The Department of Technology and Information Technology plans to hold workshops and training sessions for senior government officials in regional and government administration to keep them informed of the new guidelines for telecommunications mediators, digital news channels and OTT platforms.
New IT rules: State, regional level sensitization drive soon
The need to schedule these training and assistance sessions was felt after regional authorities in Manipur recently sent a notice to a digital media platform operating in the state capital Imphal, asking it to “provide appropriate documentation” indicating “compliance” with the government’s new digital media laws.
The need for the right approach
The plan to hold workshops and training sessions comes after the news website in Manipur’s Imphal was issued a notice confirming compliance with the new procedures. Although the notice was withdrawn and the IT Department immediately addressed the situation, the incident highlighted the need to establish a proper approach.
“If you look at that notice, it was revoked within a few hours of being displayed. We know that (new laws) can be misused or misinterpreted, especially in small towns and cities. We have sent notices to all district managers that all the powers under the IT rules are only in the middle, ”the chief executive told The Sunday Express.
On March 1, regional authorities in Imphal issued a notice on the news website Frontier Manipur and “publisher/mediator” of “Khanasi Neinasi”, a weekly online chat program hosted on The Frontier Manipur’s Facebook page.
The notice also asked journalist Paojel Chaoba to submit the relevant documents showing that his website complies with the new guidelines for digital media outlets issued by the central government.
Although revoked later, the notice raised questions about the abuse without proper consideration.
This also led to the Department taking immediate action and sending a spy to all district administrators, saying there was no power under the new IT laws “given to the state government/magistrate/police commissioner”.
Following training sessions and workshops, there will be regular monitoring of any instances where district administrators try to post any notice under the new rules on any digital news channel, said a technology official.
“We have sent a circular from the middle level and we will be monitoring everything closely. If this happens again, appropriate action will be taken against those officials, ”he said.
On February 25, the IT Department announced the new rules and guidelines for telecommunications mediators, key communications mediators, digital media services and OTT platforms.
The digital media laws required them to provide geographical information on their work, a monthly compliance report on details of complaints received and action taken and other details to the information officer and broadcasters within 30 days from February 25. In the event of any violation of these rules and guidelines, available only to the secretary of the information and broadcasting department.