How to Become a Censor Board Member in India

how to become a censor board member in india

Becoming a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), commonly known as the Censor Board, is a prestigious position that involves a multifaceted selection process.

The CBFC plays a critical role in India’s film industry by regulating the public exhibition of movies, television shows, and other forms of visual media.

The board operates under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, following guidelines set by the Cinematograph Act of 1952.

Members of the board are responsible for reviewing and certifying content based on various factors, such as suitability for different age groups, adherence to legal guidelines, and alignment with societal norms.

The path to becoming a board member involves meeting specific qualifications, undergoing a rigorous application process, and often leveraging professional and sometimes political networks.

Once appointed, members have a set of responsibilities and ethical guidelines they are expected to adhere to.

Here is a detailed outline that covers the various aspects of becoming a Censor Board member in India, from the qualifications required to the responsibilities one must undertake once appointed.


The qualifications needed to become a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) or the Censor Board in India can vary, but there are some general attributes and backgrounds that are often considered beneficial.

Below are some of the key qualifications commonly taken into account:


  • Basic Requirement: Being a citizen of India is generally the most basic qualification for becoming a board member.

Educational Background

  • Subject Matter: While there may not be a strict educational requirement, having an academic background in relevant fields like film studies, media, law, or social sciences can enhance your credentials.
  • Level of Education: The educational level (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.) could be a factor depending on the specific requirements of the CBFC at the time of application.

Industry Experience

  • Relevant Fields: Experience in film production, distribution, media, academics, law, or social services is generally considered an asset.
  • Years of Experience: The number of years you’ve worked in these fields could be a factor, though specific requirements can vary.

Age Limit

  • Minimum Age: There’s often a minimum age requirement to be considered for the position. Though it can vary, you generally need to be above 21 years of age.

Moral and Ethical Standards

  • Criminal Record: A clean criminal record is generally essential, as the position demands a high level of ethical and moral integrity.
  • Reputation: A good standing in your professional community can enhance your chances, as it adds credibility and reliability to your profile.

Additional Skills

  • Communication: Effective communication skills are often necessary given that the role may involve deliberation and negotiation.
  • Analytical Skills: Given that you’ll be reviewing and certifying media, the ability to analyze content objectively and fairly is crucial.

Special Qualifications

  • Certifications or Publications: Any professional certifications or publications in related fields could make you a more appealing candidate.

Keep in mind that these are general qualifications, and the exact requirements may differ based on the specific guidelines and rules set forth by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or the CBFC itself.

The better your qualifications match with the expectations and requirements of the board, the higher your chances are of being considered for the role.

Steps to Apply

The steps to apply for becoming a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), or the Censor Board, in India generally involve a structured, bureaucratic procedure.

Below are the key stages you’re likely to encounter during the application process:

Keep Updated

  1. Official Channels: Stay vigilant for notifications or announcements regarding vacancies on the board, which might be posted on the CBFC’s official website, or through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  2. Media and Publications: Sometimes, announcements are made in newspapers and other media outlets.

Prepare Your Resume/CV

  1. Relevant Information: Your CV should highlight your educational background, experience, skills, and any other qualifications relevant to the role.
  2. Focus on Experience: Make sure you emphasize any professional experience that aligns closely with the expected qualifications, such as roles in film production, media, academics, or social services.

Collect Recommendations

  1. Seek Endorsements: Letters of recommendation or endorsements from professionals in related fields can strengthen your application.
  2. Relevant Contacts: Contacts from academia, the film industry, and even political circles, can offer recommendations that make your application stand out.

Application Submission

  1. Official Forms: Fill out the application form, if provided, adhering strictly to guidelines.
  2. Required Documents: Attach all the required documents like educational certificates, work experience certificates, recommendation letters, and any other relevant material.
  3. Submission Method: Submit your application through the official channels specified, which could be online, by mail, or in person.


  1. Notification: If your application is shortlisted, you may be notified for the next steps, which could include an interview or a screening process.
  2. Preparation: Prepare for the interview by brushing up on relevant laws, guidelines, and ethical considerations related to film certification.

