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SC directs MIB to file SDC recommendation affidavit within three weeks

On July 9, a bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Sandeep Mehta directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court within the next three weeks, highlighting recommendations on the ‘self-declaration certificate’ mechanism. This directive followed intervention applications from various associations including ISA, AAAI, IAMAI, and the Association of Radio Operators.

Justice Kohli instructed the MIB to continue holding brainstorming sessions with stakeholders to develop an implementable mechanism, while the interim advisory from MIB remains in force. The matter is now scheduled for the next hearing on July 30. Additionally, Kohli clarified the intention is not to cause harm but to focus on specific sectors and aspects and that any extraneous interpretations should be clarified. 

Moving further, Kohli urged the MIB to organize meetings involving all stakeholders and senior officials to generate ideas, emphasising that the industry should not suffer, directing the MIB to continue refining its strategies and submit comprehensive recommendations within the three-week timeframe.

Additionally, there was a suggestion made during the proceedings to consolidate the uploading of Self-Declaration Certificates (SDCs) into a single mandatory portal, instead of maintaining two separate portals.

It was further highlighted that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has already conducted significant high-level meetings with various stakeholders to address their concerns and issues. These meetings will continue to be held with interveners and other relevant parties to resolve issues and clarify difficulties encountered.

These developments follow the MIB’s advisory issued on July 4, which restricted the requirement for ‘self-declaration certificates’ for advertisements to an annual upload specifically for food and health products and services.

Moving further, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) amended its earlier directive, which had required ‘self-declaration certificates’ (SDCs) for every advertisement across television, print, radio, and digital platforms starting from June 18. The revised advisory, aimed at providing relief to the advertising industry, now restricts the SDC requirement solely to advertisements related to food and health sectors. Furthermore, the mandate for ‘every ad’ has been replaced with an annual requirement for SDCs.

This adjustment, followed a meeting on June 25 between the Ministry and industry stakeholders, including major tech platforms, broadcasters, the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), and the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA). During this meeting, stakeholders suggested limiting the SDC mandate to food and health sectors only. Discussions also centered around the feasibility of implementing a ‘one-time certification’ approach.

Source: Social Samosa

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