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Razorpay, one of India’s top payment gateway providers, had emailed several online gaming platforms earlier this week that it will revoke its UPI payment option for these portals from December 31. The company has now clarified that the services will not be discontinued.
Over in Chennai, a group of students led by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) recently staged a massive protest against Governor RN Ravi for not approving the state government’s legislation to ban online gaming.
On Tuesday, the Union Minister of State (MoS) for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, announced on Twitter that the ministry would soon publish the draft rules concerning online gaming intermediaries and initiate public consultations on the matter. Chandrasekhar emphasized that the regulations will prevent illegal content and services.
Razorpay Clarifies UPI Access Services to Online Gaming Platforms Not Revoked
Leading Indian payment gateway provider Razorpay has clarified that it will not be revoking access to online gaming platforms from December 31, as was erroneously conveyed to some providers.
According to sources, Razorpay had emailed several online gaming platforms that it was discontinuing the UPI payment option on its portals in light of the recent regulatory changes by the Union government.
The email stated that the NPCI has, in a directive, asked payment gateway service providers to stop using the UPI platform to facilitate online gaming payments.
However, Razorpay later clarified that the message was erroneously sent to a few gaming providers, and it has affirmed the same to the online gaming providers by email.
It’s pertinent to note here that according to a 2020 Payment Aggregator framework, only those firms approved by the RBI can acquire or offer payment services to merchants. Existing payment aggregators should have achieved a net worth of ₹25 Crores by March 31, 2023, maintaining the same at all times. In its scrutiny of the payment aggregator applications, it is also reported that the RBI has asked the payment platforms to cut exposure to online gaming platforms.
Students Led by DYFI Stage Protest Against TN Governor RN Ravi in Chennai For Not Approving Ordinance on Online Gaming
The Tamil Nadu governor RN Ravi has increasingly come under fire for not approving the state government’s Ordinance to regulate all forms of online gaming. Recently, a group of students led by the youth organization the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) staged a massive protest in Chennai against the Governor. The protesters criticized the Governor for not approving the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022, which seeks to ban all forms of online gaming in the state.
For this fact, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022, expired on November 27. Though the Governor had approved the Ordinance, and the state cabinet passed the related legislation on October 20, the Governor had withheld his signatory approval on the Bill, leading to the lapse of the Ordinance.
The Governor’s inaction evoked sharp criticism. PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss demanded that the governor grant assent to the Bill immediately. While the Tamil Nadu Law Minister S Regupathy met the Governor to discuss his doubts on the legislation, DMK MLA TRB Rajaa even went to the extent of stating that the post of Governor is “the most useless thing” in a democracy. The Tamil social media also began to troll the Governor, and several posts criticized Ravi with the hashtag #GetOutRavi.
At the same time, the E-Gaming Federation (EGF), All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), PlayGames 24X7 Private Limited, and Head Digital Works Private Ltd. challenged the Ordinance in the Madras High Court. The court then asked the parties to withdraw their constitutional petitions since the Bill was not approved and currently, there is no ban on online gaming.
MietY To Organise A Public Consultation On The Proposed Amendments To IT Rules 2021
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was recently in the news for being instated as the nodal ministry to oversee the country’s burgeoning online gaming industry. And we have another bit of information following the release of the draft amendments to IT rules 2021 from Union Minister of State (MoS), Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar. On Tuesday, Chandasekhar said that the MietY would organize a public consultation on the proposed changes.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared the same in one of his latest tweets.
Know Your #DPDPBill2022
The deadline for Public Consultation on the bill is till 2nd January 2023.
Reach out with your feedback at https://t.co/Fk9s6Th4MW#TechTuesday #IndiaTechade pic.twitter.com/epdTaCiuRU
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar ?? (@Rajeev_GoI) December 27, 2022
The proposed Grievance Appellate Committee(s) (GAC) is among other changes in the draft. If the rules are implemented, social media users who are dissatisfied with the decision of a social media company’s grievance officer may appeal to the committee. It is intended to provide a final decision on social media content disputes.
Per the ministry tweet, the public consultation will be held on June 23, 2022. Moreover, the ministry has invited public comments through email as well.
“Proposed amended IT rules to provide additional avenues for grievance redressal apart from courts and ensure that any big-tech Platform does not contravene the Constitutional rights of Indian citizens by ensuring new accountability standards for significant social media intermediaries (SSMIs),” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the intermediaries, including online news portals, news aggregators, and OTT platforms, should respect the rights guaranteed to the citizens under the Constitution of India.
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