The Centre has issued an order bringing online news portals and content providers under the purview of the Information and Broadcasting ministry. The notification was issued on Monday, November 9. OTT platforms include news portals and also streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
As of now, there is no law or any autonomous body to govern digital content.
The Press Council of India regulates print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) monitors news channels, the Advertising Standards Council of India monitors 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. The court issued notices to the government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India.
"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 stated.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry had earlier told the apex court in a separate case that there is a need to regulate digital media and that the court may first appoint a committee before laying down guidelines regarding regulation of hate speech in the media.
Last year, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the government will not take any step that may curb media freedom, assuring that there should be some regulation on over-the-top platforms (OTT), similar to that for print, electronic media and films.
Also Read: "Any Special Direction From CJI?" Senior Adv Dushyant Dave Questions Urgent SC Listing Of Goswami's Plea