NEW DELHI: There will be wider focus on “indecent” advertisements by the National Commission for Women and the Advertising Standards Council of India as part of a centralised authority mooted by the Women and Child Development Ministry.
Last month, the ministry had finalised fresh amendments to the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, widening its scope to make indecent portrayal of women on digital and social media platforms punishable with a fine and penal provisions
Under the proposed norm, ASCI, along with NCW and Press Council of India, will be tasked with identifying ads and other promotional material that represent women indecently, particularly showing nudity and insensitive portrayal of women.
The proposed amendments are based on observations made by a parliamentary standing committee and recommendations from the National Commission for Women.
The amendments have been proposed keeping in mind recent technological advancements in the field of communications.
“Since the enactment of the Act, technological revolution has resulted in the development of new forms of communication, such as Internet, multimedia messaging, over-the-top (OTT) services and applications like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Chat On, Snapchat and others,” a statement by the ministry had said.
“Keeping in mind these technological advancements, it has been decided to widen the scope of the law so as to cover such forms of media on one hand and to strengthen the existing safeguards to prevent indecent representation of women through any media form on the other.”
The draft bill proposes a penalty similar to that provided under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and creation of a centralised authority under the aegis of the National Commission of Women.