Here are the top 5 news updates of February 25, 2021:
The government today said a 'code of ethics' and three-tier grievance redressal mechanism would be applicable for news publishers, OTT platforms and digital media. Seeking to establish a soft touch regulatory framework for these entities, the government said OTT platforms (like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) would have to self-classify the content into five age-based categories - U (Universal), U/A 7+ (years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). Briefing reporters, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said such platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age-verification mechanisms for content classified as 'A'. A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been established under the rules with different levels of self-regulation, wherein level-1 would be self-regulation by the publishers; level-2 self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the publishers; and level-3 would be oversight mechanism.
2. Govt announces new guidelines for social media, says platforms will be required to disclose originator of 'mischievous' message
The government today announced new rules to curb misuse of social media platforms, as it mandated firms to appoint grievance officer, disclose the first originator of the mischievous information and remove, within 24 hours, content depicting nudity or morphed pictures of women. Concerns have been raised about rampant abuse of social media platforms and spread of fake news and the government is bringing in a "soft touch" regulation, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while announcing the new guidelines. "Social media platforms upon being asked either by a court order or a government authority will be required to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message as the case may be," he said. "This should be only in relation to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, relations with foreign states, or rape, sexually explicit content etc," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the Congress and its erstwhile government in Puducherry, saying the V Narayanasamy led dispensation had 'different priorities' than public welfare and flayed party leader Rahul Gandhi over his recent 'north-south' remarks. Hitting out at the "Congress culture," at a public meeting in the poll-bound union territory, he said people were witness to it in the last five years. "Our colonial rulers had the policy of divide and rule. Congress has a policy of divide, lie and rule. Sometimes their leaders put region against region... community against community," he said.
As COVID-19 cases surge in Maharashtra, 229 school students and three staff members were found positive for the virus at a hostel in the Washim district of the state, said district authorities. A total of 327 students who reside in this hostel are mostly from Amravati, Hingoli, Nanded, Washim, Buldhana, and Akola. Last week 26 students were found virus-positive at the hostel after that all the students were tested. The school premises have reportedly been declared a containment zone.
Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 258 points and the Nifty reclaimed the 15,000 mark today, tracking gains in Reliance Industries, Axis Bank and TCS amid a positive trend in global markets. The 30-share BSE index ended 257.62 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 51,039.31. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 115.35 points or 0.77 per cent to 15,097.35.
(With input from agencies)