OTT Guidelines: Platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime to show ‘6 classification ratings’ for content

Central Government has formulated new laws for digital content and streaming platform.


The new Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 says that only the person who is above 18 years of age will be suitable for adult category.

Meanwhile, there will be six categories:- (1) U – universal, (2) U/A – General Viewing, (3) U/A – 7+ age, (4) U/A 13+ age, (5) U/A 16+ age and (6) A – Adult category.

U/A may include some scenes which will be unsuitable for children. For U/A 7+, violence may be included but it should be for sarcasm or comedy. For U/A 13+, violence can be more realistic and graphic, but it should not be glorified. While the adult category will be allowed to have “strong language” besides graphic details of violence used. The content may also contain strong or mature sex scenes along with nudity.

The decisions taken by government amid OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime faced heavy criticism for allegedly showing adult scenes or the scenes which could harm someone’s sentiments.

These new rules by the government have set a “classification rating” to describe the content for viewers of films and other forms of entertainment, including web-based, or Over The Top (OTT) platforms.