OTT Platforms: Need regulation?

OTT Platforms: Need regulation?


  • Recently, the I&B ministry has decided to bring the OTT(Over the top) platforms under the purview of a regulating policy.
  • In November 2020, the OTT platforms were brought under the gambit of the I&B ministry.


  • The sudden rise of the OTT platforms in terms of economic growth and widening viewership attracted the government’s attention that online news content and the OTT platforms weren’t adhering to any form of regulation.
  • The print media is regulated by the PCI(Press Council of India). Similarly, news and entertainment contents are being regulated by the Cables network regulation Act of 2005 and the films are being regulated by the CBFC(Central Board of Film Certification).
  • The ministry quoted that lately, the number of litigations the online news or the entertainment platforms are subjected to attract a need for check and balance.


  • Currently, there is no law or statutory body that regulates the content that remains afloat online.
  • The influence of the said content allegedly seems to put one or more sections of the society under the scanner. (Put in a bad light)
  • The idea of hurting a community/religion/sect is so vast that it can’t be defined in codification. 
  • The government wanted the platforms to come up with a self-regulatory body that will, in turn, regulate the content. Which seemed like a good idea until the government. rejected the self-regulatory body that the online platforms had come up with.
Principles of the self-regulatory body:

It prohibited the following contents,

  • Content that consciously and maliciously contempt the national emblem or national flag.
  • Anything related to child pornography.
  • Anything related to consciously hurting religious sentiments.
  • Knowingly promoting terror.
  • Any content that has been by the Court of Law.


Way ahead:

  • Self-regulation must be given a chance to sustain.
  • The platform blossomed because of the freedom it attained in the early days, it projected what can be achieved when creativity remains the sole focus of the project.
  • Regulating it with a firm hand till it fails miserably will only deteriorate the situation further creating the binary pole of polarisation.
  • Instead, the Union can focus on making people digitally aware. 

Viewer responsibility is a core value that could solve the entire phenomena. When the main focus is to prevent the underage use of the content and not to hurt anyone maliciously.

(Editorial- The Hindu)

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