The government replaced Pahlaj Nihalani with songwriter-poet Prasoon Joshi as the chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Joshi was appointed with immediate effect for three years or until further orders, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said in a release.
Joshi, 45, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2015 for his contributions towards the field of arts, literature and advertising.
He had also penned the anthem for the Swachh Bharat Mission. He has received a number of awards, including the National Award for best lyrics twice.
Speaking to PTI after his appointment, Joshi noted, "Good intent is the best beginning. Bearing responsibility and doing my best has been my endeavour. I have believed that right and responsibilities are better served with constructive contribution.
"One hopes to make a positive difference with the guidance and support of respected minds," he said.
The government also reconstituted the censor board.The new members are Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra Lal, Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, Vivek Agnihotri, Waman Kendre, Vidya Balan, T S Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripati Tikoo, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta.
Nihalani’s three-year tenure was to end in January next year.
"The order about Prasoon Joshi being appointed as the new chief of CBFC also says his tenure is for three years or till further orders. But this order came before three years of Nilahanis tenure ending," Anurag Shrivastava, CEO of CBFC, said.
Since his appointment as the head of the Central Board of Film Certification in January 2015, Nihalani made headlines for some controversial moves and statements.
"The central government is pleased to appoint Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from August 11, 2017, for three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier," the release said.
Recently, Nihalani was in the news related to the multiple cuts in Madhur Bhandarkar's "Indu Sarkar" and refusal to certify "Lipstick Under My Burqa".
Another controversy erupted when the CBFC objected to the word "intercourse" in the Shah Rukh Khan film "When Harry Met Sejal". Besides, the decision to beep words like "cow" and "Hindu India" in a documentary on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen also attracted criticism.
In an interview with The Wire last month, Nihalani defended his actions, saying that Indian censors “are currently far more liberal than in many other countries” and that the CBFC under him was “different from the fish market environment” that existed earlier.
The Bollywood fraternity reacted on Nihalani's dismissal
It is a welcome move by I&B ministry: Film maker Madhur Bhandarkar to ANI on Prasoon Joshi's appointment as Chairperson of CBFC. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/ijT2bA81L1— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2017
For the occasion .. song on loop https://t.co/2gquor6iZq— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) August 11, 2017
(With inputs from PTI)