Draft Digital India Bill Expected By Early 2023, MoS IT Says
A lot of work has been done on the proposed Digital India Act, and a draft law to support ‘India’s techade’ is expected by early 2023, said Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The comments assume significance as India moves rapidly towards a robust framework to foster its digital ambitions and manage the online ecosystem, with openness, user safety and trust as guiding principles.
At the same time, the government has asserted that extensive consultation will go into formulating key regulations that will be the key barriers to building a ‘new India’ and its digital infrastructure.
Asked about the status of the Digital India Act, which will replace the IT Act, Chandrasekhar said: “A lot of work has been done on it, and we expect that in early 2023, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the legal framework for Indian techtech will be put in front of the country. ” The minister asserted that the government intends to have a detailed discussion on important laws.
“…all these laws for the ‘new India’, should be modernized, widely discussed with consumers, industries, startups, lawyers, judges, citizens … all should get their voice included in all of these laws, and that’s it and what we will do,” Chandrasekhar told PTI in an interview.
He made it clear: “We don’t work during artificial hours.” The upcoming law, the Digital India Act, will replace the IT Act 2000, which is more than two decades old, he said but did not comment on specific conditions.
Chandrasekhar further stated that rules, regulations, and law on the Internet will continue to evolve. It is worth mentioning that the government has recently changed the IT laws where they will set up appeal panels to resolve complaints that users may have against the decisions of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook regarding the handling of contentious content.
Notably, new amendments to the IT laws now impose a legal obligation on social media companies to make every effort to prevent blocked content and misinformation, and platforms such as Twitter and Facebook operating in India will have to comply with local laws and the constitutional rights of Indian users.
The toughening of the stance against the big tech companies comes at a time when discontent is spreading over the social media’s alleged unscrupulous actions over flagged content.
Given that 800 million Indians are online, the Center had said it would bring in a modern framework of rules and regulations that would act as catalysts for innovation and protect the rights of “Digital Nagriks”.
While the government withdrew the Draft Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill in August, its replacement – a new law that provides a comprehensive framework for global common law including digital privacy laws for current and future challenges – is currently in the works.