Detailed Guidelines by the Government to monitor Digital Platform : Daily Current Affairs

Detailed Guidelines by the Government to monitor Digital Platform

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Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, was first time brought under the sphere Government has brought in detailed guidelines for digital content on both digital media and Over The Top (OTT) platforms, at the same time giving predominant powers to the government to step in.


  • It will be 3-tier grievance redressal mechanism where first one will be at the level of OTT provider, second one is a self-regulatory body collectively established by the OTTs and the 3rd tier is of the Government that is equipped with overriding powers.
  • The complaint lodged at the first level needs to be addressed within 15 days. If not addressed properly the it would go to the second tier that would consist of a body headed by headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court, or an independent renowned person from the field of media, broadcasting, entertainment, child rights, human rights or other relevant fields.
  • The self regulatory body has the power to censure the condemnatory content of OTT platforms.
  • Government, the third tier would use its power in the form of ‘oversight mechanism’. An inter-ministerial body will perform its function. In case of any emergency when any content is to be blocked for public access then the secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting can give orders for the same.
  • The rule also says that the order given by the secretary should mention the reason in writing. However such orders can be given “without giving an opportunity of hearing” to the publishing platform.
  • A structure has been created for ‘soft touch regulation’ but no new law has been formed.
  • The TV monitoring mechanism is comes under Cable Network Act, there is a Censor board for films and print media is regulated by Press council of India so digital media also required a monitoring platform.

OTT platforms will have to divide the content into five categories based on age — U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U /A 13+ or above and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”. Although majority of OTT platforms currently follow this procedure.

‘Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ of the Press Council of India and the ‘Programme Code’ under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act needs to be followed by the Publishers of news on digital media. The rules say that publishers should take into consideration that the content does not “affect the sovereignty and integrity of India” or “jeopardizes the security of the State”, among other things.