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MIB’s Rathore admits to online media norms panel’s new avatar

The move comes after MIB panel faced lot of flak for over-stepping jurisdiction

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NEW DELHI: We had told you earlier, but now it’s official coming straight from the horse’s mouth. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, led by an Olympics medal winning Rajyavardhan Rathore, has passed the baton to another government set-up to finish exploring regulations for the online media and content.

“The Ministry of I&B had constituted a committee on 4 April 2018 for framing regulations for online media/news portals and online content, including digital broadcasting, which encompasses entertainment/infotainment and news/media aggregators,” MIB Minister Rathore said today in Parliament.

He added: “However, since government had constituted an inter-ministerial committee on ‘Investment in Critical National Infrastructure, Digital Broadcasting and related issues’, which in its first meeting held on 10 May 2018 observed that some of the Terms of References (ToRs) and issues of the two committees are common, a decision was taken to dovetail the ToR of the committee constituted by this Ministry with that of the committee on ‘Investment in Critical National Infrastructure, Digital Broadcasting and related issues’.”

The minister was replying to queries raised on proposed online media regulations by a fellow parliamentarian.

The MIB panel, when constituted under the stewardship of Minister Smriti Irani, had drawn flak on many counts. One of many criticisms was that it was beyond MIB’s remit to deal with things that are internet-based as they fall within the purview of Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity). Another drawback to the formation of this panel was that it had representatives from various government organisations, but no representation from India’s thriving and blooming online media that the committee was supposed to look into.

The very fact that another government committee is supposed to look into matters relating to online media should continue keeping online players on their toes.

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