At a time when controversy is raging over films like Padmavati, S Durga and Nude, Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant on Tuesday proposed for setting up an index to rank states on their ability to provide a conducive environment for the media and entertainment industry to grow. The index, Kant said, could look like the Ease of Doing Business index, and should be aimed at getting states to compete with each other in offering a conducive environment for the growth of the sector. Kant was speaking at the CII Big Picture Summit in the national capital, with a focus on digital technologies.
Referring to India as the most liberal media market in the world, Kant said the Union government will continue to support the industry. Saying that the media and entertainment (M&E) sector serve as a major growth driver, the Niti Aayog CEO also said the growth spurt for the sector will come through smart phones at lower costs.
Speaking at the CII event, Prasar Bharati chief executive Shashi Shekhar Vempati said human capital, creativity, and freedom of expression have established India as the global 'Vishv Guru'. Pitching for digital technologies, Vempati said the future of media and entertainment lay in the convergence of technology and content, adding that private and public sectors needed to create the 'right technology ecosystem'. The CEO of India's public broadcaster also said India's share in the global M&E market is small and must be ramped up to give India a more powerful global voice
Indian film director and producer Ramesh Sippy, while stressing on the need to create a skilled workforce for the media industry, said the rapidly changing technology acted as a double-edged sword, leading to the creation of new categories of jobs and at the same time, making certain others obsolete. "The government and the private sector need to work together to create appropriate education and skilling opportunities for this sector," he said. Industry voice Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO of Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd, highlighted the M&E sector's potential for job creation, while Amit Khanna, CII advisor, writer, and film maker emphasised the need for the government to play a facilitator rather than a regulator.