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27th December Current Affairs

Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force report

(GS-II: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors)

In News:

The AVGC Promotion Task Force (Chaired by I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra) report has proposed a national AVGC-Extended Reality Mission with a budget outlay to be created for integrated promotion and growth of the sector.

Background:

The Union Budget 2022-23 announced the formation of an AVGC Promotion Task Force to realise and develop – local capacity, and local and global demand, to widen the scope of the AVGC industry.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has established an AVGC Promotion Task Force.

The Task Force’s Terms of Reference include:

Developing a national AVGC policy.

Recommend a national curricular framework for AVGC-related graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses.

Collaborate on skilling initiatives with academic institutions, vocational training centres and industry.

Increase employment opportunities.

Increase exports and recommend incentives to attract FDI in the AVGC sector, etc.

About the AVGC sector in India:

Current situation: The AVGC sector in India, which may have witnessed 28% growth in 2021, contributes about $2.5-3 billion of the estimated $260-275 billion worldwide AVGC market and employs about 1.85 lakh AVGC professionals.

Nature (Expanding): India has moved into the global Top 5 in the gaming industry and can witness a growth of 14-16% in the next decade and by 2023, the number of online gamers is expected to reach 45 crores.

Potential:

To become a $40 billion industry (5% of the global market) by 2025, with annual growth of 25-30% and the creation of about 1,60,000 new jobs.

As a result, it has the potential to become the “Create in India” and “Brand India”

Challenges: Despite the fact that the AVGC sector in India is rapidly growing, there remains a vacuum due to a lack of formal gaming training courses and legal clarity.

Recommendations of the Task Force:

Draft national and State policies: For the promotion of the sector.

Launch the ‘Create in India’ campaign: With an exclusive focus on content creation.

An international AVGC platform: Aimed at attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

Co-production treaties and innovation:

A Memorandum of Cooperation may be signed between India and other developed global AVGC markets – U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Germany, for providing internships to Indian AVGC professionals.

Establishment of AVGC accelerators and innovation hubs in academic institutions.

National and regional centres of excellence: For skill development.

The skilling and industry outreach for youth in Tier 2 and 3 towns and villages.

There should be special incentives for women entrepreneurs in the sector.

Leveraging National Education Policy: To develop creative thinking at the school level. The Ministry of Education may advise NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) to create books focusing on subjects relevant to AVGC.

A University Grants Commission (UGC)-recognised curriculum: For undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Standardisation of admission tests: For AVGC-related courses.

A framework to protect child rights in the digital world and promotion of local children’s channels for raising awareness.

Way ahead:

Democratising AVGC technologies by promoting subscription-based pricing models for MSMEs, start-ups and institutions.

Indigenous technology development through incentive schemes and Intellectual Property creation.

Setting up a dedicated production fund for domestic content creation to promote the country’s culture and heritage globally.

Conclusion:

With an eye on the demand for 20 lakh skilled professionals in the AVGC sector in this decade, there is a need to augment skilling initiatives and enhance industry participation for training purposes and to ensure employment opportunities.

Draft National Retail Trade Policy

(GS-III: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth)

In News:

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has sought the views of 16 departments and ministries on its draft national retail trade policy

Details:

After getting comments from all the departments and ministries, DPIIT would seek approval from the Union Cabinet on the policy

 What is Retail Trade?

Retail trade encompasses department store, bookstores, and grocery stores, along with many others that sell new or used goods to the public for personal or household use.

About the Policy:

Aim of the policy: To formulate strategies to provide a globally competitive and sustainable environment for the overall development of retail trade through targeted efforts.

This can be done through:

  • Ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit
  • Facilitating modernization and digitisation of retail trade by promoting modern technology and superior infrastructural support
  • Development of physical infrastructure across the distribution chain
  • Promotion of skill development and improve labour productivity
  • Providing an effective consultative and grievance redressal mechanism for the sector.

Government’s schemes for promoting the retail sector:

Finance: PM Mudra Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana

Infrastructure status to Warehousing and logistics, multi-modal logistics parks, Smart Cities Mission etc.

Digital: ONDC, GeMS portal etc.

Other policies in the pipeline are:

DPIIT is also working on formulating a national e-commerce policy to promote the growth of the online retail sector in the country.

A new industrial policy is also on the anvil: This will be the third industrial policy after the first in 1956 and the second in 1991.

Losar Festival

In News:

PM extended his greetings on the occasion of the Losar festival (the beginning of the Tibetan new year)

Details:

It consists of the offering of prayers, dances, and songs in the honor of Ibex and the pilgrimage of Mount Kailash.

Losar is the Tibetan word for ‘new year’

Ladakhi Buddhists make a religious offering before their deities in the domestic shrines or in the Gompas

History: It was developed in the pre-Buddhist era, during the 4th century AD. The Bon religion (indigenous religious tradition of Tibet) practices the burning of incense. When Lord Buddha arrived in Tibet, this ritual was combined with the harvest celebration, and the Losar festival was born.

‘PRASAD’ project – Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh

In News:

President of India Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the ‘PRASAD’ project at the tourism facilitation centre in the pilgrim town of Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh.

About Srisailam temple:

  • Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva and goddess Parvathi.
  • It is referred to as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas of the Goddess, Parvati
  • Here Parvati is worshipped as “Mallika” and Shiva is worshipped as “Arjuna“, represented by the lingam
  • There is inscriptional evidence from the Satavahana dynasty which places the temple to be existent from the 2nd century
  • Most modern additions were done during the time of king Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • The presiding deity of the place is Brahmaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy in natural stone formations in the shape of Lingam

PRASAD scheme is ‘Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive’.

This scheme focuses on developing and identifying pilgrimage sites across India for enriching the religious tourism experience. It aims to integrate pilgrimage destinations in a prioritized, planned, and sustainable manner to provide a complete religious tourism experience. The growth of domestic tourism hugely depends on pilgrimage tourism.