservation hiding under the garb of self-made rules of the institute. We firmly stand against their values reflected in the merit list and ask that they re-evaluate the result. We hold a demonstration in our campus on Friday to voice our denunciation of this result and to demand the eligibility criteria policy for reserved categories to be revoked.”

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