The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has decided to disband a nine-member committee meant to regulate online media, set up by former I&B Minister Smriti Irani, The Print reported on Friday, 20 July. According to the report, a notification regarding this was issued on Thursday by the ministry.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the functions of this committee will now be taken care of by a panel which is a part of the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY).
The notification states that a committee on “investment in critical national infrastructure, digital broadcasting and related issues” which had been convened earlier in 2018 has a similar mandate.
The committee, which has the secretary of IT ministry, the I&B secretary, DoT secretary and national cyber security coordinator as members, had its first meeting on 10 May, reported The Print.
The committee will now meet with stakeholders and discuss the necessary infrastructure for IT platforms.
The committee set up by Irani was meant to create a regulatory framework for “online media/news portals and online content platforms, including digital broadcasting, which encompasses entertainment/infotainment and news/media aggregators,” reported The Print.
However, senior ministry officials said that matters relating to online news portals and digital broadcasting did not fall within the domain of the I&B ministry. The Print quoted a senior official who said, “However, there should be some kind of regulation for online media as well,” the official added.
According to Hindustan Times, present I&B minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, however, had said earlier: “We believe in self-regulation of all mediums and we trust the consumer of news to be able to be able to tell right from wrong.”
(With inputs from The Print and Hindustan Times.)