Centre Approves PADMA as Self-Regulatory Body

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently approved the Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across India.

What is PADMA?

  • The Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) is a self-regulatory body having 47 news publishers.
  • This organization is responsible for looking into grievances related to digital media news content on its member publishers’ platforms.
  • It will be headed by former HC Judge Mool Chand Garg. It also includes a part-time member of Prasar Bharati Ashok Kumar Tandon and journalist Manoj Kumar Mishra as its members.
  • It will be involved in the redressal of grievances pertaining to the code of ethics under the rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
  • The organization must also ensure that the member publishers have agreed to adhere to the provisions of the rules, including the furnishing of information required under Rule 18.
  • With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has approved 9 self-regulatory bodies since May 21 under Rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

About Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notified the rules in February 2021. These rules identify significant social media intermediaries (SSMIs) – the social media intermediaries with registered users in India above the notified threshold. The SSMIs are required to observe certain additional due diligence like appointing certain personnel for compliance, enabling identification of the first originator of information on its platform under certain conditions, and the use technologies to identify certain types of content. All intermediaries are required to provide a grievance redressal mechanisms for resolving complaints from users or victims. The rules provide three-level grievance redressal mechanism with varying levels of self-regulations.

Rule 12 requires self-regulatory bodies to oversee and ensure the publishers’ adherence to the code of ethics. They are also required to provide guidance to publishers on the implementation of code of ethics and address grievances that have not been resolved by publishers within 15 days. They must also hear appeals filed by the complainants against the decisions of publishers.

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