NEW DELHI: The government has blocked 735 social media links and 596 websites, including those of groups and sites "engaged in flaring up anti-India sentiments", Parliament was informed today.
"In the present year, till June 2017... 735 social media URLs and 596 websites have been blocked, including those of social media networking groups and websites engaged in flaring up anti India sentiments," Minister of State for Electronics and IT, P P Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He added that this was based on various Court orders as well as recommendations of an expert committee for blocking URLs/websites.
The minister pointed out that instances of misuse of web/social media in the country have come to the notice of the government from time to time.
He added that such behaviour in the cyberspace is due to the "virtual and borderless nature of technology".
"Law enforcement agencies regularly monitor the web and social media and take appropriate action for blocking of such URLs (Universal Resource Locators) whenever they notice hosting of objectionable contents as per provision of rules notified under Section 69A of Information Technology Act 2000," he said.
To a separate query, Chaudhary said the government has approved a scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) -- in February this year.
This was done with the aim of ushering in digital literacy in rural India by covering six crore rural households (one person per household).
The total outlay of the scheme is Rs 2,351.38 crore, he said adding that the targets under the PMGDISHA scheme are expected to be achieved by March 31, 2019.
As on date, 77,069 training centres are operational in rural areas of the country under PMGDISHA scheme.