The Centre on Tuesday issued a government order to bring online news platforms and content providers under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It amended the (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, to make the changes.
With this, over-the-top or OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon’s Prime Video are under the purview of the I&B Ministry. While film and TV certification bodies moderate public content in India, it did not allow censorship of content on the online streaming platforms. Currently, there is no law or autonomous committee governing digital content in the country.
The changes come into effect immediately, an order signed by President Ram Nath Kovind said.
Last month, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had told The Indian Express that the government does not believe in censorship, but in self-regulation. He was speaking about the alleged rigging of television ratings by the news channel and other areas of programming.
“There have also been discussions about OTT platforms,” he told the newspaper. “I have called them [broadcasters and advertisers] twice to talk about a credible self-regulation method, but they have not come up with a proposal.”