The Indian government has issued an order to bring online news portals and content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The order, signed by President Ram Nath Kobind, was issued last Monday. The government’s new rules will also apply to social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As a result of the new rules, content on films, audio-visual and news and online platforms on contemporary topics will come under the purview of the Indian Ministry. This information came from the report of Indian broadcaster NDTV on Wednesday.
Till now, there is no law or autonomous body in India to regulate digital content on online platforms. The Press Council of India is responsible for overseeing print media and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) is responsible for maintaining news channels. There is the Advertising Standards Council for advertising and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for film supervision.
In response to a petition last month, the Supreme Court of India directed the government to control digital platforms from above through an autonomous body. The apex court of India sent the order to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
Earlier, in a separate case, the Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry had asked the top court to set up an amicus curiae to control the digital platform.
Last year, India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government would not take any steps to reduce media freedom. However, a type of control will also be established for digital media such as print, electronic media, and film.