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Government forms committee for regulation of online media

It will do so keeping in mind the existing FDI norms, programmes and advertising code for TV channels and norms circulated by the representative bodies of media organisations.

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New Delhi, April 5 : In a move to establish regulatory framework for online media and news portals, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has set up a committee that will recommend formation of appropriate policy.

The committee, which has Secretary of the ministry as its convener, was set up a day after the ministry withdrew its guidelines on fake news following directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to an order of the ministry of April 4, the 10-member committee includes secretaries of the ministries of Home, and Electronics and Information Technology, and the departments of Legal Affairs, and Industrial Policy and Promotion.

It also has a representatives from the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and the Indian Broadcasters Federation.

The Terms of the reference (ToR) of the committee include delineation of the sphere of online information dissemination which needs to be brought under regulation, on the lines applicable to the print and electronic media.

The committee will recommend appropriate policy formulation for online media/ news portals and online content platforms, including digital broadcasting, that encompasses entertainment, infotainment and news and media aggregators.

“It will do so keeping in mind the existing FDI norms, programmes and advertising code for TV channels and norms circulated by the representative bodies of media organisations,” the order said.

The committee will also analyse the international scenario on the existing regulatory mechanism with a view to incorporate the best practices.

The order said the content on private television channels is regulated by the Programme and Advertisement Codes, while the PCI has norms to regulate the print media.

“There are no norms or guidelines to regulate the online media websites and news portals. Therefore, it has been decided to constitute a committee to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media/ news portals including digital broadcasting and entertainment/ infotainment sites and news/ media aggregators,” it said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had made a hasty retreat on Tuesday as the Prime Minister withdrew within hours of release of his government’s order that threatened to take away the accreditation of journalists involved in producing

India

Delhi HC pulls up Centre for not framing rules on e-cigarette

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New Delhi, Aug 21: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central government for its failure to frame any policy on e-cigarette.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao pulled up the Central government for its failure to take any decision on regulatory measures for e-cigarettes till date. It noted that some states have already taken steps to prohibit it.

The bench said that this is an important issue particularly for educational institutions.

The court was hearing a plea seeking a ban on or regulation of the sale and use of e-cigarettes. It listed the matter for further hearing on September 7.

The public interest litigation petition filed by anti-tobacco activist Seema Sehgal, through advocate Bhuvanesh Sehgal, said that though there are no specific guidelines to deal with emerging threats such as e-cigarettes several state governments and Union Territories have taken steps to prohibit it.

Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have declared e-cigarettes as an unapproved drug under the Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1954 and have begun prosecuting the vendors.

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Tejashwi Yadav attacks Nitish, says Bihar turned into ‘monster raj’

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New Delhi, Aug 21: Reports of a woman being paraded naked in a Bihar town prompted Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday to allege the state has been transformed into a ‘jungle and monster raj’.

A mob attacked, stripped and paraded a woman naked in a locality in Bhojpur district on Monday suspecting her for murdering a man. A video of the incident went viral on social media. The mob also torched a few shops.

Read More: Woman stripped, beaten by mob on murder suspicion in Bihar

The clip also showed people making video clips of the incident instead of helping the victim.

Yadav tweeted: “What is happening in my Bihar? Today a woman has been beaten up and paraded naked on the road. You (referring to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Modi) have transformed Bihar into jungle and monster raj.”

Yadav said he was numb to see the “heart-wrenching video clip” of the women.

Presently, the woman is under police custody and undergoing medical examinations.

However, she denied her involvement in the murder.

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Mandsaur Rape Case: Two accused gets death sentence

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Bhopal, Aug 22: The Madhya Pradesh special court on Tuesday pronounced death sentence to the two accused Irfan and Asif for raping a seven-year-old girl in Mandsaur.

Second Additional District and Sessions judge Nisha Gupta sentenced death to the accused.

The minor was kidnapped and raped before being abandoned at a secluded place while she was waiting for her father after school on June 26.

The victim was found by a neighbour walking dazed on the next morning.

The brutal rape triggered a countrywide outrage and protest.

Thousands of people took out a march and also submitted a memorandum to the Mandsaur administration, demanding death sentence for the accused.

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