Govt needs to pave way for formal media education

Mumbai: While the M&E sector may be witnessing stupendous growth, the fact of the matter is that talent is truly scarce. The government needs to play an active role in making the media and entertainment education mainstream.
In addition, the industry along with the government needs to invest in education at all levels to attract the crème of the Indian youth towards the media industry. The focus needs to be on developing creative and learning potential, not just training of skills and tools.
"While there is a huge demand and opportunities galore, the industry doesn’t find them easily employable," said Graphiti Animation director K Pandyan.
In a session titled Talent crunch in the M&E sector at FICCI FRAMES, Whistling Woods International director Meghna Ghai Puri said, "The industry is fast changing, audience is fragmented and their demands are changing. The need for professional talent is being felt increasingly."
As compared to the US, where there are 2,200 film courses being offered, in India these can be counted on one’s fingers. "This parity is not justified, especially keeping in mind India’s population and culture," Ghai said.
Stressing on the role the government can play, Ghai said, "The government can play a huge role here. In India, education is extremely regulated. We need to de-regulate it as India is a very dynamic country. There is also a strong need for more industry-driven institutes. Apart from that if media and film courses are integrated at the primary level education itself, it will be beneficial in creating talent."
University of Abertay, Scotland professor Lachlan MacKinnon added, "Media and entertainment industry is not looked upon by people as ‘real jobs’, and hence there are funding issues. Additionally, there is a lack of properly designed courses offering appropriate skill sets across the cycle. The lack of engagement between the industry and academia also needs to be bridged."
MacKinnon further added that there was no support for creativity and origination in education and training programs. Concurring with Ghai, he said that the media industry was also facing a talent crunch because of the lack of government and infrastructural support.
Crest Animation vice president Raj Shekhar said, "There is a need to understand the talent crunch problem first before getting down to solve it. Moreover, talent cannot be created. You can create skilled people but not talented ones."