Animation Sector Is The Future Of Jobs

With more and more filmmakers and TV producers going in for technology-driven products such as VFX and animation in a big way to woo Gen X viewers, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in the sector.

Animation and VFX is one of the fastest growing segments of the entertainment sector. Also, the number of professionals joining the industry is on the rise. In fact, there are around 26,000 jobs in the AVGC sector which requires a graduate degree or above (around 38 percent of the total workforce in the sector). In the next 10 years, it is estimated that the AVGC sector will require 24,000 professionals with educational qualification of graduation or above while on the other hand there will be around 16,000 students graduating from the recognized degree-awarding institutes.

To quote Rahul Puri, managing director, Mukta Arts Ltd, “The talent potential in India is immense, what is lacking is good quality film institutes to hone their skills. The time has come to give equal importance to media education—we can begin by introducing it at primary education level and establishing world-class higher technical training institutes. The government and private players will need to collaborate to provide the right infrastructure and opportunities.”

Lack of quality education being imparted to professionals is leading to a lack of trained manpower for outsourcing work. Lack of standardized and quality curriculum also poses a big challenge to this industry. There are only a handful of institutes which are known for quality teaching. Thus, the curriculum needs to be of an international standard to ensure that world-class training is being imparted and well-trained manpower is being produced.

It is keeping in view this analysis that industry experts have been suggesting setting up a Centre of Excellence which will augment the supply of graduates in the AVGC sector. There are also several skill gaps in various job roles across the sector that require formal education. It was felt that a national institute alone can address this. Thus, India’s premier media training institution—the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC)—has been entrusted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting with the responsibility of setting up the National Centre of Excellence (NCoE) for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC). The Government of Maharashtra has allotted 20 acres of land in Mumbai’s Goregaon Film City for the campus.

The Centre is envisioned “to become one of the leading institutes globally, by offering world-class education and training in the field of animation, visual effects, gaming and comics industry and proactively engaging with the industry”. The project, approved under the 12th Plan Scheme, has been given a financial allocation of `167.70 crores from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Of this, `65 crore is earmarked as ‘corpus fund’ for running the Centre during the initial years.

Once established, the proposed NCoE would impart world-class UG, PG education, doctoral programme and short-term courses in different disciplines of the AVGC sector. It will offer a research-intensive programme and create labs and tie-ups with technological majors to make it a reference site for the industry. There are also plans to set up an incubation center for the AVGC sector and to provide opportunities for small players to grow.

The Centre will also run a student internship programme where the students shall gain the first-hand experience of working on live assignments. Once fully operational, the total student strength is expected to be around 1470 while the total faculty strength will be around 85.

The institute will be run by a private operating partner to be selected through a competitive bidding process, while the government will set up infrastructure: buildings, lab, etc. An international partner will also be selected to provide world-class inputs. The NCoE is yet another example of how the government is looking beyond the conventional courses to enable and facilitate local talent to gain global exposure and turn India into a production hub for world cinema as against the present trend of Indians seeking global collaboration.

Recently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the UGC gave a Letter of Intent to the IIMC for deemed to be university status under De Novo Category wherein the prestigious institute would be able to offer postgraduate and doctoral programmes in hitherto unexplored areas. India will have to think out of the box and venture into horizons beyond medicine, engineering and IT to meet the ever-growing challenges in education and employment.―The New Indian Express

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