New OTT guidelines meant to facilitate level playing field, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

By: |
March 21, 2021 6:30 PM

Speaking at a conclave advocating adoption of digital technologies, Javadekar also said that digital media aided government’s functioning during the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that digital platforms have helped a lot in promoting transparency. (File image)

New OTT guidelines: Talking about the new guidelines issued recently by the Centre for OTT content, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the guidelines attempt to provide a level playing field for various media platforms – digital, print as well as electronic. He added that digital platforms have helped a lot in promoting transparency as well as bringing in a corruption-free environment in governance. Javadekar further asserted that the guidelines were meant for fair facilitation of self regulation, rather than to control these OTT platforms.

As per the new guidelines, the major rules for OTT platforms include them having to self-classify their content into five categories of age – universal (U), U/A 7+ (7 years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+ as well as adult (A). The platforms would also have to provide parental locks for content classified as or above U/A 13+, and they would also have to put in place a mechanism for verification of age for adult content.

Speaking at a conclave advocating adoption of digital technologies, Javadekar also said that digital media aided government’s functioning during the coronavirus pandemic, adding that over 50 meetings of the cabinet were held virtually so as to facilitate quick decision making even during such testing times.

He also spoke about the government’s decision to re-run shows like Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and BR Chopra’s Mahabharat in order to provide users with some form of entertainment, which ultimately led to breaking of viewership records.

The OTT platforms majorly helped filmmakers as well as viewers during the unprecedented times of the pandemic, providing the users with continuous entertainment as per their choice, while filmmakers, who would have otherwise had to postpone their releases till after the reopening of theatres, were able to directly release their films on the multitude of OTT platforms.

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