I&B asks Films Division to prove its mettle

NEW DELHI: In a bid to justify the existence of some divisions (and also the employees working there) within its fold, the information and broadcasting ministry has sounded off the Films Division (FD) to look for assignments outside the government, including private satellite channels.

FD has been instructed to undertake training and re-training of its staff members irrespective of the cost incurred,to be competitive in the present media environment.

"We have conveyed to Films Division to get out of the time warp of making just news reels (those which were shown few decades back in cinema halls before the start of a movie) and make documentaries and other interesting programmes for private broadcasters too," a senior information and broadcasting ministry official told

In this connection, the ministry official also pointed out that it has informally told Films Division to begin the training of the people working in the department, as soon as possible.

The move comes at a time when the I&B ministry has more or less rejected a finance ministry's proposal (taking cue from the Geethakrishnan report on cutting flab in the Indian government) to close down certain divisions.

At a recent interaction with journalists, information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj said that her endeavour is not to close down departments under her ministry but to go in for strategic mergers. The maximum that the ministry has done is to 'surrender' 1,000-odd posts in deference to the finance ministrys request.

FD was one division which critics have been saying has outlived its existence, especially in an era where TV brings news and events, most of the time live, into the bedrooms of people.

But there is also no denying the fact that if FD can change itself, it can find a market amongst private satellite channels which are still hungry for good non-fiction fare for television.

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