The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on April 4, 2018 instituted a committee to regulate online portals including news websites, entertainment sites and media aggregators.
The 10-member committee will include secretaries of the departments of Home, Legal Affairs, Electronics and Information and Technology, and Industrial Policy and Promotion, CEO of MyGov and a representative each from the Press Council of India and National Broadcasters’ Association.
The I & B Ministry in its order noted that while both print and electronic media are regulated, the online media does not come under the ambit of any regulatory mechanism.
• The content telecasted on television channels are regulated in terms of the programme and advertisement codes under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.
• The print media is regulated by the autonomous body, Press Council of India.
• The new committee would be regulating online media by focusing on the following three things:
- Bringing online information dissemination under regulation.
- Proposing a policy for foreign direct investment in the online media.
- Looking at international best practices on such existing regulatory mechanism.
The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Smriti Irani had announced earlier on her social media page that the ministry was working on bringing online news too under the regulation mechanism.
The ministry had been consulting both National Broadcasters’ Association and Press Council of India for over a month on the issue.