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By Rakesh JhaJanuary 18, 2022
The new social media guidelines are designed to protect the rights of consumers, who are being served by digital platforms, and India has taken lead role globally in evolving a regulatory framework of accountability for such platforms, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.
Chandrasekhar further said India is a vibrant democracy and has constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights for every citizen. Government’s approach to regulations has been to enshrine into law, the specific rights for consumers, he said.
“The intermediary guidelines are not designed to make the government do anything particularly good or bad against intermediaries. It is designed specifically to enshrine into law, the fact that consumers that are served by big tech platforms or any platform, have rights. And these intermediaries cannot ignore those rights,” Chandrasekhar said.
He was speaking at a webinar series on ‘The Road To Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, organised by Swarajya Magazine in association with Vedanta Ltd.
Responding to a specific question on what India’s approach to big tech platforms would be, given the backdrop of varied regulatory positions taken by other nations like China and the US, Chandrasekhar said: “We are not China…We are a vibrant democracy, we have constitutionally guaranteed rights, fundamental rights to all our citizens, of free speech. We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy.”
India is taking a lead among democracies of the world to evolve a framework of regulations or rules for digital platforms that have long escaped any form of accountability to the users because of ‘Safe Harbour’ under Section 79, he noted.
Chandrasekhar also made it clear that India welcomes investors from across the world, even as it is looking to encourage domestic entrepreneurs, and strengthen homegrown products, intellectual property and platforms through growth-oriented programs and schemes.
“The vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is that Indians have to be occupied in creating value in India for whoever is the investor. Investor is equally welcome from Singapore, Japan, Western Europe, the US, or any geography including Indian entrepreneurs,” he said.
At the same time, the government wants more and more Indian brands and products to proliferate and become globally-competitive.
“But I don’t think anywhere in our radar is protectionism. There is no protectionism…For government, there are no two classes of investors or people creating economic growth and opportunity,” he said.