The Sectoral Innovation Council of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, under the Chairpersonship of Smt.Asha Swarup, Retd Secretary, Government of India, submitted 26-July, 2012 its Report to Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Ambika Soni. The Sectoral Innovation Council of the Ministry of I&B is the first amongst the various SectoralInnovation Councils set up in various sectors of the Government to submit its Report to the concerned Ministry. The primary objective of the Council was to design a policy ecosystem in which new ideas would be integrated into the mainstream and get converted into policy initiatives by the Government.
Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Soni complimented the Council for taking the initiative in completing the Report in record time and being the first Council to submit its recommendations. The Minister added that the issues deliberated upon by the Council would be looked into by the Ministry in the policy domain. The recommendations made by the Council in different sectors of the Media and Entertainment would act as a roadmap in the future. The Council in its Report has analysed the growth potential of the Media & Entertainment Industry by recommending changes in critical areas such as broadcasting, print media, animation, gaming and VFX, Media education and films.
The Council has made 64 recommendations in seven areas concerning the media and entertainment sector. Some of the key recommendations are:
Ø A comprehensive policy media policy, that integrates all existing media segments and addresses the emergent issues. The council has recommended to bring out a National Media Policy that addresses the new media landscape.
Ø The Government may look into the existing licensing procedures and requirements to ensure further liberalization and reforms in the broadcasting sector.
Ø Content innovation is required in the radio segment which would be possible only if the Government comes up with a separate licensing model for niche channels.
Ø Ministry of I&B, as the policy head of public service broadcasting and community radio service could come out with a formal arrangement by which CRS could provide community based programme content to AIR and AIR could provide capacity building and training to CRS workers in content creation, management and operation of stations.
Ø The process of digitalization in DD and AIR was likely to release airwaves which after due utilization in house could be used for creating a public service broadcasting fund in line with USO fund of telecom sector. This fund could be utilized exclusively for public service broadcasting.
Ø In view of the potential in the films sector, the Council has recommended a National Film Policy that will address the role of the Government vis-à-vis the private sector.
Ø Film Institutes in the country may be upgraded to Centre of Excellence. In the long term, these Centres of Excellence could become part of a Central University of Films, Broadcasting and Animation by an appropriate legislation.
Ø The Government must have a National Policy for Animation, Gaming and VFX.
Ø The Government should go for co-production treaties in the animation sector to ensure flow of international projects to India. Ministry could also consider giving responsibility to the Children’s Film Society and Doordarshan to produce animated content and create Indian IP.
Ø Reliable Single Source Data on all mediums of advertising should be made available by the Government so that advertisers are able to take decisions on reliable data.
Ø Government should interact with key stakeholders and expedite a consensus on developing an alternative to TAM so that an appropriate mechanism is developed with industry participation to study audience viewing and listening behaviour and bring out reports on weekly basis.
Ø Government should regulate media education to ensure orderly growth of the discipline as part of higher education.
Ø Like medical education and technical education, Media Education be regulated by a new organisation known as Media Education Council, to be a part of I&B. The academic course for media education should be in line with UK/ US Universities and Vocational courses as part of requirement of the industry. The Media Education Council should be assigned the task of setting up curriculum for all levels so that standardised curriculum with national accreditation becomes a possibility.
Ø There is need to make IIMC, FTII and SRFTI into real centres of excellence.
Ø The Government should reformat the course curriculum, improve faculty of the institutes. These institutions could either be separate universities or become a part of one central university.
Ø National Awards for Innovation in different segments of M&E Sector be instituted by the ministry.
Ø New Media should be utilized for media campaigns by the Government.
Ø E-mode transactions should be a priority for the functions of DAVP, RNI, CBFC and licensing activities of the Government for ensuring transparency.
The Sectoral Innovation Council was set up on 28th July 2011 as part of the Government of India’s initiative of declaring 2010- 2020 as the Decade of Innovation. Accordingly, the Government set up a National Innovation Council with Shri SamPitroda as Chairman and 16 distinguished members. The members of the I&B Sectoral Innovation Council comprised of Chairperson, Smt. Asha Swarup, retired Secretary, Government of India and 10 other distinguished members from the field of media and entertainment.