The State Government of West Bengal has announced to set up a Centre of Excellence on Innovation at Salt Lake Sector V which will be dedicated to cutting edge emerging technologies, with special focus on animation. 1.5-acre plot at DP Block has been allocated for the centre and the design is ready. This news was announced by the Finance, Information and Technology minister Amit Mitra recently at a knowledge workshop on animation, VFX and gaming organised by Webel, a nodal agency of the State Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) Department. For the centre, IT&E department is joining hands with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) to provide a B.Sc in animation and film making for a three-year degree course. The minister said the State Government wanted to create a talent pool in these fields as they are growing exponentially every year. “Makaut has given us certain terms and conditions which we will be fulfilling soon. Our target is to churn out 500 graduates a year in the field of animation, visual effects who will be job ready immediately after they graduate,” said Mitra. He also handed over certificates to 23 students last Friday who have successfully completed their course from Webel DQE Animation Academy. “Institutes offer training but do not guarantee jobs after that. All 23 students who were given certificates have secured jobs. We will be keeping up this trend. Next year we will be having 68 students from this academy,” he added. Talking of the enormous growth potential in this sector, Mitra noted that the government will take a realistic and sustainable approach so that Bengal can position itself in a dominant position not only in the country but also in the world. The minister welcomed similar centres of animation in the private sector in the state and said that he wants noted media services provider like Netflix and Amazon Prime to come to Kolkata to provide indigenous animated products for the future. The minister lauded the efforts of state IT & E additional chief secretary Debashis Sen and his Webel team for the professionalism and high standards offered in the Webel DQE Animation Academy . Sen commented, “Content will be in demand in the future. We are trying to create an infrastructure and the required ecosystem for creation of content as well as product development.