The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force report, which has been submitted to the government for consideration, has proposed a national AVGC-Extended Reality Mission with a budget outlay to be created for integrated promotion and growth of the sector.
Draft national and State policies for the promotion of the sector have also been submitted by the Task Force, which presented the report to Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur on December 22. Chaired by I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra, the brainstorming group comprised Secretaries of the associated Union Ministries, including those of Skill Development, Education, Electronics and Information Technology, besides several prominent faces of the sector.
Among the recommendations of the Task Force are a “Create in India” campaign with an exclusive focus on content creation; an international AVGC platform aimed at attracting foreign direct investment, co-production treaties and innovation in collaboration with international counterparts; national and regional centres of excellence for skill development; and leveraging National Education Policy to develop creative thinking at school level. “Ministry of Education may advise NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) to create books focusing on subjects relevant to AVGC,” the report said.
A University Grants Commission (UGC)-recognised curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees has also been suggested. The Task Force has proposed standardisation of admission tests for AVGC-related courses. “With an eye on the demand of 20 lakh skilled professionals in the AVGC sector in this decade, there is a need to augment skilling initiatives and enhance industry participation for training purposes and to ensure employment opportunities,” a senior official said.
“Memorandum of Cooperation may be signed between India and other developed global AVGC markets — U.S., Japan, South Korea, Germany, for providing internships (six months to a year) to Indian AVGC professionals,” the report said.
The report has also recommended establishment of AVGC accelerators and innovation hubs in academic institutions; democratising AVGC technologies by promoting subscription-based pricing models for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), start-ups and institutions; indigenous technology development through incentive schemes and Intellectual Property creation; and setting up a dedicated production fund for domestic content creation from across India to promote the country’s culture and heritage globally.
The team, which emphasised skilling and industry outreach for youth in Tier 2 and 3 towns and villages, said there should be special incentives for women entrepreneurs in the sector and promotion of local children’s channels for raising awareness on the rich culture and history of India among children and youth. It also suggested the establishment of a framework to ensure protection of child rights in the digital world.
India today contributes about $2.5-3 billion of the estimated $260-275 billion worldwide AVGC market. According to industry experts, the Indian market that currently employs about 1.85 lakh AVGC professionals, can witness a growth of 14-16% in the next decade.