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'Digital India Act Draft By Early 2023': MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar Makes Big Revelation

In an exclusive interview with Arnab Goswami on the 'Nation Wants To Know', Union MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar weighed in on the proposed Digital India Act.

Written By
Akhil Oka

Image: Republic TV

In an exclusive interview with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on the 'Nation Wants To Know', Union MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar weighed in on the proposed Digital India Act. This legislation will replace the IT Act and is likely to comprise a modern framework of rules that will act as catalysts for innovation and protecting citizens' rights. Maintaining that the Centre will undertake extensive consultation, Chandrasekhar indicated that a draft of this legislation shall be released by early next year. 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar remarked, "My timeline is not aligned to the news industry's economic dynamics. I can certainly say this, we have done a significant amount of work. The PM has made it absolutely clear that these new laws we are bringing in whether it is the Digital Personal Data Protection law or the Digital India Act are laws that need to have the life of the next decade because it is India Techade for the next 10 years."

"And therefore, we will go through this very carefully, surefootedly with a lot of consultation with our stakeholders whether they are consumers, judges, lawyers, content creators and indeed, the industry. So, I don't want to put ourselves under pressure with an artificial timeline. But there is a clear process that we see and I don't see anything wrong if I predict that we will have a Digital India Act for discussion at least by early 2023," he added. 

Centre amends IT rules

As per the amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022, the intermediary has to ensure that illegal content and misinformation about products and services and false information about a person is not posted. The intermediary will have to respect all rights according to the citizens under the Constitution including Articles 14,19 and 21. Moreover, a Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) will be formed to aid consumers and its orders shall be binding on the intermediary. 

Lashing out at the Centre for amending the IT rules, senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal commented, “First, they captured the television networks and now, they are going to capture social media platforms. It's the comprehensive capture of media. We're moving towards one code of conduct, one political party, one system of governance and no answerability to anyone". Observing that social media was the only platform left for ordinary citizens, he slammed the government for its alleged interference.