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M&E sector moving towards convergence across platforms and content: Naidu

MUMBAI: The Indian M&E industry needs to outline a firm roadmap to ensure the convergence of networks, devices and content, the core elements of the digital entertainment process, Minister of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) M. Venkaiah Naidu said while delivering a keynote at the inaugural function of the fifth edition of CII Big Picture Summit at New Delhi today.

Naidu also said that digital and mobile tools have been leading to paradigm shifts in the M&E sector. The growth of varied platforms such as 4G, broadband, mobile technologies, digital media has enabled the M&E sector to move towards ’Convergence across platforms and content’.

The government of India’s ’Make in India’, ’Skill India’ and ’Digital India’ campaigns were clearly positive signals of the new transformation including GST, which is expected to be a game changer for the M&E sector.

Regarding opportunities in the skill sector for the M&E industry, Naidu said that the government is aware of the acute shortage of professionals across different segments. He mentioned that he would like the industry to give its recommendations on the steps to be taken to match demand and supply, as well as recommendations emerging from the discussions at the summit for the different sessions focusing on skill assessment and needs.

On the issue of growth prospects for the industry, Naidu said that as part of the national policy, the government would work with the industry to develop infrastructure to get the right talent at the appropriate sectors. The M&E sector in India had always been a very liberal media market and a number of initiatives had been taken including opening up and liberalising FDI in the broadcast sector.

For the initiatives in the film sector, Naidu said there is a huge opportunity to make India lead in the world as film shooting location and digital media hub for the world. Our films, actors, content and technology are expanding footprints to new and emerging global markets, and the aim of the government is to make this transition smooth by creating an enabling regulatory environment. The co-production agreements with other countries has ensured the projection and branding of India’s soft power, said the minister.

On the theme of the conference ‘Embracing Disruption to Stay Competitive’, Naidu said that this process had substantially altered the business models across the world.

Naidu referred to the Centre’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’ initiatives, which were going to have a major impact on increasing the penetration of Internet in Tier II and Tier III cities. He also referred to the potential of smartphones in facilitating a critical role for consumers’ professional and personal lives. The government’s initiatives and private sector participation was necessary to ensure the optimal use of the potential of the digital ecosystem.