Centre Brings OTT Platforms, Online News Portals Under I&B Ministry

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The central government on Wednesday issued an order to bring all online news portals, current affairs programmes as well as online film and audio-visual content available on different OTT platforms under the domain of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The order signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, said the decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules,1961 and it will come into effect immediately.

The order has come amid the robust demands to clip the wings of various OTT platforms that have enjoyed a free run so far and to censor allegedly vicious and risqué content readily available on these platforms. Several OTT platforms in the past have received severe backlash from people belonging to different sections of society for showcasing allegedly objectionable content in terms of obscenity and violence.

This move will enable the government to keep a check on a wide array of online content that is readily available to the viewers on the web and to map out new policies regarding the same. It should be noted that prior to this order there was no regulatory body responsible for the supervision of the content available on various online news portals and numerous OTT platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Voot, etc.

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