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12th November Current Affairs

Contents

  1. Government to govern OTT Platforms
  2. PLI to encourage domestic manufacturing
  3. Home Ministry amends FCRA rules
  4. National Education Day 2020

GOVERNMENT TO GOVERN OTT PLATFORMS

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • The Union government has brought Over the Top (OTT) platforms, or video streaming service providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and others, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • While the print was regulated by the Press Council of India and Television, both News and Entertainment, were being regulated by the Cable Networks Regulation Act (2005) – currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.
  • It may also be recalled that the Supreme Court of India recently had issued notice to the Centre and the Internet and Mobile Association of India, on a petition to regulate OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.

Impact

  • The current move will give the government control over OTT platforms, which were unregulated till now.
  • No details as of now, but it is learnt that the Programme Code that governs content on TV and which found an outlet in the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995, may serve as a template to frame rules for online content.
  • The Programme Code lists several dont’s that channels are required to observe and follow.
  • Currently, the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, which was set up in 2008, is entrusted with the work of monitoring content on TV. It puts out reports on violations of the Programme Code.
  • The findings go to an inter-ministerial committee. There is a possibility that the brief of the monitoring service could be extended to include online content.

What is Over-the-Top (OTT) Media Service?

  • An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet.
  • OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.
  • The term is most synonymous with subscription-based video-on-demand (SVoD) services that offer access to film and television content.

What accounts for the rise of OTTs in India?

Faster internet, aided by cheap smartphones and data packs provided by telecom players across the board such as Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea have powered the growth of more than 30 OTT entities in India, including US platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well as home-grown Disney+ Hotstar, ZEE5, ALTBalaji and Voot.

The OTT vs DTH Scene in India

  • Meanwhile the rise of OTT services also seems to have impacted the DTH subscription numbers.
  • A recent survey suggests that more than 50% Indians prefer OTT over DTH services and almost 90% of Indians use mobile to watch videos these days.
  • The content and the context of DTH and OTT are completely different. OTT platforms are very personal whereas DTH connections are more social in nature.
  • They complement each other as well like the OTT platforms suggest about the material available on DTH by advertisements.
DTHOTT
DTH is an acronym for ‘Direct to Home’ service. It is a digital satellite service that provides television viewing services directly to subscribers through satellite transmission anywhere in the country.The signals are digital by nature and are received directly from the satellite.   An ‘Over the Top’ media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product. The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.It needs access to the internet and smartphones, tablets, laptop/computers.

What is the best way forward?

  • OTT is going to be on rise for sure. Internet penetration levels are not stagnant and increasing day by day with the help of Digital India and broadband programmes taking it to far flung areas.
  • The ease in information collection and more importantly the trust towards the phones show that the base of OTT is going to increase further.
  • OTT user base has seen a rise of nearly 100% during the pandemic, but experts believe the big-screen cinematic experience will never disappear in India.
  • Also, OTTs cannot afford to help recoup the budgets of big films by digital sales alone.

-Source: The Hindu


PLI TO ENCOURAGE DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

The government unveiled a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage domestic manufacturing investments in ten more sectors, with an estimated outlay of about ₹1.46 lakh crore over the next five years.

Details

  • The ten sectors had been identified on the basis of their potential to create jobs and make India self-reliant, include food processing, telecom, electronics, textiles, speciality steel, automobiles and auto components, solar photo-voltaic modules and white goods such as air conditioners and LEDs.
  • Earlier, the government had announced a production linked incentive or PLI scheme for medical devices, mobile phones and specified active pharmaceutical ingredients.
  • Now, several more pharmaceutical products have been brought under the aegis of the PLI scheme, including complex generics, anti-cancer and diabetic drugs, in-vitro diagnostic devices and special empty capsules.

Brown Goods vs. White Goods

  • Brown Goods are relatively light electronic appliances such as computers, radios, audio equipment, and televisions.
  • Digital media players and game consoles are also in the brown goods category.
  • We sometimes refer to these products as consumer electronics or light consumer electronic durables.
  • White goods are large household appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, washing machines, stoves and dishwashers. Many years ago, these products were available nearly exclusively in white; hence, the term.
  • Unlike brown goods, white goods are large and not portable, i.e., you cannot carry them. We can carry most brown goods, apart from some TVs and sound systems.

-Source: The Hindu


HOME MINISTRY AMENDS FCRA RULES

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has relaxed norms for farmer, student, religious and other groups who are not directly aligned to any political party to receive foreign funds if the groups are not involved in “active politics”.

Details: New FCRA Rules

  • The new rule said, “The organisations specified under clauses (v) and (vi) of sub-rule (1) shall be considered to be of political nature, if they participate in active politics or party politics, as the case may be.”
  • The 2011 rules on said clauses dealt with “guidelines for the declaration of an organisation to be of a political nature, not being a political party”, and the Central government could specify an organisation as that of political nature based on six criteria.
  • Clause V of Rule 3 (FCRA 2011) qualified a political group as, “organisations of farmers, workers, students, youths based on caste, community , religion, language or otherwise, which is not directly aligned to any political party, but whose objectives as stated in the memorandum of association, or activities gathered through other material evidence, include steps towards advancement of political interests of such groups”.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010

The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 is a consolidating act whose scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Key Points regarding FCRA

  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The FCRA regulates the receipt of funding from sources outside of India to NGOs working in India. It prohibits the receipt of foreign contribution “for any activities detrimental to the national interest”.
  • The Act held that the government can refuse permission if it believes that the donation to the NGO will adversely affect “public interest” or the “economic interest of the state”. However, there is no clear guidance on what constitutes “public interest”.
  • The Acts ensures that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.

-Source: The Hindu


NATIONAL EDUCATION DAY 2020

Focus: GS-II Social Justice 

Why in news?

  • India is celebrating the National Education Day on 11th November.
  • In the event India’s commitment to establish India as a global hub of education and to ensure high quality of education was reiterated through Study in India, Stay in India and Internationalization of Education.
  • Study in India, stay in India is an extension of the Study in India programme, a flagship project of the Government of India, launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry in April 2018.

National Education Day

National Education Day has been observed every year on 11th November, since 2008 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the first Union Education Minister of India.
  • He was a freedom fighter, scholar and eminent educationist.
  • He was a key architect of Independent India who was responsible for setting up apex education bodies like All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • He was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 1992.

-Source: Economic Times

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