G D Khosla Report, 1969

The film industry in India grosses a total revenue of Rs 13,800 crore ($2.1 billion), and it has grown at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 10% in the last couple of years. It is expected to grow at 11.5% year-on-year, reaching the total gross realization of Rs 23,800 crore ($3.7 billion) by 2020.

In this article, we’ll discuss how this is related to the UPSC Syllabus and what role it plays in the preparation of the Civil Services examination.

Despite many hurdles, the Indian film industry is largest in the world in terms of a number of films produced. India produces 1,500-2,000 films every year in more than 20 languages playing a noticeable role in the economy.

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What is Film Censorship?

In India, films can be publicly exhibited only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC.) CBFC is a statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.

  • However, in the last few months, several filmmakers have complained of arbitrary “suggested” cuts or objections by CBFC.
  • The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression but places certain restrictions on content, with a view towards maintaining communal and religious harmony, given the history of communal tension in the nation.
  • Objectionable content includes anything that threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order; as per the Information Technology Rules 2011.

Khosla Committee- The Report on Film Censorship

The Enquiry Committee on Film Censorship headed by Justice (Retd.) GD Khosla, which submitted its report in 1969 wished to discard the domination of the central government on film censorship.

  • The Committee envisaged an “independent and autonomous Board of Film Censors” headed by a chairperson with status and ranking of a High Court Judge.
  • Rigid censorship code, a constant fear of interference by the Central Government and the resultant ‘lack of responsibility’ of examining committee members were recognized as the ‘most important defects destroying the efficiency of the Board’.
  • Accordingly, it recommended the scrapping of ‘advisory panels’ appointed under governmental patronage and said that the ‘Board members’ themselves shall examine and certify the films assuming full responsibility.
  • Further, the Committee proposed that the film certification guidelines shall be drawn up by the Board itself and not as a diktat of the Central Government.

Also read, List of High courts in India in the linked article.

According to the Khosla Committee report, there have been some minor developments in the years with respect to films and cinematography:

  • Films must now carry no-smoking advisories.
  • And it’s almost impossible to shoot a scene with a live animal.

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