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Amazon India and the Ministry of I&B collaborate to promote talent, showcase Indian content on global stage

With an emphasis on talent development and promoting made-in-India content to international audiences, the ministry of information and broadcasting and Amazon India have signed an agreement for collaboration in the media and entertainment space.

Prime Video and miniTV, two subscription-based and advertising-driven streaming services owned by Amazon, will offer internships and scholarships to students from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and FTII in addition to organising workshops for film students across India with help from the ministry.

Amazon will allow Indian talent to put their profiles on IMDb, the company’s online storehouse of data about movies, television shows, podcasts, and online games. The two streaming services will also feature content from Doordarshan and NFDC (National Film Development Corporation). The Publications Division of MIB will soon have a separate storefront on Amazon for its journals and books. News updates from state broadcaster Prasar Bharti will be made available via Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. Moreover, Alexa and Amazon Music will offer Prasar Bharti music.

“The M&E sector has attracted significant foreign capital in recent times with major global production houses and OTT players entering the Indian market. India has a strong resource base which has requires upskilling with the emerging needs of our times,” according to I&B minister Anurag Thakur.

Thakur emphasised that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 have been published to ensure self-regulation and self-classification by OTT platforms, but he also stressed the significance of services not encouraging profanity and abuse in the name of creative expression.

Early in 2021, Prime Video had drawn the attention of the government with programmes like Tandav, a political drama starring Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kapadia that had to change some of its content due to claims that it offended religious sentiments.

“Our rich cultural diversity offers immense potential, to drive a thriving creative economy and further India’s soft- power, internationally. Our holistic collaboration with MIB, looks at every life stage and every-corner of integration to stimulate the growth of the industry, and we are very optimistic of the pathways that it will create,” Gaurav Gandhi, vice-president, Asia-Pacific, Prime Video said in a statement.

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