The Government of India (Allocation of Business) (Three Hundred and Seventy-second Amendment) Rules, 2023 have been notified to bring online content and advertisements within the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
Through this notification, amendments are made to the Second Schedule of the 1961 Rules, which provides for the distribution of subjects among the Ministries, Departments, Secretariats and Offices.
Entry 22A under the said Schedule has been modified to include film and audio-visual content made available by online content publishers, bringing such content within the purview of the Ministry. Additionally, entry 22C has been inserted which provides for online advertisements. The changes will enable the Ministry to regulate online content and advertisements.
Before this amendment, the digital or online media sphere was brought within the ambit of the Ministry in the year 2020 when films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers as well as news and current affairs content on online platforms were added as entries 22A and 22B.
It is interesting to note that under the said Schedule, matters pertaining to online gaming fall within the ambit of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under entry 5A. The same was done through an amendment in December 2022 after which the MeitY prescribed regulation of online gaming intermediaries by notifying the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023.