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Ex-SC Judge launches nationwide drive for responsible OTT viewing

Ex-SC Judge A.K. Sikri Initiates DPCGC’s Nationwide Drive for Responsible OTT Viewing.

November 7: Led by its chairperson, Justice (Retd.) A.K. Sikri , former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Digital Publisher Content Grievance Council DPCGC ), a self-regulatory body under the IT Rules 2021 and operating under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), has initiated a year-long all-India campaign to enhance awareness regarding OTT content consumption and the redressal mechanism of related grievances. The campaign aims to make law enforcing agencies and consumers of OTT platforms aware of the various tools that the law provides for an enhanced viewing experience, and to foster collaboration between parents, law enforcement agencies, and educational institutions, promoting responsible content consumption practices for all.

As an important part of the campaign, Justice (Retd.) A.K. Sikri, has written to the Education Secretaries of various states across the country highlighting the need for creating awareness among parents of school-going children regarding parental control and age ratings. Taking the initiative forward, DPCGC will conduct awareness programmes in various schools across India to provide them with insights on the consumer tools available on the OTT platforms along with the grievance redressal mechanism.

The focus of the awareness campaign is to create awareness among viewers regarding the grievance redressal mechanism provided under law for content-related complaints. Considering the high number of viewership in India and the regulatory burden on the law enforcement agencies, and the judicial system, self-regulation offers an extremely efficient and unique ecosystem for viewers to address their complaints in an efficient and effective manner.

The OTT platforms are enabled with parental lock mechanisms and access controls which enables users to restrict access to content curated for audiences based on the age ratings, thus ensuring age-appropriate viewing. The content descriptors empower families to consume content that aligns with their values. The IT Rules 2021 have provisions for a robust three-tier grievance redressal system. The mechanism is thoughtfully designed for efficient and effective grievance resolution.

The campaign began with a virtual workshop involving officers of cyber cells of 22 states and 2 union territories across the nation, on October 25, 2023. Shri Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and Justice (Retd.) A.K. Sikri, former judge of the Supreme Court of India, and Chairperson, were also present at the workshop.

Speaking on the goals of the campaign Justice (Retd.) Sikri said, “In their right wisdom, our legislature and our parliament, guided by the MIB, have collaboratively established a robust framework to integrate OTT platforms into the legal landscape. DPCGC formed under the IT Rules aims at efficiently addressing concerns or grievances related to OTTs through self-regulation. It is essential that all stakeholders, particularly viewers and law enforcement agencies, remain well-informed about this mechanism.

” Established in 2004, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a not-for-profit industry body and the country’s only organization representing the digital services industry with over 500 Indian and multinational corporations as its members, which include established companies in diverse sectors of the digital ecosystem as well as start-ups. It is dedicated to presenting a unified voice of the businesses it represents to the government, investors, consumers, and other stakeholders. IAMAI represents varied sectors such as digital payments, fintech, digital commerce, digital advertising, digital entertainment, traveltech, online gaming, edtech, healthtech, agritech, big data, ML, AI & IoT, AR/ VR, logistics-tech, D2C, EV, VC, gift cards and so on.

Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), set up under the aegis of IAMAI, is a Level II independent self-regulatory body formed under IT Rules, 2021 for publishers of online curated content headed by Justice A.K. Sikri, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and is registered with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting since August, 2021. Business Standard

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