Govt. to control OTT platforms, News media like Netflix, Amazon Prime.

Under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the government released an order taking in online news portals and service providers such as Netflix. Signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, the notification was released on Monday. 

There is no legislation or independent entity regulating digital content at present.

India's Press Council is responsible for print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) regulates news outlets, India's Advertisement Standards Council is responsible for advertising, while the National Film Classification Board (CBFC) is responsible for films.

Last month, the Supreme Court sought a response from the centre to a petition by an independent entity to control OTT platforms.

The Center, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Telecom Association of India were informed by the High Court.

OTT channels covering news portals and streaming networks such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, available over the internet or accessible on the network of an operator.

The petition said that OTT / Streaming and numerous new media outlets have definitely offered a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their material without being concerned about obtaining clearance certificates from the censor board for their films and shows.

In a separate case, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had previously told the top court that there is a need to control digital media and that the court may first designate a committee of individuals as amicus before developing guidelines on the regulation of hate speech in the media.

Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, said last year that the government would not take any measure that could curtail media freedom, adding that there should be some kind of over-the-top channel (OTT) legislation, as there is for print and electronic media as well as films.

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