The matter of regulating content on OTT platforms was raised during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha today. In response, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said that the guidelines and directions to this effect were almost ready, and would be implemented soon. The I&B Ministry had brought films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers, and news and current affairs content on online platforms under its purview in November 2020. 

During Question Hour, the MoS for Finance noted that regulatory bodies like the RBI and SEBI don’t have a legal framework to regulate cryptocurrencies. He said that a cryptocurrency bill is being finalized and will be sent to the Cabinet soon. Please note that the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 is listed for introduction in this session.

Rajya Sabha then bid farewell to four retiring Members from Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by the discussion and passing of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The parent Act from 2011 regularises unauthorised colonies in Delhi. The present Bill replaces an Ordinance which extended the validity of the Act by three years, till December 31, 2023.

Some Members raised objections to the promulgation of Ordinances. On this, the Chairperson remarked that the central and the state governments and all political parties must arrive at a consensus to not issue Ordinances, and should use the forum of the legislature to the extent possible.  

In Lok Sabha, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was granted further extension to submit its report during the first week of the second part of Budget Session, 2021, i.e., by March 12. The Bill was referred to the Committee soon after its introduction in Lok Sabha in December 2019.  

The Home Minister also briefed Parliament on the avalanche in Chamoli district. He stated that about Rs 1,041 crore have been allocated to Uttarakhand from the State Disaster Risk Management Fund in 2020-21 and that the first installment amounting to Rs 468 crore has been released to the state.

The discussion on the President's Address continued in Lok Sabha. 

Proceedings in Lok Sabha were ongoing at the time of uploading this note. 

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