The government has brought all the online content under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which means that the online news portals and content providers such as Netflix will now be regulated under the said ministry. At present, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.
The I&B ministry will also regulate online audio-visual programs and current affairs content, according to the amendment order signed by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday.
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.
Last month, the Supreme Court sought the centre’s response on a petition for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous body. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian had issued notices to the central government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), and Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI).
OTT platforms include news portals and also streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, which are accessible over the internet or ride on an operator’s network. OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board, the petition said.