New Delhi: Anupam Kher will take over as the new chief of top film training institute FTII in place of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment last year triggered massive student protests.
The 62-year-old critically acclaimed actor has a vast repertoire of Hindi films, theatre and crossover projects like Bend It Life Beckham and Silver Linings Playbook. He has headed the censor board and the National School of Drama in the past. The national award winner is also an alumnus of the elite drama school.
"He has the credentials for this. I am very happy...thank you (Narendra) Modi ji, thank you Smriti Irani for this," said Mr Kher's wife Kirron Kher, an actor and a BJP lawmaker.
The appointment of Mr Chauhan, a small-time actor best known for playing Yudhishthir in the TV version of Mahabharata, fueled protests by thousands of students at FTII or the Film and Television Institute of India.
"I am not sacked, my term ended in March," said Mr Chauhan.
Despite being derided as a person lacking the credentials for the post, Mr Chauhan stubbornly refused to resign. The government was accused by the opposition of elevating its own loyalists to top posts.
The institute's students were on strike for months and refused to attend classes unless Mr Chauhan was removed.