India to become teleport hub, FM radio Phase III this fiscal: I&B secretary

India to become teleport hub, FM radio Phase III this fiscal: I&B secretary

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NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry will have wide-ranging consultations soon with the industry to fulfill its objective of turning India into a teleport hub for uplinking / downlinking satellite television channels so that there is no dependence on Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Ministry will work out modalities, challenges and road map for this purpose, I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma said at the media

and entertainment summit, ?The Big Picture?, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Varma said India becoming a teleport hub could be instrumental in attracting accelerated flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) as also state-of-the-art technology and can help move up in the value chain in content generation.

The recent decision of the government to allow 74 per cent FDI in DTH, IPTV, and Mobile TV etc. are some of the steps that have been taken in this direction, he said, underscoring the fact that these steps would be game changers to make India a ?digitally happening place?.

Varma assured that the auction process for Phase III in FM Radio aimed at adding another 839 stations in over 290 towns and cities would commence by the end of the current financial year. Many positive steps would be taken in revamping All India Radio?s FM Radio to enhance its reach and content.

The empowered Group of Ministers is looking into some of the grey areas in the auction process. The government is also taking steps to restructure national broadcasting by enabling Prasar Bharati to recruit fresh talent and restructuring its financial flows.

Referring to the centenary of Indian cinema, Varma invited the doyens of the Indian film industry to join the tableaux to be presented at the Republic Day Parade 2013 in New Delhi on this subject, by walking down Rajpath on 26 January.

He also said the proposed National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) had been set up with the objectives of undertaking frame-by-frame picture and sound restoration of more than 2500 films that are an important component of the Indian film industry. The Mission with a budget of Rs four billion would also look at constructing preservation vaults conforming to international standards for archiving the restored material and for conducting workshops and training.

Referring to the impact of piracy on the growth of the film industry, Varma said the government proposed to carry out an all-encompassing multi-media campaign during the 12th Plan period involving all stakeholders and film and music industries.

He also said the government would set up a Film Commission that would enable institution of a single window clearance system for shooting in India. He disclosed that in this regard his Ministry has signed an MOU with the Tourism Ministry to work towards promoting India as a global film shooting destination.

To give an impetus to an impetus to animation, gaming and VFX industry, the government would set up a Centre of Excellence that would produce technical professionals to cater to the need of high end human resources and IPR creation, under public?private partnership. The first such centre would come at Mohali near Chandigarh by the end of the financial year.

The Ministry is seriously considering using social media and may launch its own channel on the lines of You Tube.

The two-day meet is discussing various subjects over different sessions relating to media as a catalyst for social change, creating competitive business models, regulating sounds and images, and working to take the media and entertainment industry to the $100 billion mark.