Ministry of I&B : OTT platforms and content providers brings under direct control

OTT Platforms to be regulated by Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Govt. of India

The Central Government has issued an order signed by the Hon’ble President Of India Ram Nath Kovind. The order has passed to bring content providers such as Netflix, Prime Video & Hotstar and OTT Platforms under purview of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Earlier 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.

Following which, the Union of India issued notification on November 9 on bringing online online news portals and online content providers under I&B ministry. And stated that “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:

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

2.  They shall come into force at once.”

Further, the Order passed by the Central Government has remarked 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:

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

2.  News and current affairs content on online platforms.

The central Government has observed that there is no autonomous body at present to govern the Online Media Content. So that, now the Government is set to regulate online news portal & current affairs channels, along with digital platforms, OTTs such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar.