Two years since Article 370: A major success for the NDA?

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  Two years after Indian parliament revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narender Modi’s government seems to have succeeded in bringing the region under its direct control.On 5 August 2019, a proposal to abolish Article 370 and 35A implemented in Kashmir was introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha. After which President Ram Nath Kovind also approved it after the resolution was passed in the Rajya Sabha. After getting approval from the President, Article 370 and 35A were abolished from Jammu and Kashmir. After this big decision of the central government, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were separated and divided into two separate union territories.   After the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said, 'Now our country can move forward on the path of peace and development.' He said that this step will further strengthen the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Shah exuded confidence th

A legal Invasion of Privacy

  IT Rules 2021
  
The Government on Thursday Announced some guidelines and rules to control and regulate the digital content. The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 also establishes some code of ethics to be followed by the Online Content Publishers, News websites, OTT platforms (Such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+ Hotstar, etc.) and Social Media content Creators. These rules also include a proposal to establish a three tier grievance portal for the public to address the grievances of content that can be harmful to national security as well as the modesty or safety of an individual. 

The IT rules for the digital publishers and OTT platforms are more in focus to the self regulation by these respective Platforms,Whereas The Grievance redressal mechanism is implemented to restrict the creative freedom of an individual or group of individuals.

Implementation of the Rules

1. The OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, etc., for the first time will come under the censor board.The OTT platforms would need to self-classify the content into five-age based categories- U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+ and A (Adult).Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”.

2. The Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also come under these Cyber Laws. According to which they have to address the grievance redressed and remove the content that is offending or misleading in nature. They can also remove or block the user who first published that content. 

3. Online Messenger Applications like Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal, etc., are also ordered to monitor the data and information shared on their applications. Previously when we were easily using these apps to share data and information with anyone anywhere, that anonymity has gone. Now there is a person foreseeing our data and information and can remove , block and even report if he feels the content is offendable.

The Grievances Redressal Mechanism

The most Highlighted part of the IT rules 2021 report is Grievances Redressal Mechanism. It is a three tier mechanism which provides to support and protect the rights and Feeling of an individual or group of individuals. But how is it Implemented?

1.The first tier is self-regulation by the Platforms in which the Platforms will have to appoint a Grievance Redressal Officer based in India who shall be responsible for the redressal of grievances received by it. The officer shall take a decision on every grievance it receives within 15 days.

2.The second tier is  by the self-regulating bodies of the Platforms. There may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of Platforms. Such a body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court, or independent eminent person and have not more than six members.
               
Such a body will have to register with the MIB(management information base). This body will oversee the adherence by the publisher to the Code of Ethics and address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within 15 days.
3.The third tier will see the formulation of an oversight mechanism by the MIB. The ministry shall publish a charter for self-regulating bodies, including Codes of Practices. It shall establish an Inter-Departmental Committee for hearing grievances.


In Conclusion, If any person or individual or a group of individuals feel offended by the content published They can report it through this portal directly and the matter will be looked into. Hence said “With great Power comes Great  Responsibility”. This Tool made for empowerment of the individual can also be easily misused and the platforms will sacrifice their creativity and freedom.
 
- Rahul Manshani

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