Veteran actor Anupam Kher has been appointed as the chairman of The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), replacing Gajendra Chauhan.
Kher, 62, said he was "deeply humbled and honoured" to be appointed chairman of the "iconic FTII".
"I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities," he said in a tweet.
Kher, a graduate from Delhi's National School of Drama (NSD) who has appeared in over 500 films and many plays, was conferred the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts.
The government didn’t give an extension to Chauhan whose appointment was welcomed with a 139-day long strike by students.
A television-actor-turned-BJP-member Chauhan’s tensure of one year and seven months was the most contentious in the entire history of the institute. There were many a thing he managed to fix but was also accused of being vengeful in denying scholarships to students who were part of protest against his appointment.
Kher, also had criticised the decision. “I personally feel that FTII represents a certain art form… it does certainly need a person having a great body of work which means he is supposed to know world cinema, he is supposed to know the present state of cinema like editing. But certainly , TII needs somebody who is much more qualified than whatever Ganjendra ji’s qualifications are coming across,” Kher had said according to a PTI report.
Kher's wife Kirron Kher, the BJP MP from Chandigarh, was amongst the first to congratulate him.
"Congratulations my dear @AnupamPkher for becoming FTII Chairman! Know you will do a great job!," she said on Twitter.
Born on March 7, 1955, in Shimla, Kher completed his education from the D A V School in the city.
He has previously held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and director of the NSD.
Considered one of the Hindi film industry's most prolific and versatile actors, Kher made his acting debut in 1982 with "Aagman", but the 1984 Mahesh Bhatt film "Saaransh" was his breakout role.
Then just 28, Kher played the role of a retired middle class man grappling with his son's death.
After "Saaransh", he went on to star opposite many big Bollywood celebrities, including Anil Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar, sometimes as the villain, the comic relief or the friendly father.
In 2002, he attempted to become director with "Om Jai Jagadish" but the film was not a success.
Kher is one of the few Indian actors to have crossed over to international cinema with films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated "Bend It Like Beckham", Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning "Lust, Caution," and "David O Russell's" 2013 Oscar-winning "Silver Linings Playbook".
Kher has also written and starred in a play about his own life called "Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai", which was directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.
Kher's colleagues and contemporaries congratulated the actor on his new appointment.
"Excellent change. @AnupamPkher finally replaces Gajendra Chauhan or whatever his name is as FTII Chairman. Finally, the government is listening to us!," said journalist-adman-filmmaker Pritish Nandy.
Director Prakash Jha also praised the decision of the government.
"Welcome step! After @prasoonjoshi_ @AnupamPkher!! Moving in the right direction... Thank you for this @smritiirani," he said.
"Congratulations Shri @AnupamPkher ji, for being appointed as @FTIIOfficial chairman," said actor-politician Paresh Rawal.
Director Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted, "Heartiest congratulations to @Anupamkher sir for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII."
Since its inception in 1960, the Film and Television Institute of India has given Indian cinema a steady flow of stalwarts in various disciplines of filmmaking. There was uproar over the appointment of Chauhan, best known for playing Yudhishthir in Mahabharata, as the chairman of the governing council which had stalwarts like UR Ananthamurthy, Shyam Benegal, Saeed Akhtar Mirza occupying the spot.