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MeitY launches the Grievance Appellate Committee

The Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar today launched the Grievance Appellate Committee, a faceless dispute resolution mechanism that makes digital platforms – big and small, accountable to DigitalNagriks.

The GAC was one of the provisions in the recently amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. Three such bodies have been constituted comprising of professionals from various fields.

“The GACs will work in the most transparent manner and all their decisions will be uploaded on website and accessible to the public,” he said, while addressing the gathering at the launch event.

Expressing happiness that the GAC launch took place on a day when PM Narendra Modi addressed a post-Budget webinar on “Ease of Living through Technology” organised by MeitY, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “The Prime Minister spoke of how technology is transforming citizens’ lives by ensuring ease of living through schemes like DBT, JAM & faceless taxation. One more step towards it, is the launch of the GAC, an appellate body that will significantly enhance the accountability of platforms to DigitalNagriks.”

Terming the GAC as an institution that will be a beacon for the Indian internet, the Minister said the mechanism is an important part of the overall framework of making the internet Open, Safe, Trusted and the digital platforms accountable. This, in turn, will create a culture of disclosure and public scrutiny, he added.

“It is an extension of our government’s views, policies and vision about creating easier ways of resolving disputes – whether it’s about taxation or the grievance redressal of DigitalNagriks,” he said.

The Minister reasserted that the vision behind the GAC is to ensure that the grievance redressal mechanism of the intermediaries work effectively.

Also present at the launch were Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary (MeitY), Amit Agrawal, Additional Secretary (MeitY) and Rakesh Maheshwari, Group coordinator (MeitY) apart from representatives of social media intermediaries, consumer groups as well members of the legal fraternity.

The DigitalNagriks can file an appeal with the GACs within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of communication from the intermediary’s Grievance Officer. This Committee will subsequently endeavour to address the user’s appeal within a period of 30 days.

CT Bureau

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