top of page

IT. More than just a movie…

On 25th February, 2021, the Centre notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (‘2021 Rules’) under S.87 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The primary objective behind framing the said rules:

  • To strengthen grievance redressal mechanisms and,

  • To have a ‘soft-touch’ oversight mechanism in relation to social media, digital media and OTT platforms.

India’s growing online presence has given a platform to its citizens from all income backgrounds to share their opinions, seek information and become a part of this burgeoning virtual world that leaves no voice unheard. However, certain ‘virtual evils’ by the name of fake news, morphed images, obscene content, etc. have fomented an environment of disharmony and violence, which prompted corrective measures from the Government.

Countdown to the 2021 Rules…

3… Therefore the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) framed a draft Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2018, thereby proposing an amendment to the previously existing Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 (‘2011 Rules’).

2… The said draft rules were then released in the public domain in December 2018, inviting comments and/or counter-comments from relevant stakeholders of the public.

1… Further, there has been a significant spike in digital media consumption, with people opting for OTT platforms (added boost due to Covid-19). Lack of content regulation on OTT platforms and its resultant complaints pushed the need for an oversight mechanism.

0… After relevant analysis of the public comments so received and the issues surrounding OTT platforms, the central government notified the 2021 Rules on February 25th, 2021. These now issued rules are an amendment to the 2011 Rules with their roots set in the 2018 draft IT Rules.

Union Minister of MEITY Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad and Union Minister of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Mr. Prakash Javadekar addressing a Press Conference on Feb 25th, 2021

The Building Blocks…

What’s in the 2021 Rules?