Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore and I&B Secretary Shri Sunil Arora on 9 January 2016 held wide ranging interaction with the recently constituted Shyam Benegal Committee in Mumbai. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on January 1st, 2016, constituted an Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Shri Shyam Benegal to recommend broad guidelines for certification of films by the Central Board of Film Certification, CBFC.
Members of the Committee – noted filmmaker Shri. Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, advertising & communication expert Shri Piyush Pandey, veteran film journalist Ms. Bhawana Somayaa, NFDC Managing Director Ms. Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary, Films, Shri Sanjay Murthy were present.
Shri Arun Jaitley observed that in most countries of the world there is a mechanism for certifying films and documentaries, but it has to be ensured that in doing so, artistic creativity and freedom do not get curtailed. He also said that the film certification guidelines needs contemporary interpretation and they should be made as non discretionary as possible.
Minister of State, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore expressed confidence that the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Shri Shyam Benegal would provide a holistic framework for interpretation of the provisions of Cinematograph Act and Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the CBFC Screening Committee.
Shri Shyam Benegal said there is a need to move towards a new system of grading films in terms of age, maturity, sensibility and sensitivity instead of censorship.
Shyam Benegal Committee will study the existing procedure being followed by CBFC for certification of original films, their dubbed versions as well as recertification of films for screening on other media platforms. The Committee will also study various directives of courts as well as notifications issued by other Government agencies like Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Animal Welfare Board of India etc, which have a bearing on the process of film certification. The staffing pattern of CBFC would also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework which would provide transparent, user friendly services.