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Taking the Temperature: A Roadmap for Recovery

This research has been developed by the British Council, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Art X Company

The ‘Taking the Temperature’ research is a first-of-its-kind, landmark longitudinal report on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on India's creative economy.

The research has been developed by the British Council, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Art X Company. Direct input to this final report has been provided by the Smart Cube consultancy.

This report, for the very first time, gives the size and scale of the creative economy and its contribution of the culture industries to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and wealth creation in India. This is the third and final 'Taking the Temperature' report of a three-phased tracer study. The report provides a consolidated mapping, through three consecutive surveys, of how India's culture sector has been responding to the pandemic and related lockdowns from March 2020 to November 2021.

The first edition of ‘Taking the Temperature’ report provided a snapshot of the situation in India since Covid-19 and the lockdowns, the second edition of the ‘Taking the Temperature’ report looks at the depth and scale of the impact of the pandemic, and studies the developments, actions, and recommendations that will strengthen the creative economy.

Taking the Temperature report 3 - the final report of the series - tracks the longitudinal impact of the pandemic on the creative industry and identifies a way ahead in a systematic and sustainable roadmap for recovery. The research records major changes to the sectors and businesses precipitated by the pandemic in India.

Key research findings:

The creative economy in India includes industries in arts and culture festivals, performing arts, crafts, visual arts, design, film and video, literature and publishing, museums, galleries and public monuments, AI, VR and gaming, broadcast and digital.

49% of creative sectors have not been able to keep creative businesses and artistic programmes running in the financial year 2020-21
39% recession in creative industries to INR 30,400 crores in 2020-2021
50% of creative sectors reported 51% or more loss in annual revenue in financial year 2020-21
82% confirmed the pandemic impacted their income

Recommending a roadmap for recovery: governance, infrastructure, and self-reliance

  • Establish a cross-government department and states from the 14 Ministries that have a mandate for arts and culture in India*. This can take the form of a Creative Economy Task Force' (CETF) to coordinate and plan a comprehensive and substantial package of emergency and long-term investment across arts and culture sectors.

  • Develop a mid and long-term national policy for the creative industries and arts enterprise.

  • A national media campaign showcasing the arts and culture and its impact on the creative economy, livelihoods and a self-reliant ambitious future-facing Indian economy.

  • Maximise the potential of technology and AI through informal education networks to enable livelihoods for artists, entrepreneurs and arts innovators.

  • Government emergency grant-in-aid for MSMEs, to enable them to survive and rebuild with priority to organisations that have sold assets or face permanent closure.

  • A comprehensive national skills campaign across urban and rural geographies for creative MSMEs in digital and technological skills, business development, marketing and communication capacity.

  • The CETF comprising bureaucrats and politicians from the central government and states of India and major stakeholders to inaugurate a major ground-breaking international creative economy conference, convening public and private partnerships across government.

  • Establish sector specific management self-help groups and management organisations and city-wide enterprise zones and clusters in performing arts, festivals, literature and publishing, visual arts, galleries and museums, crafts, CreaTech and start-ups.

  • Review the regulatory framework to strengthen the export and import market for creative goods and services and reduce barriers to entry. - Embed tax coding of the creative industries in the formal economy through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council.

  • Review the CSR framework to develop a systematic inclusion for private investment and build a system o philanthropy for arts and culture.

  • Establish arms-length bodies (ALBs) to strengthen and invest in arts and culture through a partnership of public and private investors.

  • Identify common sectoral barriers to market access through policy change and implementation of innovative schemes in the regulatory framework to strengthen routes to the market.


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