The Indian government has said that presently it isn’t considering any proposal to limit the time spent playing games by online gamers.
“No proposal to limit the amount of time spent by gamers in playing online games is currently under consideration of the government,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) submitted yesterday in Lok sabha (Lower House).
The Minister responsible for answering queries from fellow parliamentarians was responding to a question whether the government, in view of harmful excess use of online games, was planning to “limit the gamers under 18 years to just three hours of online games per week” and make industry responsible for enforcing the regulations as done in China.
However, Meity did admit that the policies of the government were aimed at ensuring an Open, Safe, Trusted and Accountable Internet for users even though with the expansion of the Internet and more Indians coming online, the potential for “being exposed to content depicting violence has grown”.
“Online game content too is one among various categories of online content offered by online gaming platform intermediaries, which is picking up around the world, including among children and adolescents in India. The government is aware of the possible risks and challenges associated with the online games, including that of violence associated with video games,” Meity said in its reply, adding adequate safety measures, however, have been taken.
It said to help achieve the aim of making the Internet safe and accountable the Central or the federal government has legislated the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
“These rules cast specific obligation on intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, to observe due diligence and provide that if they fail to observe such due diligence, they shall no longer be exempt from their liability under law for third-party information or data or communication link hosted by them.”
Among the rules made to ensure the online environment is safe, Meity said the rules cast specific obligation on intermediaries to observe due diligence by making reasonable efforts to cause its user not to host, display, publish, transmit or share any information that is harmful to child, causes incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence, relates to encourages gambling, or violates any law for the time being in force.