Special Stories Government order brings OTT platforms too under direct control

Government order brings OTT platforms too under direct control

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Central government on Monday issued an order to bring OTT platforms and content providers such as Netflix, PrimeVideo and Hotstar under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The order in this regard was signed by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

In the current situation there is no autonomous body to govern the online media content. 

The Press Council of India takes care of the print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) monitors news channels, the Advertising Standards Council of India is for advertising while the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) takes care of films.

In October, the Supreme Court had sought the Centre’s response on a petition for regulating the Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms by an autonomous body. It had issued notices to the Centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India.

On November 9, the Union of India issued notification bringing online news portals and online content providers under I&B ministry.

The letter states: “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution, the President hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Government of India (Allocation of Business Rules) 1961, namely:

3.  These rules may be called Government of India (Allocation of Business Rules) Three Hundred and Fifty Seventh Amendment Rules, 2020.

4.  They shall come into force at once.”

The order also states that in the Government of India (Allocation of Business Rules) 1961, in the second schedule under the heading Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, after entry 22, the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted:

3.  Films and audio visual programmes made available under the online content providers.

4.  News and current affairs content on online platforms.

After the notification central government is now set to regulate online news and current affairs channel’s, along with digital platforms, OTTs such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video.

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