State unveils animation policy

Karnataka on Wednesday became the first State in the country to have a dedicated policy to provide impetus to sectors like digital arts.

The Karnataka Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics (KAVGC) Policy, which was cleared by the Cabinet in January, was officially launched with the objective of making the State a favoured investment destination in the sector.

Speaking to reporters after the launch, Labour Minister B N Bachegowda said the policy was aimed at enhancing the investments and growth in the sector, besides helping aspirants from both the urban and rural areas of the State get jobs.

M N Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary for IT/BT, Science and Technology, pointed out that the industry had a business potential of Rs 10,000 crore by the end of 2012.  He said the policy would help the industry gain enough momentum so as to grow at over 40 per cent in the next three years.

He claimed the policy would lead to economic upliftment of the economically-weaker sections of society, especially in rural areas.

“We want to set up a Centre for Excellence here (Bangalore) with state-of-the-art facilities. This will act as a catalyst for the industry,” Vidyashankar said.
The Centre, he said, would be set up on a PPP model with both the Centre and State contributing financially.

While the Centre would contribute 30 per cent of the cost, the industry is expected to contribute 50 per cent. The remaining will be the State government’s share.
He said a venture capital fund with an initial investment of Rs 50 crore –– funded jointly by government and private venture capitalists –– will be set up to meet the needs of entrepreneurs.

Biren Ghose, President of the Association of Bangalore Animation Industry (ABAI), pointing out that the sector had a business potential of reaching $2 billion in the coming years, said the policy would make the city the largest contributor to the sector.

He said that in line with the policy’s objective –– of reaching out to rural talent –– ABAI will set up digital art centres in 10 Government arts colleges in rural areas as a pilot project, at a cost of Rs 10 lakh each.

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