Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Amit Khare has said that self-regulation is a better approach for regulation of media & entertainment sector. He said that with the advancement as well as convergence of technologies, the Government would like to have more of self-regulation by the sector, rather than the state acting as a monitor. He added that given the numerous channels through which content is distributed, this is also the administratively feasible option. He said that peer pressure will serve to make self-regulation effective and ethically driven. Khare was speaking at a panel discussion on “Candid interaction with Policy Makers: New platforms drive new policies – Co-Creating a favorable regulatory framework for new and emerging media”, as part of a summit organized by a media house, which opened in Mumbai today.
The secretary observed that the media & entertainment industry in India is one of the fastest growing industries. The sector plays an important role in job creation and provides employment to more than 1 million persons. Further, for every rupee spent in the sector, there is a multiplier effect of around 2.9, he said.
Khare noted that media regulations have historically been developed according to the medium or platform, not based on content. This has led to traditional forms of content such as print newspapers and TV channels being in the ambit of regulation, leaving some newer media forms such as OTT media content to be unregulated. Stating that the Government has a very open mind, he informed the audience that one question being debated is whether we need to regulate platforms which are unregulated at present or whether it would be better to reduce regulation in traditional sectors. How much regulation is required and how is it to be done is another matter that needs to be addressed, he added. Secretary said that FDI liberalization is being done; however, monopolies need to be avoided.
Alok Srivastava, MD – IoT, Southeast Asia & India, CISCO; Gowree Gokhale, Senior Partner, Nishith Desai Associates; Vivek Krishnani, MD, Sony Pictures Entertainment India were the co-panellists in the discussion moderated by Chaitanya Gogineni, Partner, Technology, Media and Telecom, KPMG in India.