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Government won’t appoint any member in self-regulating OTT body, clarifies Prakash Javadekar

In a meeting with OTT representatives, the Minister said the government will create an Inter-Departmental Committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level

Prakash Javadekar

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar met representatives of various video OTT platforms, including Alt Balaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio, Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo and MX Player, and discussed the new guidelines for the medium with them.

Explaining the reason for the guidelines, the Minister said he had received representations from cinema and TV industries that while there were regulations for them, none existed for the OTT industry. “It was thus decided that the Government would come out with a progressive institutional mechanism for OTT players and develop a level playing field with the idea of self-regulation,” the MIB stated.

The Minister informed the representatives about the provisions of the new rules and clarified they merely require the players to disclose information and that there was no requirement of registration of any kind with the Ministry. He said a form for this purpose will soon be circulated. “The rules focus on the self-classification of content instead of any form of censorship. Further, OTT platforms are expected to develop an effective grievance redressal mechanism,” the ministry said.

He said no member will be appointed by the Government in the self-regulating body and informed that the Ministry will create an Inter-Departmental Committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.

On February 25, 2021, the Government issued new guidelines for digital media, including digital news platforms, social media and OTT players. The guidelines for OTT platforms include content rating and adopting control mechanisms such as parental locks. They provide a three structure regulation mechanism that will include regulation by the platforms themselves, followed by self-regulation by industry bodies and lastly through oversight mechanisms by the Government.

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