Meet Anurag Singh Thakur, the young Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports who exuberates an air of confidence in the idea of new India, has expressed his vision for India’s media and entertainment industry on various platforms
A firm believer in India’s potential in original content creation as well as job creation in vernacular language production, even before taking charge as the Union Minister of I&B, Anurag Singh Thakur did not mince words when he stressed at FICCI Frames 2020 that Indian M&E sector should “build an ecosystem that nurtures talent and growth” by unlocking the “potential of original content creation, simultaneous job creation and
investment in the vernacular language segment of the entertainment industry”.
46-year-old Anurag Singh Thakur took charge as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the aftermath of the mega cabinet reshuffle of the Narendra Modi government in July In addition to I&B, Anurag Singh Thakur has also been appointed as the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister. He previously served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs (31st May 2019 to 7th July 2021). He is a 4th term Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha/Lower House) from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.
According to him, original content creation presents immense opportunities for growth and could bridge the divide between Bollywood and Hollywood.
He also believes that India has the potential to create “creative incubators that identify and groom talent in graphic design, sound animation and visual effects,” and capture its fair share of global visual effects, animations, graphics and sound market.
Acknowledging transformation of the Indian animation sector, he said there’s still a lot of scope for improvement. He called for the media and entertainment industry to champion the cause of Atmanirbhar Bharat. “If we could tell stories that project new India and its products through our media, it will support our allied industries and sectors,” Anurag Singh Thakur said.
“It is a known fact that our media drives consumer choices and consumerism. Can we project our soft power such as Yoga, Ayurveda, ancient medicine, science, performing arts, crafts, textiles, and so on through our M&E platforms? I think there is a huge potential to showcase India’s soft power. I think this is an opportunity for all of us,” he added.
On the opportunities arising for creating employment and growth in the digital media sector, he said, “If we look at the last three years, we have seen a sea change as far as the digital media is concerned. With the use of technology, we have increased our reach in remote areas also. Even elderly people are not hesitant in using various digital platforms. This has provided a lot of opportunity.”
Anurag Singh Thakur is an avid sports lover and has contributed immensely to sports in the capacity of a sports administrator. He has served as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), President Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), President Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association (HPOA), President Hockey Himachal, President Himachal Pradesh Table Tennis Association and Associate Vice President Hockey India. He is credited with building the world famous Dharamshala Cricket Stadium which is considered as one of the most picturesque stadiums in the world.
In 2019, he was awarded the Sansad Ratan Award for his outstanding performance as a Parliamentarian, becoming the only Member of Parliament from BJP & North India to be coveted with this honour that year. He was conferred with Champions of Change 2019 Award for significant contributions towards social welfare, particularly in the field of Healthcare, Education and Sports, becoming the only Union Ministerto be awarded with this honour that year. He has also been recognized as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.The Global Fundmade Anurag Singh Thakur their ‘Global Champion’ in the category of Public Health for raising awareness and building a multi-stakeholder initiative about Tuberculosis under the theme ’TB Harega, Desh Jeetega’.
He also served as the President of the EU-India Parliamentary Friendship Group, President of the FICCI Indo-US Parliamentarians Forum and India- Germany Parliamentarians Forum.