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National Centre of Excellence, film facilitation office for media and Entertainment industry in the offing: Ravi Shankar Prasad


New Delhi: India’s talent combined with the power of Information Technology would act as a springboard to launch India into the big league, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, while inaugurating the 17th edition of FICCI FRAMES on the theme ‘Change or Perish – The Year of Digital’.

Prasad said that the Government of India recognized the importance and relevance of promoting media and entertainment industry. Hence, visa processes were being eased for film shootings. Besides the National Centre of Excellence was coming up for the media and entertainment industry and a new film facilitation office was also being set up.

He added that a new category in National Film Awards – Most Film Friendly State – has been introduced to felicitate the state that provides greater access to the film industry.

The Minister said that for the government campaigns like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Smart Cities, digital was the foundation. He added that to bridge the digital divide in the country, there was a need for empowering India digitally.

Prasad said that India should create content for global consumption and deliver outstanding content quality. He suggested that the epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata should be taken to the world via quality film making.

He added that existing TV ranking system was not very reliable, therefore, there was a need for a structured, fair and reasonable system to allow creation of quality content.

On the occasion, Prasad along with the other dignitaries released the FICCI-KPMG Report, ‘The Future: Now Streaming’.

Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd., said that India was poised to become a USD 100 billion industry in the coming decade but still ranked 150th in access to internet and mobile.

He added that this would soon change with the coming of Reliance Jio, which is one of the largest green field digital start up in the world. Jio would enable India to rank among the top 10 countries in mobile access with its enhanced coverage, service quality, data quantity and capacity and affordability.

Ambani said that Jio will start its coverage with 75 percent population when it is rolled out later this year and will go up to 90 percent by 2017. He added that currently only 15-20 percent population is covered. With Reliance Jio browsing speeds will also be enhanced by up to 40-80 percent.

Uday Shankar, Chairman, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee and CEO, Star India, said that Star’s mobile app Hotstar became a pioneering app which had five crore downloads.

This exhibited that the digital consumption was voracious and there was a need to be creative to encourage new content for the emerging digital platforms.

Shankar said that India cannot remain in a state of denial as the world was changing and it was time India adopted and embraced digitization. Power of stories will remain and breaking away from the traditional media, the digital media was making way for new stories.

He added that talent and technology was not bound by geography any more.

Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that this year delegations from almost 20 countries were participating in FICCI FRAMES. The flagship event of FICCI in the media and entertainment sector was in its 17th year and has been moving ahead with the support from the government. (ANI)

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