The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force has submitted its report to the government for consideration.

 

Background

  • An announcement was made in the Union Budget 2022-23 for setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force to promote the AVGC sector in the country.
  • In pursuance of this announcement, an AVGC Promotion Task Force was constituted in April 2022 by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • Headed by Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the Task Force had members from other ministries as well.

 

Opportunities for AVGC sector in India

  • AVCG sector has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent years.
  • India’s expanding AVGC sector has propelled the country into the global Top 5 in the gaming business.
    • India today contributes about $2.5-3 billion of the estimated $260-275 billion worldwide AVGC market.
  • The number of online gamers increased by 8% between 2020 and 2021, and by 2023 it is predicted to reach 45 crores.
  • The AVGC sector in India has the potential to capture 5% ($40 billion) of the worldwide market by 2025, with yearly growth of 25-30% and the creation of approximately 1,60,000 new employments.

 

Factors responsible for the high growth of AVGC sector

  • The demand has expanded with the unprecedented growth in kids broadcasting viewership, availability of low-cost internet access and growing popularity of OTT platforms.
  • Animation and Visual effects (VFX) sectors have become an integral part of the media and entertainment industry.
  • In the entertainment sector, movies like Hanuman, The Lion King, Life of Pie etc. are some of the movies that have become blockbusters at the Indian box office.
  • Similarly, use of animation and graphics in education sector make teaching and learning processes more interesting.
  • These trends have facilitated a decent growth of this sector in India.

 

What are the challenges faced by AVGC sector?

  • This sector is yet to be streamlined by the government through a national policy framework in order to build capacities and to enhance global positioning of AVGC sector in India.
  • Although, it is growing at a faster rate, it has not yet been formalised.
  • Legal uncertainty further creates a drag on this sector. Due to this, various State governments have dragged these companies to court over allegedly being akin to gambling.
    • Eg., the Karnataka High Court struck down substantial provisions of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, which prohibited online gambling and skill-based gaming platforms.

 

What are the steps taken by the government?

  • An announcement was made in the Union Budget 2022-23 for setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force.
  • In April 2022, the task force was constituted which submitted its report recently.
  • As part of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister recently unveiled Azadi Quest, online educational mobile games.
    • It was created as part of the government’s efforts to boost the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) sector.
  • The Government of India has prioritised this sector by identifying it as one with potential to become the torch bearer of “Create in India” and “Brand India”.
  • In 2021, the Ministry of I&B agreed to build a Centre of Excellence in gaming and other relevant sectors in collaboration with IIT Bombay.

 

Key highlights of the report –

  • A national AVGC-Extended Reality Mission —
    • It has proposed the creation of a national AVGC-Extended Reality Mission with a budget outlay for integrated promotion and growth of the sector.
  • Awareness generation and attracting FDI —
    • “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;
  • Books and curriculum relevant to AVGC —
    • The report said that the Ministry of Education may advise NCERT to create books focusing on subjects relevant to AVGC.
    • 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.
  • Internship opportunities — The report suggested signing of Memorandum of Cooperation between India and other developed global AVGC markets for providing internships (six months to a year) to Indian AVGC professionals
  • Other recommendations —
    • Establishment of AVGC accelerators and innovation hubs in academic institutions;
    • Democratising AVGC technologies by promoting subscription-based pricing models for 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.
  • Special incentives for women entrepreneurs —
    • The report said there should be special incentives for women entrepreneurs in the sector.
    • It further emphasised on the 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.