Security Clearance

  1. Background Check: Expect to undergo a background check to verify your credentials and criminal record.
  2. Documentation: You might need to submit additional documents for this stage.

Await Decision

  1. Selection Panel: Your application and interview performance will be reviewed by a selection panel, which often includes high-ranking officials and experts in related fields.
  2. Notification: You will be notified of the decision. If selected, you may receive an appointment letter detailing the terms of your role.

It’s important to adhere closely to the most current guidelines and rules specified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or the CBFC. The exact process may vary and is subject to changes, so always refer to the latest available information.


Networking is a crucial component of the process to become a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in India, commonly known as the Censor Board.

Networking can provide opportunities for mentorship, partnerships, and career development that might not be available through formal channels. Here’s how you can leverage networking:

Industry Circles

  1. Film Festivals and Events: Attend industry-related events, such as film festivals, premieres, or academic conferences to meet professionals in the field.
  2. Professional Associations: Join organizations and associations related to film, media, or relevant academic disciplines to meet like-minded professionals.
  3. Social Media: Follow and engage with professionals in the film industry and relevant government organizations on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Political Connections

  1. Local Representatives: Establish relationships with local government representatives or MPs who might have a say in appointments or be able to provide recommendations.
  2. Party Affiliations: Sometimes being a member or an associate of a political party can offer networking opportunities that may be beneficial in this context.
  3. Bureaucrats: Having connections with influential bureaucrats, especially those in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, can be beneficial.

Public Service

  1. NGOs and Social Groups: Active participation in NGOs or social causes related to media, freedom of expression, and culture can bring you into contact with influencers in the field.
  2. Community Service: Showing a commitment to public welfare through various forms of community service can make you a more appealing candidate and broaden your network.


  1. Seek Guidance: If possible, seek mentors who have experience in the CBFC or similar organizations. Their advice can be invaluable in navigating the application process and understanding the role’s responsibilities.
  2. Offer Mentorship: On the flip side, providing mentorship or guidance to others in your field can also strengthen your network and improve your reputation.

Alumni Networks

  1. Stay Connected: Leverage your academic connections, including professors and alumni who may have experience or connections in film, media, law, or government.
  2. Alumni Events: Attend alumni meetings and functions to keep your network active and to learn about any new opportunities.

Informational Interviews

  1. Approach Experts: Don’t hesitate to request informational interviews with professionals in the film industry or related legal fields. These are generally informal conversations where you can ask for advice and insights.

By actively networking, you not only improve your chances of being considered for a CBFC position, but you also equip yourself with the knowledge and perspectives that can help you excel in the role if you are appointed.


Once you have successfully navigated the application process, undergone any interviews or screenings, and cleared security checks, the next step is your formal appointment to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), commonly known as the Censor Board, in India. Here’s what you should know about the appointment phase:

Letter of Appointment

  1. Official Communication: You’ll receive an official letter of appointment from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or the CBFC, detailing the terms of your appointment.
  2. Terms and Conditions: This letter will often specify the length of your term, any remuneration or allowances, and other terms and conditions you’ll need to agree to.

Taking the Oath

  1. Formality: Before formally assuming your duties, you might be required to take an oath of office.
  2. Ethical Guidelines: The oath usually includes pledging to uphold the law, adhere to the guidelines set forth by the CBFC, and maintain ethical conduct.

Training and Orientation

  1. Induction Program: Some boards may offer or require new members to go through an orientation or training program to familiarize them with the operational procedures, ethical considerations, and responsibilities.
  2. Legal Briefings: Given that you’ll be involved in interpreting and applying laws and guidelines, a legal briefing might be part of the orientation.


  1. Review Duties: You’ll be responsible for reviewing and certifying films and other forms of media. This is the core function of the CBFC.
  2. Meetings: Expect to attend regular meetings where you’ll discuss policies, procedures, and specific cases.
  3. Committees: You may also be placed on specific committees or sub-committees within the board, focused on particular aspects like appeals, policy revisions, or public engagement.

