New rules for OTT platforms focus on self-classification of content instead of censorship, says Javadekar


New Delhi: Referring to the new guidelines laid down by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry for the Over-the-top (OTT) platforms, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that the new rules focus on self-classification of content instead of any form of censorship.

Javadekar made these statements at an event held in the presence of representatives of various OTT platforms including Alt Balaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio, Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo and MXPlayer.

Addressing the representatives of the industry, the minister mentioned that the government has done several rounds of consultation with the OTT players in the past and stressed the need for self-regulation.

Javadekar further stated that he had received representations from cinema and TV industries that while there were regulations for them, none existed for the OTT industry. Thus, it was 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 minister also appreciated that many OTT platforms had welcomed the rules.

Informing the industry representatives about the provisions of the rules, the Union Minister said it merely requires them to disclose information and that there is no requirement of registration of any kind with the Ministry.

Javadekar also added that a form for this will be ready soon. Furthermore, OTT platforms are expected to develop an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
Dispelling certain rumours, Javadekar clarified that in the self-regulating body, no member will be appointed by the Government.

Speaking on the power of the government, under the rules, Javadekar informed that the government will create an Inter-Departmental Committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.

The industry representatives welcomed the rules and thanked the Minister for addressing most of their concerns, said the I&B Ministry in a statement released on Thursday. (ANI)
Javadekar in his closing remarks added that the Ministry is open to any clarification or queries from the industry. (ANI)