Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification

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In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government has appointed Sh. Prasoon Joshi as 28th Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August, 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Prasoon Joshi is the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific). He replaced Pahlaj Nihalani as CBFC chairperson.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) (often referred to as the Censor Board) is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

It is tasked with “regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952”. Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they are certified by the Board, including films shown on television.

Other members of the Censor Board will be Vidya Balan, Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra, Neil Herbert, Vivek Agnihotri, TS Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripathi, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta.

Prasoon Joshi was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2015. He has written lyrics for songs in Bollywood films such as Lajja, Fanaa, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Black and Delhi 6 etc.

The Board consist of 25 other non-official members and a Chairperson (all of whom are appointed by Central Government).

The Board functions with its headquarters at Mumbai. It has nine Regional offices each at:

Bangalore
Chennai
Cuttack
Guwahati
Hyderabad
Kolkata
Mumbai
New Delhi
Thiruvananthapuram

The Regional Offices are assisted in the examination of films by Advisory Panels.

Full List of Chairpersons of CBFC:

No. Name From To
1 C S Aggarwal 15 January 1951 14 June 1954
2 B D Mirchandani 15 June 1954 9 June 1955
3 M D Bhatt 10 June 1955 21 November 1959
4 D L Kothari 22 November 1959 24 March 1960
5 B D Mirchandani 25 March 1960 1 November 1960
6 D L Kothari 2 November 1960 22 April 1965
7 B P Bhatt 23 April 1965 22 April 1968
8 R P Nayak 31 April 1968 15 November 1969
9 M V Desai 12 December 1969 19 October 1970
10 R Srinivasan 20 October 1970 15 November 1971
11 Virendra Vyas 11 February 1972 30 June 1976
12 K L Khandpur 1 July 1976 31 January 1981
13 Hrishikesh Mukherjee 1 February 1981 10 August 1982
14 Aparna Mohile 11 August 1982 14 March 1983
15 Sharad Upasani 15 March 1983 9 May 1983
16 Surresh Mathur 10 May 1983 7 July 1983
17 Vikram Singh 8 July 1983 19 February 1989
18 Moreshwar Vanmali 20 February 1989 25 April 1990
19 B P Singhal 25 April 1990 1 April 1991
20 Shakti Samanta 1 April 1991 25 June 1998
21 Asha Parekh 25 June 1998 25 September 2001
22 Vijay Anand 26 September 2001 19 July 2002
23 Arvind Trivedi 20 July 2002 16 October 2003
24 Anupam Kher 16 October 2003 13 October 2004
25 Sharmila Tagore 13 October 2004 31 March 2011
26 Leela Samson 1 April 2011 16 January 2015
27 Pahlaj Nihalani 19 January 2015 11 August 2017
28 Prasoon Joshi 12 August 2017 Present

Certificates by Censor Board:

Films are certified under 4 categories. Initially, there were only two categories of certificates – “U” (unrestricted public exhibition) and “A” (restricted to adult audiences). Two more categories were added in June 1983 – “U/A” (unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of twelve) and “S” (restricted to specialized audiences such as doctors or scientists). In addition to these certifications the board may also refuse to certify.

U (Unrestricted Public Exhibition):

Films with the U certification are fit for unrestricted public exhibition, and are family friendly. These films can contain universal themes like education, family, drama, romance, sci-fi, action etc. Now, these films can also contain some mild violence, but it should not be prolonged. It may also contain very mild sexual scenes (without any traces of nudity or sexual detail).

U/A (Parental Guidance for children below the age of 12 years):

Films with the U/A certification can contain moderate adult themes, that are not strong in nature and can be watched by a child under parental guidance. These films can contain some strong violence, moderate sex (without any traces of nudity or sexual detail), frightening scenes and muted abusive and filthy language.

A (Restricted to adults):

Films with the A certification are available for public exhibition, but with restriction to adults. These films can contain heavily strong violence, strong sex (but full frontal and rear nudity is not allowed usually), strong abusive language (but words which insults or degrades women are not allowed), and even some controversial and adult themes considered unsuitable for young viewers. Such films are often recertified for TV and video viewing, which doesn’t happen in case of U and U/A certified movies.

S (Restricted to any special class of persons):

Films with S certification should not be viewed by the public. Only people associated with it (Engineers, Doctors, Scientists, etc.), have permission to watch those films.

Additionally, V/U, V/UA, V/A are used for video releases with U, U/A and A carrying the same meaning as above.

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