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Regulating OTT: Balancing creative freedom with consumer protection

The Indian digital media is once again on the brink of government scrutiny. The draft Broadcasting Services Bill aims to bring Cable TV and OTTs under a single regulatory framework, which can potentially stifle content innovation and autonomy. Kasthuri Akhil asks experts if the government can regulate what you watch online.

Like the previous attempts, the new self-regulation for on-demand video streaming platforms is also being viewed with scepticism in light of increasing censorship. Analysts suggest that the proposed Bill needs cautious examination. Meanwhile, issues such as stubble burning incidents and groundwater depletion have fuelled intense debates in the state of Punjab. Fingers have been pointed at paddy cultivation in Punjab, prompting the Supreme Court to propose phasing out paddy in favour of ‘less water-intensive’ crops. Today’s Special report by Thareek Ahmed attempts to answer if Punjab needs a new crop mix.

Looks like, phasing out paddy cultivation with other crops in Punjab can be a possible remedy to tackle air pollution in North India. Moving on to markets, shares of new-age companies are on a tear. Over the past three months, these stocks have rallied between 5 and 30 per cent on the bourses as against a 1 per cent rise in the benchmark indices. Nikita Vashisht spoke to experts to decode the drivers of the rally in stocks of new-age companies, and assess if they are a good investment bet at current levels. Watch this report. New age companies certainly have a promising future on the Indian stock exchanges. But just a few hundred kilometres away, Afghan refugees in Pakistan are facing an uncertain future. The Pakistani government’s decision to expel 1.6 million ‘undocumented’ Afghans from its territory has created a humanitarian crisis along its western borders. But why is Pakistan deporting Afghan refugees? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers. Business Standard

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