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Creative Economy: Opportunities and Challenges

  • 25 Sep 2023
  • 11 min read

This editorial is based on the Article Creative industries can boost economies which was published in The Hindustan Times on 23/09/2023. It talks about the significance and impact of creative industries in India.

The arts, music, film, theater, festivals, literature, crafts and the stories they hold aren’t just forms of entertainment; they represent our identities and lived experiences, drive employment and build understanding and empathy between people. The Prime Minister in his opening address to the G20 Culture Ministers’ summit in Varanasi spoke of the value artists and craft workers contribute to the economic success of creative industries. And the G20 Leaders Declaration emphasizes how culture is a key driver of the SDGs.

What is meant by the Creative Industries?

  • The creative industries are a group of economic activities that are based on original ideas. They include businesses that are centered around creativity, such as:
    • Design, Music, Publishing, Architecture, Film and video, Crafts, Visual arts, Fashion, TV and radio, Yoga, Literature, Computer games, etc.
  • The creative industries are also known as the cultural industries or the creative economy.

What is the Significance of Creative Industries?

  • Creative industries are a significant source of commercial and cultural value in India.
  • They contribute to 3.1% of global GDP and are estimated to contribute about 8% of India's employment.
  • Estimates suggest that India’s creative economy accounts for an overall market size of about $36.2 billion.
    • In 2019, India's creative economy accounted for 121 billion of exports.
  • In the pre-Covid period, India’s creative industries contributed 2.5% to India’s GDP.
  • India is also among the top 10 countries stimulating global trade in creative goods and services, and is the world’s largest producer of films (2022).
  • Creative industries can help with:
    • Job creation
    • Economic growth
    • Tourism
    • Exports
    • Overall societal development
    • Sustainable human development

What are the Benefits of Creative Industries?

  • Job Creation and Income Generation: The creative industries are a significant source of jobs and income, particularly for young and talented individuals. According to a 2023 report by the Asian Development Bank, the creative industries contribute nearly 8% of India's employment.
  • Spillover Effects on the Wider Economy: The creative industries generate important spillovers to various sectors of the economy, including innovation, tourism, education, and urban development. These industries drive innovation by promoting creativity, experimentation, and collaboration across different sectors and disciplines.
  • Tourism Boost: The creative industries attract tourists and visitors who engage in cultural experiences, spending on cultural goods and services, accommodations, transportation, and other related activities. This influx of tourists contributes significantly to India's tourism industry and the broader economy.
  • Education and Skills Development: Creative industries play a pivotal role in education and skills development. They provide learning opportunities and enhance cultural awareness and diversity. Creative educational programs nurture talent and offer pathways for skill development in various artistic and technical fields.
  • Urban Development: Creative industries can revitalize urban areas by creating vibrant and attractive spaces for cultural and social interaction. Cultural hubs, theaters, galleries, and entertainment districts contribute to the overall livability of cities and can spur economic development in these areas.
  • Promotion of India's Heritage and Resources: Creative industries serve as a platform to showcase India's rich and diverse culture, history, and traditions, both domestically and internationally. They also leverage India's abundant natural and human resources, such as biodiversity, craftsmanship, and entrepreneurship.
  • Global Branding and Soft Power: By exporting creative goods and services, India can increase its brand value and influence consumer choices in the global market. The creative industries enhance India's soft power by facilitating cross-cultural exchange and knowledge sharing with other countries, strengthening diplomatic and cultural ties.

What are the Challenges before Creative Industries?

  • Policy Neglect: Creative industries often remain on the sidelines of national and state policies, lacking priority status. Poor coordination among relevant ministries exacerbates the issue.
  • Infrastructure Deficiencies: Inadequate infrastructure, encompassing transportation, digital networks, and basic amenities, disrupts creative goods and services' production, distribution, and mobility for workers and consumers.
  • Data Deficiency: A shortage of reliable data regarding the size, impact, and contribution of India's creative industries hampers sector development, policymaking, and recognition.
  • Funding Struggles: Securing financial support is a challenge for creative industries, with limited, irregular public funding and risk-averse private investment. Innovative financing mechanisms like crowdfunding and venture capital are underutilized.
  • Intellectual Property Vulnerability: The creative sector faces threats from piracy, counterfeiting, and IP rights infringement, both online and offline. Outdated legal frameworks and a lack of awareness hinder the protection and enforcement of creative rights.

What are Some initiatives taken to Promote Creative Industries?

  • The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is a public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that aims to plan, promote, and organize an integrated and efficient development of the Indian film industry.
  • The National Institute of Design (NID) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that offers education, research, consultancy, and outreach services in various domains of design.
  • The Scheme for Promotion of Culture of Science (SPoCS) is a scheme under the Ministry of Culture that aims to foster a culture of science, technology, and innovation among the masses, especially the youth, through various activities such as science festivals, exhibitions, competitions, workshops, and camps.
  • The Scheme for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Dance (SPIC MACAY) is a voluntary movement that organizes programmes of classical music and dance, folk arts, crafts, yoga, meditation, and cinema in schools, colleges, and institutions across the country to enrich the quality of formal education and increase awareness of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of India.
  • The International Cooperation (IC) Scheme is a scheme under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) that aims to enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs by providing financial assistance for participating in international exhibitions, trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, and other promotional events.
  • The UNESCO’s Creative City Network is a program that helps cities to share best practices and develop partnerships involving public and private sectors as well as civil society to strengthen the creation, production, and distribution of cultural activities.
    • Under this program, Mumbai has been designated as Creative City of Films and Hyderabad as a Creative City of Gastronomy.
      • Earlier, Indian cities like Chennai and Varanasi have been included in UNESCO Cities of Music while Jaipur has been included in the City of Crafts and Folk Arts.

What should be done to Promote Creative Industries?

  • Leveraging the diversity and richness of India’s cultural heritage and traditions to create unique and authentic products and services that appeal to both domestic and global markets.
    • For example, developing new forms of storytelling, music, dance, art, design, and crafts that reflect the pluralism and dynamism of India’s society and history.
  • Promoting the use of digital technologies and platforms to enhance the accessibility, quality, and innovation of creative outputs.
    • For example, using animation, visual effects, gaming, and immersive media to create engaging and interactive experiences for various audiences and sectors.
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration and co-creation among different stakeholders in the creative economy, such as artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, educators, policymakers, and consumers.
    • For example, establishing networks, hubs, and clusters that facilitate knowledge exchange, skill development, and resource sharing among creative practitioners and industries.
  • Addressing the challenges and gaps in the creative economy, such as the lack of data, policy support, intellectual property protection, and financing.
    • For example, conducting more research on the creative industries, developing more conducive policies, strengthening the enforcement and awareness of IP rights, and providing more access to funding and investment opportunities.

Drishti Mains Question:

Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the growth of creative industries in the context of India. Also, suggest measures to harness the full potential of creative industries for national development.

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