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Branches of Films Division, two other cinema units will shut down soon

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament John Brittas had recently written to Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting expressing concerns about the move

Sabrangindia 16 Dec 2021

film division

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) will shut down all branches of the Films Division, National Film Archive of India and Children’s Film Society of India. According to a report in Scroll.in, a letter has been issued and the process will be completed by the end of January 2022.

This news comes soon after Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) John Brittas wrote  to Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting & Youth Affairs and Sports, expressing concerns about merging Children's Films Society, India (CFSI), Films Division (FD), National Films Archive of India (NFAI) and Department of Film Festivals (DFF) with National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). 

Brittas had said this was a deviation from the recommendations of Bimal Julka Committee Report adding that there are “grievous allegations and reasonable apprehensions and suspicions” being raised over the proposed merger. The Ministry had announced that the merger process will be accomplished over the next two years. However, the process, according to the latest news report, seems to be on the fastrack.

In December 2020, the ministry had stated, “The merger of film media units under one corporation will lead to convergence of activities and resources and better coordination, thereby ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit.” The Union Cabinet approved the merger of these Media Units last year, as well as the “appointment of a Transaction Advisor and Legal Advisor to advise on the transfer of assets and employees and to oversee all aspects of operationalization of the merger.” It had claimed that “while undertaking this exercise of convergence, interests of the employees of all the concerned Media Units will be fully taken care and no employee will be retrenched.” However, according to Scroll “over 400 employees of these bodies in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and other cities would be affected by this decision.” 

Brittas had told Thakur that the “non-profit oriented activities of these organisations are highly inevitable for the Country for the preservation of its rich heritage as well as for promoting qualitative ventures rather than mere focusing on commercial productions or profits. It cannot be measured in terms of money.” He reiterated that Films Division and NFAI are “repositories of a huge national treasure in terms of recording the Audio Visual History of this Nation from pre- independent period till now” and any closure of these Government bodies or its activities is a “means to erase, in a slow manner, the audio-visual record of this Nation.” Brittas pointed out that “aggrieved stakeholders are alleging that the real intention of the merger/closure is to slowly privatise the NFDC, once the merger is over, or to liquidate the same after a couple of years so that these assets can be sold or leased out for throwaway prices.”

What are these units?

  • Films Division, a subordinate office of M/o I&B, was established in 1948, primarily to produce documentaries and news magazines for publicity of Government programmes and cinematic record of Indian history.

  • Children's Film Society, India, an autonomous organisation, was founded in 1955 under the Societies Act with the specific objective of providing children and young people value-based entertainment through the medium of films.

  • National Film Archives of India, a subordinate office of M/o I&B, was established as a media unit in 1964 with the primary objective of acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage.

  • Directorate of Film Festivals, as attached office of M/o I&B was set up in 1973 to promote Indian films and cultural exchange.

  • NFDC is a Central Public Sector Undertaking, incorporated in the year 1975 with the primary object of planning and promoting an organised, efficient and integrated development of the Indian Film Industry.

On December 23, 2020, the Ministry via PIB had posted, that the decision was taken “to fulfill the commitment to support the films sector,” and that the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has approved to merge four of its film media units, namely Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children's Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd. 

Meanwhile, Scroll revealed that on December 10, 2021, the government appointed Central Board of Film Certification Chief Executive Officer Ravinder Bhakar to take additional responsibilities of the director general of Films Division and the CEO of the Children’s Film Society of India. Both these positions were held by Smita Vats Sharma, who is also the additional director general of the Press Information Bureau.

Related:

Films Division, NFAI “repositories of a national treasure”, closure is “means to erase”: John Brittas

Sonia points out ‘misogynistic’ passage in CBSE paper in Lok Sabha; board drops question 

Bulk of Beti Bachao program funds allegedly spent on advertising

Branches of Films Division, two other cinema units will shut down soon

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament John Brittas had recently written to Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting expressing concerns about the move

film division

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) will shut down all branches of the Films Division, National Film Archive of India and Children’s Film Society of India. According to a report in Scroll.in, a letter has been issued and the process will be completed by the end of January 2022.

This news comes soon after Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) John Brittas wrote  to Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting & Youth Affairs and Sports, expressing concerns about merging Children's Films Society, India (CFSI), Films Division (FD), National Films Archive of India (NFAI) and Department of Film Festivals (DFF) with National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). 

Brittas had said this was a deviation from the recommendations of Bimal Julka Committee Report adding that there are “grievous allegations and reasonable apprehensions and suspicions” being raised over the proposed merger. The Ministry had announced that the merger process will be accomplished over the next two years. However, the process, according to the latest news report, seems to be on the fastrack.

In December 2020, the ministry had stated, “The merger of film media units under one corporation will lead to convergence of activities and resources and better coordination, thereby ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit.” The Union Cabinet approved the merger of these Media Units last year, as well as the “appointment of a Transaction Advisor and Legal Advisor to advise on the transfer of assets and employees and to oversee all aspects of operationalization of the merger.” It had claimed that “while undertaking this exercise of convergence, interests of the employees of all the concerned Media Units will be fully taken care and no employee will be retrenched.” However, according to Scroll “over 400 employees of these bodies in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and other cities would be affected by this decision.” 

Brittas had told Thakur that the “non-profit oriented activities of these organisations are highly inevitable for the Country for the preservation of its rich heritage as well as for promoting qualitative ventures rather than mere focusing on commercial productions or profits. It cannot be measured in terms of money.” He reiterated that Films Division and NFAI are “repositories of a huge national treasure in terms of recording the Audio Visual History of this Nation from pre- independent period till now” and any closure of these Government bodies or its activities is a “means to erase, in a slow manner, the audio-visual record of this Nation.” Brittas pointed out that “aggrieved stakeholders are alleging that the real intention of the merger/closure is to slowly privatise the NFDC, once the merger is over, or to liquidate the same after a couple of years so that these assets can be sold or leased out for throwaway prices.”

What are these units?

  • Films Division, a subordinate office of M/o I&B, was established in 1948, primarily to produce documentaries and news magazines for publicity of Government programmes and cinematic record of Indian history.

  • Children's Film Society, India, an autonomous organisation, was founded in 1955 under the Societies Act with the specific objective of providing children and young people value-based entertainment through the medium of films.

  • National Film Archives of India, a subordinate office of M/o I&B, was established as a media unit in 1964 with the primary objective of acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage.

  • Directorate of Film Festivals, as attached office of M/o I&B was set up in 1973 to promote Indian films and cultural exchange.

  • NFDC is a Central Public Sector Undertaking, incorporated in the year 1975 with the primary object of planning and promoting an organised, efficient and integrated development of the Indian Film Industry.

On December 23, 2020, the Ministry via PIB had posted, that the decision was taken “to fulfill the commitment to support the films sector,” and that the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has approved to merge four of its film media units, namely Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children's Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd. 

Meanwhile, Scroll revealed that on December 10, 2021, the government appointed Central Board of Film Certification Chief Executive Officer Ravinder Bhakar to take additional responsibilities of the director general of Films Division and the CEO of the Children’s Film Society of India. Both these positions were held by Smita Vats Sharma, who is also the additional director general of the Press Information Bureau.

Related:

Films Division, NFAI “repositories of a national treasure”, closure is “means to erase”: John Brittas

Sonia points out ‘misogynistic’ passage in CBSE paper in Lok Sabha; board drops question 

Bulk of Beti Bachao program funds allegedly spent on advertising

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