Code of Conduct

  1. Ethical Standards: You are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards, maintaining confidentiality and impartiality.
  2. Conflict of Interest: Any potential conflict of interest must be declared and properly managed.

Term Length and Renewal

  1. Duration: The term length for a CBFC member can vary but is usually specified in the appointment letter.
  2. Reappointment: Depending on your performance and the board’s needs, there may be an option for term renewal, often requiring a separate application or review process.

Resignation and Termination

  1. Exit Procedure: Should you need to resign for any reason, there is usually a formal procedure to follow.
  2. Termination: Your term can also be terminated by the appointing authority under certain conditions, usually specified in the terms of appointment.

Being appointed to the CBFC is both an honor and a responsibility.

It gives you a role in shaping the media landscape of the country while ensuring that content aligns with legal and societal norms.

Given the importance and sensitivity of the role, adhering to the terms of your appointment and conducting yourself with the highest standards of professionalism and ethics is essential.

On the Job

Once you’re appointed as a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), commonly known as the Censor Board, your job will be multifaceted, involving a combination of analytical skills, ethical judgments, and collaborative efforts. Below are some of the key aspects you’ll encounter on the job:

Content Review

  1. Screening: You’ll participate in the screening of movies, TV shows, and other types of visual media submitted for certification.
  2. Criteria Assessment: Evaluate the content based on set criteria, such as violence, profanity, cultural sensitivity, and legal guidelines.
  3. Rating Assignment: You’ll contribute to determining what rating to assign to the content based on its suitability for different age groups.

Committee Meetings

  1. Regular Convenings: You’ll attend meetings with other board members to discuss pending certifications, policy changes, and other administrative matters.
  2. Panel Discussions: Some decisions may require more extensive deliberation and are often settled through panel discussions among committee members.

Administrative Work

  1. Documentation: Maintain meticulous records of screenings, decisions, and certifications.
  2. Legal Compliance: Ensure that all decisions are in compliance with the Cinematograph Act of 1952, and any subsequent amendments or rules.

Public Relations

  1. Press Interaction: Depending on your role and authorization, you might need to interact with the media to explain certain decisions made by the board.
  2. Stakeholder Communication: Engage with filmmakers, producers, and distributors to clarify certification decisions and provide guidelines for acceptable content.

Continuous Learning

  1. Policy Updates: Laws and societal norms are not static. You’ll need to stay updated on changes to laws, regulations, and cultural sentiments.
  2. Training: Sometimes additional training sessions or workshops are organized to keep board members updated on new technologies or legal frameworks.

Ethical Conduct

  1. Impartiality: You must review content impartially, without letting personal beliefs or outside pressures influence your decisions.
  2. Confidentiality: Maintain strict confidentiality regarding internal discussions and certification decisions until they are officially made public.

Special Committees

  1. Sub-committees: You may be asked to serve on special sub-committees that focus on revising guidelines, hearing appeals, or other specialized functions.
  2. Task Forces: Occasionally, task forces are set up for specific issues, like combating film piracy or evaluating emergent technologies affecting film certification.

Term Review and Renewal

  1. Performance Evaluation: Your performance may be periodically reviewed based on your adherence to guidelines, effectiveness in decision-making, and ethical conduct.
  2. Reappointment: Depending on your term length and performance, you might be considered for reappointment.

Serving on the CBFC offers a unique blend of responsibilities, requiring both subject matter expertise and a deep understanding of cultural and societal norms.

It’s a role that not only grants you a say in the kind of content that gets disseminated but also places upon you the onus of making decisions that align with the laws and values of the nation.

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Becoming a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), or the Censor Board, in India is a complex yet rewarding journey that involves a blend of qualifications, application processes, and responsibilities.

Candidates generally need a strong background in fields related to film, media, law, or social sciences, along with a demonstrated commitment to ethical conduct.

The application process itself is bureaucratic and might include several steps ranging from resume preparation and submission to interviews and background checks.

Networking can play a crucial role in navigating this process effectively, offering insights, recommendations, and possible endorsements that could bolster your application.

