Netflix, Prime Video and online news portals now under the Information and Broadcast Ministry

CIOL Bureau
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Netflix, Prime Video and online news portals now under the Information and Broadcast ministry

Centre has issued an order bringing online films, audio-visual programmes & online news & current affairs content under the Information & Broadcasting Ministry. Last month, the Supreme Court had sought the Centre's response on a PIL for regulating OTT platforms. These majorly included regulation on Netflix and Amazon Prime by an autonomous body. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA. Bobde and Justices AS. Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to the Central Government, MIB and IMAI.


The PIL stated that digital content on these platforms is available to the public at large without any filter or screening. The petition sought and pressurized to regulate the content available on these streaming platforms. None of the OTT/streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar has signed the self-regulation provided by the I&B ministry since February 2020, the plea had alleged.

What did the notification state?

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution, the President hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, namely (1) These rules may be called the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Fifty-Seventh Amendment Rules, 2020. (2) They shall come into force at once.

In the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, in THE SECOND SCHEDULE, under the heading "MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING (SOOCHANA AUR PRASARAN MANTRALAYA)" after entry 22, the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted, namely: VA. Digital/Online Media22A Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers; 22B News and current affairs content on online platforms.

The move to bring the OTT platforms under the I&B ministry could also mean that these platforms would have to apply for approval of the content they wish to stream. This in itself is likely to give rise to many conflicts as most OTT platforms have content that could otherwise need censorship in India.

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