Proposed Regulation of OTT Platforms and Digital Content in India : Implications and the Way Ahead

India is predicted to become the 6th largest market for OTT (Over-the-top) platforms by 2024, with digital media reaching a valuation of $5.1 billion by 2021 alone. This growth can be credited to several factors including record low internet prices and the proliferation of mobile devices. This massive and undeniable change in the media landscape raises, perhaps inevitably, the issue of the integration of digital media into a broader policy landscape. The dialogue surrounding the regulation of digital media in all its forms has been steadily gaining momentum globally and in India. The question of content regulation in particular has proven to be a complex and nuanced issue with different stakeholders such as the government and media entities representing varied perspectives. (more…)

The Anuradha Bhasin Judgment and the Conditional Status of the Right to the Internet

The preamble to the Indian Constitution provides for the liberty of thought and expression to each and every citizen of the country. This solemn resolve is envisaged in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which provides for freedom of speech and expression to its citizens. This freedom is restricted by Article 19(2) which provides for reasonable restrictions on eight grounds under which the State can encroach on a person’s freedom of speech and expression. Article 19(2) is generally understood as a provision enabling the State to make laws that impose reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression. In addition to this, Article 19(2) is also a restriction on the State itself as it cannot restrict a citizen’s free speech on any grounds other than those specifically mentioned. Furthermore, the restriction must be made through a law that needs to be checked against fundamental rights. Thus, restrictions cannot be imposed at the whims and fancies of the State. A recent case that reinforces this principle while also improvising the interpretation of the right to access the internet vis-a-vis the fundamental rights is Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India (more…)

“Respect” as Income Support? The Case of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi

The Kisan Long March of 2018 brought the grave situation of agrarian distress to the fore and built a consensus demanding policy intervention. Thus, the announcement of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme (PM- KISAN) came as a form of confirmation of the ongoing agrarian crisis. The sixth installment of the scheme was rolled out by the Government from 1st August 2020. This Central scheme was announced in 2018 to benefit 14 crore small and marginal farmers with direct cash transfers of more than 75,000 crore rupees. Under this scheme, small and marginal farmers holding not more than 2 hectares of land are entitled to receive Rs 6,000 a year in 3 installments. After 2 cycles of the scheme being complete, it is important to look into its success and what it has been able to achieve in real terms.  (more…)

Measures to address the impact of COVID on access to education in Government Primary Schools of Delhi

The UNDP report COVID and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery states that the pandemic has emerged as a “human development crisis” with indicators of certain dimensions expected to sink as low as mid-1980 levels. Education is one such dimension. With schools being closed and large proportions of the population without internet access, “effective out-of-school rate” suggests that 60% of the children across the globe do not have access to education. (more…)

Need for Modifications in the provisions of The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

Information on the Issue

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 was introduced in the Parliament on 17th September 2020 by the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind on 27th September 2020. The Act is meant to provide a national framework for agreements concerned with farming and protect farmers in their agreements with companies, retailers, and wholesalers. The Act is also meant to help the farmers with the sale of their produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price in a fair and transparent manner. An important provision in the Act is the promotion and facilitation of direct and online trade of farmers’ produce. (more…)

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020: Widening the Purview of the Act

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance was promulgated on 4th November 2020 by the President of India to ensure that all the stakeholders get an unconditional stay on the enforcement of arbitral awards where the Court finds out that the underlying agreement or the making of the award is induced by fraud or corruption and thus, through this amendment the parties to the proceedings, who challenged the award can now be saved from the conditions that the Court may impose in the normal circumstances for the stay of award. Further, the Ordinance omits the Eighth Schedule relating to the qualification and experience of the Arbitrator, which had impliedly excluded the foreign nationals from acting as arbitrators in an Indian seated Arbitration and substitutes the Schedule with Section 43J of the Act so as to state that the accreditation for arbitrations shall now be done as per the qualifications, experience and the norms specified by the regulations. (more…)