Films will form a crucial component in a new thrust to bilateral ties between India and Afghanistan who have signed a MoU on capacity building in the information and broadcasting sectors. “A process has also been initiated to facilitate the flow of films from India into Afghanistan,” the official release said marking the first ever such venture being initiated by India with a neighbouring country.
Indian films, particularly from Bollywood, have a huge following in Afghanistan. The MoU, signed by I&B minister Ambika Soni and Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Afghanistan’s minister for information and culture, will seek to tackle a range of issues including media policies and strategies, development of an independent and free press in Afghanistan, development and standardization of media related programmes, graphic designing, production of documentaries and films and other related areas.
Soni said this new initiative would be a platform for development of media policies and strategies between the two countries. Key Indian policies related to digitalization, self-regulation, content management, innovative programming with regard to outreach programmes at the grassroots, were also highlighted during the exchange. At present, Afghanistan has 35 TV channels, 150 FM radio channels and 1500 newspapers. India has 706 operational TV channels.