Four divisions dealing with movies under the Central government will be merged with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) to bring in more synergy and ensure balanced and focussed development of Indian cinema.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With this, the Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India and Children's Film Society will be merged with the NFDC by expanding the latter's Memorandum of Articles.
With over 3,000 movies being made in the country a year, India is the largest film producer in the world with an industry led by the private sector.
The merger will lead to convergence of activities and resources and better coordination, thereby ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit, an official statement said.
While undertaking this exercise, it said, the interests of the employees of all the media units concerned will be fully taken care of and no employee will be retrenched.
The umbrella organisation NFDC will be uniquely placed with regard to promotion, production and preservation of the content—all under one management. The NFDC is a public sector undertaking, incorporated in 1975, with the primary objective of planning and promoting an organised, efficient and integrated development of the Indian film industry.
"The vision of the new entity will be to ensure balanced and focused development of Indian cinema in all its genres-feature films, including films/content for the OTT platforms, children's content, animation, short films and documentaries," it added.
The merger will lead to synergy amongst the various activities with better and efficient utilisation of misting infrastructure and manpower. This will lead to a reduction in duplication of activities and direct savings to the exchequer, it added.
The Cabinet has also approved the appointment of a transaction advisor and legal advisor to advise on the transfer of assets and employees and to oversee all aspects of operationalisation of the merger.
The Films Division was established under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 1948 primarily to produce documentaries and news magazines for publicity of government programmes and cinematic record of Indian history.
Children's Film Society, 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, which is under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was set up as a media unit in 1964 with the primary objective of acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage. Directorate of Film Festivals, also attached to the Ministry, came into being in 1973 to promote Indian films and cultural exchange.