In a first, a new law for the registration of media will include digital media, which has never been part of any government regulation. If the bill is cleared, digital news sites may face action for "violations", which includes cancelled registration or penalty, according to a report.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry has started the process to amend the Registration of Press and Periodicals Bill and include "news on digital media through any electronic device" in its range.
The digital publishers will have to register with the Press Registrar General, who will have the authority to act against various publications for violations and who can suspend or cancel registrations and impose penalties.
So far, digital media has never been under any law or regulation. The amendments will bring digital media under the control of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as the administrative ministry.
However, the Bill is yet to be approved by the Prime Minister's Office and other stakeholders, according to a report.
Notably, the BJP-led government's move in 2019 to put out a draft bill that defined news on digital media as news in digitized format caused an uproar as it was seen to be an attempt to control the digital news media.
The Registration of Press and Periodicals Bill will replace the British-era Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, which regulates newspapers and printing presses in India.