Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra on Thursday (April 13) said that the government’s ‘soft-touch’ regulatory approach towards the over-the-top (OTT) streaming space has led to some content that is ‘not desirable’.
Speaking at an event in Mumbai, Chandra urged OTT players to consider the country’s concerns and culture when creating content.
He elaborated on the government’s stance on OTT streaming regulation, saying that the Centre had taken a’very soft-touch’ approach that encourages content self-regulation. Chandra stated that the ministry is satisfied with the current approach and that content-related complaints are handled at three levels: the content producer, the industry body, and finally the I&B Ministry.
He also stated that the Centre is working on a National Broadcasting Policy that will include OTT. According to Chandra, the new national policy is required because the current broadcasting ecosystem is fragmented into several parts with competing interests. He added, specifically mentioning media broadcasters and OTT players, that the Indian broadcast arena has different mechanisms, regulations, and tariffs, necessitating a new policy.
He also stated that the government is revising the Cinematograph Act, which could include provisions authorising the Centre to block websites hosting pirated content.
Chandra praised the homegrown Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) sector, claiming that it has enormous content creation potential. Furthermore, the I&B Ministry has accepted the contents of the AVGC Task Force report and intends to bring the matter before the Cabinet soon.