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No Obscene Content; Parliament To OTT Platforms The panel also sought details about the revenue generated by these platforms from India and what amount was invested back into the country

By Teena Jose

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Members of a Parliamentary panel, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communication and Technology, have told executives from OTT platforms including Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Sony LIV, Zee5 and Amazon Prime Video to respect cultural sensitivities of India. The panel further urged these platforms to refrain from showing obscene content on their platforms, according to an ET report citing sources.

Top executives from these streaming companies deposed before the panel chaired by Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav. This panel also comprises veteran actor and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shatrughan Sinha and other film personalities.

Last week, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra said at the FICCI Frames 2023: "We came up with the self-regulation mechanism in 2021 and I believe that OTTs are quite happy with that and the system is functioning well".

The I&B Secretary, however, said self-regulation needs to be exercised properly given complaints regarding the quality of the content and/or the language used on these platforms. "We would like this sector to grow fast and not to get bogged down by regulations," he further stated.

The developments come almost a month after media reports suggesting that the parliamentary panel might summon top executives from OTT platforms did the rounds. Members of the panel expressed concerns over the content available on these platforms. During this meeting, BJP MPs sought more control over OTT platforms due to the "vulgarity" shown on these platforms. As per them, this impacts Indian culture.

Furthermore, the report stated that the panel also sought details about the revenue generated by these platforms from India and what amount was invested back into the country. OTT platforms are soon expected to give written replies to the panel on these questions.

Stressing the government's stand on the matter, the ruling MPs said they are not in favour of censorship like that of movies but they believe there certainly is a case for strong regulation. Opposition MPs, on the other hand, stated OTTs are open platforms while adding there should be a reasoned view for more control, added the report.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.
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