Applicants cry foul over FTII admissions

Prajakta Joshi
Sunday, 2 June 2019

Pune candidate files RTI as lack of transparency in admission process leaves many students confused

Pune: Have you ever heard of someone filing a Right to Information (RTI) application to know the cut-offs for an examination? Well, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) recently came out with the results of its Joint Entrance Test (JET). However, the institute’s approach of not revealing the cut-offs has taken many of the applicants by surprise and disbelief.

Following the non-responsive attitude of the FTII authorities, a Pune-based candidate has now filed an RTI inquiry to find out the cut-offs of the students. However, on being questioned by Sakal Times on why the cut-offs for the entrance examination were not revealed to the public, FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola had only one answer – “that is how it has always been.”

“My JET score is 97.6 percentile and yet my name was missing from the list of the candidates who have been shortlisted for the interview. Being so close, I wondered what the cut-off was and enquired about it at the institute a few times. However, each time, I was told that ‘we don’t reveal the cut-offs’,” FTII applicant Dhanashree Padhye said.

Padhye had applied for a course in Direction in the Film Wing. “A total of 40 candidates were shortlisted in my course. Every course has a capacity of 40 candidates. Considering my percentiles, I thought I had a shot at appearing in these 40 at least. The secrecy around the cut-off left me even more frustrated,” she said.

Failing to receive a satisfactory response from the FTII authorities after several tries, Padhye has now filed an RTI query.

“They will anyway have to reply to my RTI query, which would be additional work for them. Then why not tell the applicants who enquire at the institute itself, instead of avoiding them in the name of procedure,” asked the applicant.

She further said that while cut-offs have been revealed by the institute in the past, these have mostly been declared after the whole process of interview and orientation. 

“These cut-offs are not much of a use, as they are cumulative of everything. We cannot figure out the entrance examination cut-offs from those,” Padhye added.

A Facebook group of FTII aspirants has been flooded with enquiries and discussions over the lack of cut-offs, since the results have been declared on May 17, and the shortlist was published on May 23.  The students since have been wondering what might be the cut-off and whether they have a chance of knowing them.

Another applicant active on the group, Suvo Pyne, said that there was a need to have transparency in the admission process.

To find out more details about the entrance examination results, I contacted the official Facebook page, where I didn’t get any reply. I also checked the contacts mentioned on the FTII site. They should ensure a certain level of transparency in the examination, as it is there in any other entrance test. I got my percentile and marks, but they should declare the percentile of the last shortlisted member,” Pyne said.

While Kainthola stated that no enquiries for cut-offs have yet reached him, he added, “We have never declared cut-offs till date. We never thought of it being an issue. However, we would be happy to reveal the cut-offs if the applicants approach us.” 

 Kainthola  also said that if many enquiries are received, the institute might consider making a change in the procedure and start releasing the cut-offs to the applicants.

A total of 438 applicants have been shortlisted post the entrance examination. After orientation and interviewing, 112 out of these will be selected for courses across the wings.

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