While the information and broadcasting ministry is holding talks with students in Mumbai today in the hope of persuading them to call off their three-month-old strike, the government is known to be firm on not caving in to the demand to remove Chauhan from the top post.

Instead, as a half-way measure, the ministry is planning to propose a co-chairperson of the institute who would be 'acceptable' to the students, informed sources told.

In another measure, the government is also planning to remove around five members from the governing council against whom the students had strong objections.

"Chauhan will remain. We are considering these measures for the students," the source told, declining to be named.

In fact, a three-member committee the I&B ministry constituted for examining the students' grievances headed by S.M. Khan, Registrar of Newspapers of India, also had earlier made a similar proposal.

The FTII students yesterday presented to the ministry a list of signatories of national and international repute, including well-known American philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky, who have expressed support for their cause.

The agitating students called off their 18-day-old hunger strike on September 27 after the ministry agreed to hold talks today to resolve the issue.

The students are up in arms against Chauhan, who is best known only for his role as Yudhisthir in B.R. Chopra's TV series 'Mahabharat', aired on Doordarshan between 1988-90.

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