Reaffirming its commitment to protecting the safety and trust of digital citizens, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, related to online gaming and spread of false and misleading information regarding government business.
The aim of these amendments was to enforce greater due diligence by online gaming and social media intermediaries, the ministry said in a release on Thursday evening.
Elaborating on the new rules at a press conference, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said, "Online gaming is certainly a huge opportunity for India and Young Indians. We see the Indian online gaming ecosystem to expand and grow into a multi-billion dollar industry and be an important catalyst to India's One trillion-dollar Digital economy goal by 2025-26, with very clear restrictions on online wagering and betting."
As per the amended rules, it has been made obligatory on the part of intermediaries to make a reasonable effort not to host, publish or share any online game that can cause the user harm, or that has not been verified as a permissible online game by an online gaming self-regulatory body/bodies designated by the central government.
The intermediary will also have to ensure that no advertisement, surrogate advertisement, or promotion of an online game that is not permissible, is hosted on its platform.
The amended rules also cast additional obligations on online gaming intermediaries in relation to online games involving real money.
Further, the amended rules now also make it obligatory for the intermediaries not to publish, share or host fake, false or misleading information in respect of any business of the Central Government.
The fake, false or misleading information will be identified by the notified Fact Check Unit of the central government.
These amendments have been drafted after holding widespread consultations with multiple stakeholders including parents, school teachers, academics, students, gamers and gaming industry associations, and child rights bodies, the release said.
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