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I&B Ministry open to discussion with M&E sector: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

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MUMBAI: The India media and entertainment (M&E) sector is undergoing rapid changes and has huge potential to take its content across the globe. However, in order to achieve this, the sector will need the support of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry.

“The country has the power to become a super power in M&E and as government, we want to interact with the different sectors in the M&E industry. We want to hear about the bottlenecks and the suggestions. We are keen to iron them out to do business,” said Minister of State Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Rathore, who was talking at the just concluded FICCI Frames 2015, said that the Indian M&E sector had the ability to reach out to the world. “India is poised to be a global phenomena. We just need to come up with content that can create a foothold in any country,” said Rathore.

He added that Indian content can be targeted at larger audiences and not just the Indian diaspora. “This we can learn from the US, which has been able to push across its culture across boundaries,” he said.

The I&B Ministry, under the aegis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, has been working hard towards improving the media unit. “The Prime Minister has been able to popularize radio, which is now expanding. In a year or so, close to 800-900 cities will have either one or multiple FM Radio stations,” he informed.

Talking about film certification, Rathore said that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has be a certification board and not censorship body. “They need to give certification based on content,” he said, adding that the Ministry has decided to have a re-look at the Cinematography Act.

The Ministry is also looking at improving the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). “Script is important for any movie and that is what is currently lacking. There is no structure. This facility needs to be improved. Film and TV industry should partner with FTII,” he said.

Talking about the other initiatives, which the Ministry is undertaking, Rathore said that a National Centre of Excellence for the Animation, Visual, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) is being set up. “We want this centre to be a benchmark for all centres that come later. But to do this, the government will need the support of the industry. It is the industry, which can give life to this project. Become a partner with us,” urged Rathore.

The MoS is of the view that the country’s culture can be promoted though the films. “The content that is being put out should carry our culture,” he said.

Speaking on how the M&E sector could become a ‘Soft Power’ of the 21st century, Rathore said, “Currently, the M&E sector is working on individual efforts. We need to join forces and interact more to understand the strengths and move in a certain direction.”

Rathore concluded by assuring the sector that the Ministry will, with open arms, help the M&E sector grow. “We need to develop a degree of trust to grow,” he concluded.

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