India News

Cabinet Approves Merger Of 4 Government Film Bodies With NFDC

The Union Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved the merger of four government film and media units with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd. The units merged included the Films Division, the Directorate of Film Festivals, the National Film Archives of India, and the Children’s Film Society.


Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, made the announcement on Wednesday, saying it would ensure “synergy and efficiency in the industry”. A press release issued by the Centre also said that the move would lead to better utilisation of the Centre’s resources, through a “reduction in duplication of activities and direct savings to the exchequer”.

With this merger, the NFDC, which earlier had objectives of planning and promoting the Indian film industry, will now have additional responsibilities. Its vision now is “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”.

With this merger, the NFDC will also be placed under a single management with regard to promotion, production, and preservation of filmic content.

The statement said that the interests of the employees of all concerned media units will be ensured and no employee would be retrenched. The Union Cabinet has also approved the appointment of a Transaction Advisor and Legal Advisor to oversee all aspects of operationalisation of the merger.

The Centre’s decision was welcomed by some members of the film industry:

Earlier in November, the Centre had brought digital news platforms and content providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video under the ambit of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This meant that in addition to digital news, over-the-top platforms would also come under the purview of the Centre and would be regulated by the same.

The NDFC was incorporated as a Central Public Sector Undertaking in 1975, with the primary objective of planning and promoting an organised, efficient and integrated development of the Indian Film Industry. The Films Division was formed to create documentaries and news magazine to publicise government programs, the National Film Archives of India was formed to acquire material to preserve India’s cinematic heritage, the Children’s Film Society’s was formed to offer value-based entertainment for children, and the Directorate of Film Festivals was formed to promote Indian films and cultural exchange.