HOLLYWOOD — The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Assn. of Asia (Casbaa) is spinning off its India members into a special branch.The India chapter will “highlight the real value of the multi-channel television industry in India,” says Casbaa chairman Marcel Fenez. “It is time for India to take its rightful place in the international community and showcase its achievements to the world.” Deepak Shourie, managing director of Discovery Networks India, will chair the chapter with Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea as vice chairman. The steering group will also include Kunal Dasgupta, Sony Entertainment Networks India CEO; Rajat Jain, Walt Disney Television Intl. India managing director; and R.C. Venkatesh, ESPN India managing director. “By some estimates the pay TV industry in India is worth up to $5 billion today, providing employment to thousands of highly skilled workers,” Shourie says. “To fully benefit from this platform we need to ensure that the next stage of our development includes a robust regulatory environment and advanced technologies. “Meanwhile, we also believe it is essential that the pay TV industry in India has a clear voice.” Beyond dealing with day-to-day issues, the India chapter will also promote initiatives such as the launch of a pay TV sales and marketing training scheme in India by the Casbaa Media College and a series of seminars on new technologies supporting the pay TV industry. Casbaa, which announced the chapter at the Frames confab April 5 in Mumbai, will establish an office in India in the coming months.