The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) task force which is headed by I&B Ministry secretary Apurva Chandra has submitted a detailed report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur. Calling for a ‘National AVGC-XR Mission’ with a budget outlay to be created for integrated promotion and growth of the AVGC sector, they have also recommended launching a ‘Create in India’ campaign with exclusive focus on content creation, ‘In India, For India & For World’.
The AVGC-XR industry has witnessed unprecedented growth rates in recent times, with many global players expressing interest in the Indian talent pool to avail offshore delivery of services as India is now seen as the primary destination for high-end, skill-based activities in the AVGC-XR sector. India possesses the necessary ingredients to become a major contributor to the global AVGC sector.
India’s AVGC sector had an overall market size of USD 2.3 billion in 2019, which was about 0.7 per cent of the global market size. The sector is expected to grow 2.2 times over the next four years driven by market forces and constitute about 1.5 per cent of the global AVGC market.
“Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics is a cross-cutting sector of creative arts and science. The AVGC Taskforce has recommended setting up new departments and courses at the college level which are recognised by UGC,” said Chandra.
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari said, “For an inclusive India, we would be targeting skilling and industry outreach for youth in tier two and three towns and villages in India and establish special incentives for women entrepreneurs in the AVGC sector.”
The main recommendations of the Task Force categorised broadly under four categories are as under:
Domestic Industry Development for Global Access
- A National AVGC-XR Mission with a budget outlay to be created for integrated promotion & growth of the AVGC sector.
- Launch of a ‘Create in India’ campaign with exclusive focus on content creation, ‘In India, For India & For World’!
- With a goal to make India the global hub for AVGC, institute an International AVGC Platform, along with a gaming Expo) with focus on FDI, co-production treaties and innovation.
- Establish a National Centre of Excellence (COE) for the AVGC sector to become an international reference point across skilling, education, industry development and research and innovation for the AVGC sector. Regional COEs will be instituted in collaboration with the state governments to provide access to local industries and to promote local talent and content.
Developing Talent ecosystem to realise Demographic Dividends
- Leverage NEP to develop creative thinking with dedicated AVGC course content at school levels, to build foundational skills and to create awareness about AVGC as a career choice.
- Launch AVGC focused UG/ PG courses with standard curriculum and globally recognised degrees. Standardise admission tests for AVGC related courses (namely, Media & Entertainment Creative Aptitude Test (MECAT) by Media and Entertainment Skill Council (MESC)).
- With an eye on the demand of 20 lakh skilled professionals in AVGC sector in this decade, augment skilling initiatives for AVGC sector under MESC. Enhance industry participation to ensure employment opportunities and absorption for students from non-metro cities and NE states.
- Establish AVGC accelerators and innovation hubs in academic institutions, on lines of Atal Tinkering Labs.
Enhancing Technology and Financial Viability for Indian AVGC Industry
- Democratise AVGC technologies by promoting subscription-based pricing models for MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), start-ups and institutions.
- Made in India for AVGC technologies through incentive schemes for R&D and IP creation. Evaluate PLI scheme to incentivise AVGC hardware manufacturers.
- Enhanced ease of doing business in AVGC sector i.e tax benefits, import duties, curbing piracy, etc.
- Leverage start-up India to provide technical, financial and market access assistance to AVGC entrepreneurs to promote culture of R&D and local IP creation.
Raising India’s soft power through an Inclusive growth
- Establish a dedicated production fund for domestic content creation from across India to promote Indian culture & heritage globally. Evaluate reservation for high-quality indigenous content by broadcasters.
- For an Inclusive India, target skilling and industry outreach for youth in tier two & three towns and villages in India. Establish special incentives for women entrepreneurs in AVGC sector.
- Promote local children’s channels for raising awareness on rich culture and history of India among children and youth.
- Establish framework to ensure Child Rights Protection in the digital world.
AVGC task force was constituted under the chairmanship of I & B Ministry secretary Apurva Chandra, to help realise the full potential of the AVGC sector in India, with key stakeholders from the Industry and the Government. Secretaries of associated union ministries namely MSDE (Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship), Department of Higher Education- MoE (Ministry of Education), MeITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) & DPIIT are members of this task force. It also includes members from State Governments of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana; heads of education bodies such as All India Council of Technical Education, National Council of Educational Research and Training and representatives of industry bodies – MESC, FICCI and CII.
Further, the Task Force has key industry leaders of AVGC Sector as members such as Technicolor India country head Biren Ghose, Punnaryug Artvision founder Ashish Kulkarni, Anibrain founder and CEO Jesh Krishna Murthy, Redchillies.VFX COO and VFX producer Keitan Yadav, Whistling Woods International CTO Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Zynga India SVP and country head Kishore Kichili, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment MD and CEO Neeraj Roy.
Four sub-task forces were constituted for devising strategies of growth through targeted interventions in their respective areas, a) Industry & Policy headed by MOIB secretary Apurva Chandra; b) Education headed by Anil Shahashrabudhe, then AICTE chairperson ; c) Skilling headed by Rajesh Aggarwal, then MoSDE secretary, and; d) Gaming headed by MOIB JS Vikram Sahay. Their recommendations have formed the basis of the consolidated report of the task force.
The Union Budget had announced the constitution of a task force on AVGC to identify interventions to build domestic capacity for serving our markets and the global demand.
The task force is an effort to realise the Prime Minister’s vision that the AVCG-XR sector can provide immense employment opportunities to the youth who can serve the global market and the Indian talent can lead the way in this sector.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur has identified that the AVGC sector can serve as a major growth driver for the M&E industry in India and emphasized that beyond the high economic impact of the growth of this sector, the sector also has the potential to better disseminate and promote the Indian culture to the world, connect the Indian diaspora more strongly to India, generate direct and indirect quality employment and benefit tourism and other allied industries.
(The article has been written by AnimationXpress founder and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.)