In approximately a month’s time, the AVGC Promotion Task Force, which was established in response to the announcement made in the Union Budget 2022 earlier this year, will present its recommendation report to the government
The AVGC Promotion Task Force that was constituted following the announcement made in the Union Budget 2022 earlier this year is all set to submit its recommendation report in about a month’s time, said Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India at the inaugural session of the third edition of CII SummitFX 2022 in New Delhi on Monday.
“The AVGC Task Force has been constituted under my chairmanship, and we have been working with the industry for over six months. We should be coming out with a report within a month or so. Once the report will be submitted to the government, the government will take a view of it and will go to various ministries and finally to the Cabinet before we can finally announce its content or the policies,” Chandra said while addressing the participants from the Animation, VFX, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) and Immersive Media industries.
Elaborating further on the structure of the task force, the Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that at least four sub task forces steered by secretaries of related ministries are focusing on education, skilling, gaming and incentive & infrastructure needs of the industry in order to take a holistic view of all the issues concerning the industry. “We hope that when the reports of the sub task forces are integrated into the combined report then we will be able to produce a holistic report and fulfil the AVGC industry’s aspirations. It should not take much of an effort to get approved from the government, because everybody is already on board,” Chandra added.
Being held in a physical format after more than two years, the two-day CII SummitFX 2022 is witnessing participation from studios, production firms, publishers, distributors, and developers from all over the country in large numbers. An ‘AVGC State of the Industry’ paper, outlining the industry’s wish list, was also released at the summit’s inaugural session.
Neerja Shekhar, Additional Secretary and CVO, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, outlining the broad contours of a National AVGC policy said the government is looking to take the aspirations to implementation stage. “We are looking at an ecosystem where AVGC component is integrated with school level education system and the focus will be not only providing services to the world but creation of our own IPs.”
She also highlighted some other areas of focus in terms of policy making including encouraging partnerships, nurturing talent in North-Eastern States of India and Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, setting up of regional centres of excellence supported by industry and states, and incentivising startups, organising government supported national event, participation in international events focusing on AVGC sector, creating content focused on kids. “There are Indian stories with Indian sensitivities that need to be told,” she said.
Darpan Jain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that India’s share in the global AVGC industry needs to be pushed further by utilising India’s co-production treaties and free trade agreements with several countries around that world. He said that the India’s gaming industry, which is growing at the fastest pace among AVGC sector, needs regulatory stability to bring in more global investments. He asked the industry to approach the Ministry of Commerce and Industry if they face difficulty in accessing markets in ASEAN, Australia and UAE, with whom India has trade agreements.
Biren Ghose, Vice-Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Country Head Technicolor India, said the AVGC industry’s share has grown from merely 1-2% to 18-19% in the Media and Entertainment sector in the past 10-15 years. “We were back office about 10 to 15 years ago, but there is nothing back about our office anymore. Because what we really are today is the digital engine room of the world in animation, visual effects and games.” To reach the next level of growth, he said that “turbo charged training” is the key.
Ghose said that the industry is currently facing a shortfall of about 200,000 skilled people every year. “Our dream is that all of the STPI centers, and the state centers that we put up in many parts will become the schools to get the required talent and the National Center of Excellence for AVGC will also act as an institution to train the faculty and carry out research,” he added.
Rajan Navani, President, India Digital Gaming Society and Chairman CII India@75, said India is a country that celebrates thousands of years of culture and through the AVGC sector we need to position India as the leading creative hub of the world. Highlighting the potential of the gaming sector, he said that “Gaming and gamification will soon cut across sectors.”
In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, CII established the networking platform of SummitFX to take advantage of the enormous potential of this industry. Since then, it has gathered the best brains in AVGC for a reality check that has been evaluated through the lenses of digital infrastructure, content creation (IPs), technology, exports, and skills & education.
The AVGC SummitFx is the Flagship Summit and leadership forum of AVGC Industry and brings together AVGC stakeholders from the Indian Government Industry as well as Internationally renowned experts on one platform to navigate a successful growth path at a time when digital transformation, convergence of technology and artificial Intelligence are changing the rules of the game.
While the first two editions of CII SummitFX laid a strong foundation for the growth of digital creative industries and marked India’s entry on global events calendar in AVGC, the third edition of the summit this year is being held at a time when the Draft National AVGC Policy, authored by a task force comprised of leaders from government and industry, is nearing completion.