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