The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is actively considering steps to make India a teleport hub, enabling the country to become an up-linking/downlinking centre like Hong Kong and Singapore. The Ministry will soon hold consultations with industry to discuss modalities, challenges and road map for making India a teleport hub.
This was disclosed by Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, I&B Ministry, while speaking on ‘India-The Big Picture’ at the CII Media & Entertainment Summit 2012, being held in Delhi on October 29-30. Varma said that India becoming a teleport hub can be instrumental in attracting accelerated flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) as also state-of-the-art technology and can help the industry move up the value chain in content generation. The recent decision of the government to allow 74 per cent FDI in DTH, IPTV, mobile TV and so on are some of the steps that have been taken in this direction and underscored that those steps would be game changers to make India a digitally happening place.
Varma further said that many positive steps would be taken in revamping the FM radio industry to enhance its reach and content. The empowered Group of Ministers are looking into some of the grey areas in the auction of 839 new FM radio stations across over 290 towns and cities in the country. “We hope to complete the auction of the first tranche of stations by the end of the financial year,” he added. The government is also taking steps to restructure the National Broadcasting Corporation by enabling Prasar Bharati to recruit fresh talent and restructuring its financial flows.
Mentioning that the government would be celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema with the film industry’s support, Varma invited the doyens of the Indian film industry to join the tableaux to be presented at the Republic Day Parade 2013 in New Delhi by walking down the Rajpath that day. He also mentioned about the proposed National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) with the objectives of undertaking frame-by-frame picture and sound restoration of more than 2,500 films that are an important component of the Indian film industry. The Mission, with a budget of Rs 400 crore, would also look at constructing preservation vaults to international standards for archiving the restored material and for conducting workshops and training.
Referring to the impact of piracy on the growth of the film industry, Varma said that the government has proposed to carry out an all-encompassing multi-media campaign during the 12th Plan period involving all stakeholders and film and music industries. He also said that the government would set up a Film Commission that would enable institution of a single window clearance system for shooting in India. He disclosed that in this regard his ministry has signed an MOU with the Ministry of Tourism to work towards promoting India as a global film shooting destination.
To give an impetus to the animation, gaming and VFX industry, the government would set up Centres of Excellence that would produce technical professionals to cater to the needs of high-end human resources and IPR creation, under public-private partnership. The first such centre would come at Mohali, near Chandigarh, by the end of the financial year. Also, the Ministry is seriously thinking of increasing the reach of social media and has launched its own YouTube channel.
Varma further disclosed that to complete the digitisation drive in four metros, on an average 45,000-50,000 set top boxes are being installed every day and added that the digitisation process would be completed by the end of October. “The transformation, we all agree, will bring in rich dividends to the entire broadcasting industry, government and importantly, the people of the country,” he added.