Once appointed, the job is multifaceted. Board members are entrusted with the critical task of reviewing and certifying media content, balancing societal norms, legal guidelines, and artistic freedom.

The role includes administrative tasks, team collaboration, continuous learning, and upholding a high standard of ethical conduct.

Committee meetings, public relations, and possible specialization in sub-committees or task forces add layers of complexity to the role.


As of my last update in September 2021, there are various resources you might consider for a more in-depth understanding of how to become a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in India, what the job entails, and what qualifications are necessary.


  1. CBFC Official Website: This is your primary source for official information, including announcements about vacancies.
  2. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India: This ministry oversees the CBFC, and their website might contain relevant information.


  1. Film Censorship in India: A book that provides comprehensive insights into the role of censorship in Indian cinema.
  2. Indian Film Industry: General books on the Indian film industry might provide context for the work that the CBFC does.

Academic Journals:

  1. Research papers and articles often publish studies related to media regulation, censorship, and the role of boards like the CBFC.
    • Example journals include “Media, Culture & Society” and “The International Journal on Media Management”.


  1. LinkedIn: Many professionals in the field are active on LinkedIn, and some may have experience with the CBFC or similar boards.
  2. Film Festivals and Industry Conferences: These events often feature experts in media law, film production, and government roles related to the film industry.

News Outlets:

  1. News websites often cover significant decisions made by the CBFC and might feature interviews with board members.

Social Media:

  1. Twitter: Following CBFC or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Twitter can provide timely updates.
  2. YouTube: There may be interviews or panel discussions featuring current or former CBFC members, providing insights into their roles and responsibilities.
  1. The Cinematograph Act, 1952: The foundational legal document that outlines the CBFC’s authority and responsibilities.

Remember, the information in this field changes, and the exact steps and qualifications can be subject to amendments in the law or changes in policy, so it’s crucial to refer to the most current official resources.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the CBFC?

The Central Board of Film Certification is the regulatory body for film content in India. It is responsible for reviewing and certifying films before they can be publicly exhibited.

Who oversees the CBFC?

The CBFC falls under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

What qualifications do I need to become a CBFC member?

While specific qualifications can vary, a strong background in fields related to film, media, law, or social sciences is usually preferred, along with a good understanding of cultural and societal norms.

Do I need to have a background in film or media?

Although it’s beneficial, it’s not strictly necessary. People with backgrounds in law, social sciences, or public administration have also been appointed to the board.

How do I apply to become a CBFC member?

The application process is typically formal and may involve submitting a resume, covering letter, and other documentation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or the CBFC directly.

Is there an interview process?

Yes, there is often an interview process that assesses your qualifications, understanding of media laws, and ethical suitability for the role.

How important is networking for becoming a CBFC member?

Networking can be very important, as connections within the industry and the government can help guide you through the application process and offer valuable endorsements.

How can I network effectively?

Attend film festivals, industry events, engage on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and consider joining related associations or organizations.

What are the responsibilities of a CBFC member?

Responsibilities include reviewing and certifying films, attending committee meetings, performing administrative tasks, and staying updated on relevant laws and guidelines.

Is the role of a CBFC member a full-time job?

The commitment required can vary. Some roles are more hands-on and may require significant time, while others may be more consultative and require less day-to-day involvement.

What ethical guidelines must CBFC members follow?

CBFC members are expected to maintain impartiality, confidentiality, and high ethical standards, adhering strictly to the rules and regulations set forth by the board and the government.

What happens if there’s a conflict of interest?

Any potential conflict of interest must be declared and properly managed, usually through recusal from related discussions or decisions.

Is the CBFC member position a paid role?

The terms of remuneration or allowances, if any, are usually specified in the official letter of appointment.

Can I be reappointed after my term ends?

Depending on performance and board needs, reappointment is possible but usually requires a separate application or review process.

Meet Ankit Kumar holding a master's degree in Museology, Ankit Kumar brings a profound understanding of the cultural and historical significance of museums. With a passion for research and a keen interest in writing, they have not only excelled in guiding individuals in their career paths but also have a flair for creating insightful and engaging blogs on various aspects of museology as well as different professions.

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