IRPS Officer Rakesh Kumar takes over as CEO of CBFC

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has finally got a new CEO.  An Officer of Indian Railways Personnel Services (IRPS) Rakesh Kumar took over the reins of the all-important body which regulates the functioning of the film industry on Friday.

“I took charge only today. I will need at least a week to understand the job and decide on what I can do and should be doing,” Rakesh Kumar told soon after taking charge.

It will not be smooth sailing for Rakesh Kumar because the Indian film industry has been very critical of the CBFC for the way it censors films. The CBFC has had to take a lot of criticism for the “dos and don’ts” which it gives to the industry in the form of advises. Top film makers have challenged the decision of the CBFC in the way films are censored and dragged it to court.

It took some time for the union ministry of information and broadcasting to appoint someone as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CBFC while putting Manish Desai of PIB as in-charge. However, even though Rakesh Kumar, a Sr.DPO on the Indian Railways was appointed in November 2013 itself, he took charge on Friday.

Like his predecessor Pankaja Thakur, Rakesh Kumar is also a rank outsider in the sense that he has not worked as a regional officer in CBFC, to have had some knowledge about film censorship. It is learnt that a film-related diploma that he has added to his profile. It may be mentioned here that the previous CEO Pankaja Thakur has gone back to her parent department – customs and central excise – after she completed her three-year tenure as CEO. Rakesh Kumar will also have a three-year term to serve.

While the CBFC finally has a CEO, it is finding it difficult to get the right candidates for selection as regional officers in various locations. As a result of candidates not fulfilling the required criteria, the posts of regional officers for Mumbai, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram have yet to be filled. However, in-charge officers have been temporarily appointed from those belonging to the Indian Information Service (IIS).

It is learnt that the ministry got several applications for the regional officers posts but the applicants did not fit the bill. The ministry has now begun the process of once again calling for applications.