The Draft Amendments to IT Rules, 2021 : Daily Current Affairs

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Key Phrases: Electronics and Information Technology, IT guidelines, IT Rules, 2021,Grievance Appellate Committees, intermediaries, Internet Freedom Foundation, digital rights, grievance officers,


  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has published a fresh draft of amendments to the Information Technology Rules, 2021.
  • The draft proposes the creation of government-appointed appeal committees that will be able to veto content-moderation decisions taken by social media intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • The fresh draft was issued by the government after the earlier proposal was withdrawn.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY):

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is an executive agency of the Union Government of the Republic of India.
  • It was carved out of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on 19 July 2016 as a standalone ministerial agency responsible for IT policy, strategy and development of the electronics industry.
  • Some Companies under MeitY
    • CSC e-Governance Services India Limited
    • Digital Locker
    • Media Lab Asia (MLAsia)
    • National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (NICSI) — Public Sector Enterprise under control of National Informatics Centre.
    • National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)
    • Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

What is the law?

  • Broadly, the IT Rules (2021) mandate social media platforms to exercise greater diligence with respect to the content on their platforms.
  • They are required to establish a grievance redressal mechanism, and remove unlawful and unfitting content within stipulated time frames.
  • The grievance officer of the platform’s redressal mechanism is responsible for receiving and resolving complaints of the users.
  • She/he is expected to acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and dispose the same in an appropriate manner within 15 days.
  • Content portraying an individual in full or partial nudity, in a sexual act or impersonating some other individual in the act (using morphed photos) are required to be removed within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.
  • Its access and spread by any other means on the platform should also be disabled.
  • Other than this, the privacy policies of the social media platforms must ensure that users are educated about not circulating copyrighted material and anything that can be construed as defamatory, racially or ethnically objectionable, paedophilic, threatening the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India or friendly relations with foreign states, or violative of any contemporary law.

The proposed amendments to IT Rules 2021:

  • Establish Grievance Appellate Committees:
    • The draft recommends that the government establish Grievance Appellate Committees to evaluate and even reverse content moderation decisions made by social media corporations.
    • It means if a user is dissatisfied with the company's content moderation decision, they can appeal it to the planned committee.
    • Currently, the only way for a user to challenge a company's content judgements is to go to court.
  • Grievance officers of social media companies given more responsibilities:
    • The new proposal also suggests those grievance officers chosen by social media corporations be given more responsibility.
    • It states that a grievance officer will have 72 hours to handle a user complaint about information that is "patently false," infringes on copyright, and undermines India's integrity, among other things.
    • According to existing laws, grievance officials have 15 days to act on and resolve customer concerns.

Why does this Amendment matter?

  • Protecting Rights of the people:
    • According to authorities, the government has received multiple complaints from people who have been removed from social media platforms without being given the opportunity to justify their acts.
    • The proposed changes will guarantee that the "constitutional rights of Indian citizens" are not violated by any big tech platform.
  • Rectify Loopholes:
    • Previous IT guidelines, which were enacted in May 2021, contained significant loopholes.
    • As a result, the proposed modifications are likely to close such gaps.
  • The new rules will ensure new accountability standards.
  • The IT Rules, 2021 provide for a robust grievance redressal mechanism.


  • The amendment to IT rule 2021 will shift more power into the hands of government to have better control over the contents on internet, however there are concerns raised regarding government overriding social media platforms content decisions.

Source: Indian Express

Mains Question:

Q. What are the draft amendments to IT Rules, 2021? Why there was a need of such amendments. Discuss.(250 words).