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I&B ministry forms committee to frame rules for regulating online news

The committee will also have representatives of the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and Indian Broadcasters Federation

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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The has constituted a committee to frame rules to regulate portals and media websites, according to an official order which came a day after the government withdrew its contentious guidelines on following widespread criticism.

According to the order dated April 4, the 10-member committee includes secretaries of the ministries of information and broadcasting, and information technology, and home. Besides, it will also have secretaries of department of legal affairs and department of industrial policy and promotion as it members.

The committee will also have representatives of the Press Council of India, Broadcasters Association and

The order said the content on private television channels are regulated by the Programme and Advertisement Codes, while the the (PCI) has its norms to regulate the

It said there were no norms or guidelines to regulate the online and news portals.

Therefore, it has been decided to constitute a committee to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for including digital broadcasting and entertainment/infotainment sites and news/media aggregators, it added.

Terms of the reference (TOR) or scope of the work include to delineate the sphere of which needs to be brought under regulation, on the lines applicable to print and electronic media", according to the order.

The committee will also analyse the international scenario on the existing of regulatory mechanism with a view to incorporate the best practices.

The committee will recommend appropriate policy formulation for online media/ and online content platforms, keeping in mind various norms, including extent of FDI allowed, programmes and for TV channels and those of the PCI, the order said.

On April 2, the ministry had announced norms to contain which said that if publication or telecast of was confirmed, accreditation of the would be suspended for six months in case of first violation and for one year in case of a second violation.

In case of a third violation, his or her accreditation would be cancelled permanently, the ministry had said.

However, the guidelines were withdrawn by the ministry on the direction of after the government drew flak from and and opposition which dubbed these norms an attempt to "muzzle" free press.

First Published: Thu, April 05 2018. 21:55 IST