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Cabinet approves merger of four film units with NFDC

The move will lead to rationalisation of infrastructure and manpower, the government says.

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NEW DELHI: The government has given its nod to the merger of four of its film media units with the national film development corporation (NFDC).

The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday. As part of the plan, the four units namely films division, directorate of film festivals, national film archives of India, and children’s film society, India will now operate under the NFDC, which will then carry out all the activities hitherto performed by them.

While this will lead to rationalisation of infrastructure and manpower, the government highlighted that interests of employees of all the concerned media units will be fully taken care of and no employees will be retrenched. A transaction advisor and legal advisor will be appointed to advise on the transfer of assets and employees, and to oversee all aspects of operationalisation of the merger.

“There was a lot of duplication in activities and there was a need to bring synergy. However, all the work which is currently underway at each of the units will remain in progress. Our aim is to ensure good films reach masses,” said Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar post the meeting.

India is one of the largest film producers in the world with an industry led by the private sector. Over 3,000 films are produced every year. After the merger, all promotion, production and preservation of film content will come under one management.

The films division, a subordinate office of the ministry of information and broadcasting, is among the oldest of the four media units. It was formed in 1948 to produce documentaries and news magazines for publicity of government programmes and cinematic record of Indian history.

Formed in 1964, the national film archives is mainly responsible for acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage, and the directorate of film festivals, set up in 1973, focuses on promoting Indian films and cultural exchange. The children’s film society, India is however, an autonomous organisation formed under the Societies Act in 1955 to specifically provide children and young people value-based entertainment through the medium of films.

All the four media units will now operate as one unit under the NFDC – the central public sector undertaking  which was formed in 1975 for planning and promoting an organised, efficient and integrated development of the Indian film industry. “The vision of the new entity will be to ensure balanced and focused development of Indian cinema in all its genres – feature films, including films/content for the OTT platforms, children's content, animation, short films and documentaries,” stated the government.

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