Plan C is an endeavor of the contributors at My Lawrd to track recent developments in the Indian technology law and policy space. During many of our research projects, we felt an urge to consolidate recent developments for convenience, reliability, and efficiency. Although the so aggregated information was initially thought to be used within our organization, our kind contributors, who also happen to be passionate about the technology law community, decided to share this information with you folks! So here’s what’s happening in Technology Regulations in 2021. Happy reading & researching!
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it has increased the maximum end of day balance for payment banks to ₹2 lakh. Earlier, the limit was ₹1 lakh.
External committee appointed to evaluate applications for universal bank and SFB Licenses
The RBI appointed an external advisory committee to evaluate applications for universal bank and small finance bank (SFB) licenses. While corporate houses may also want to enter the space, several of India’s payments banks may choose to convert into a small finance bank and begin lending on their own balance sheets.
DoT amends the Unified License to widens scope of infra sharing to boost public WiFi, broadband reach
The Department of Telecommunications has amended the unified access service license rules, widening the scope of active infrastructure sharing to boost public WiFi services and increase broadband availability. The decision is likely to pave the way for licensed service providers to share WiFi network infrastructure cost-effectively and, in turn, deliver WiFi services at affordable rates.
RBI extends time to companies for complying with e-payment rules
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through a notification dated 31.03.2021 granted an extension of six months, till December 31, 2021, to payment gateways and payment aggregators to enable them and participants to put in place workable solutions, such as tokenization, within the framework set out by it.
RBI allows banks up to 6-month time to comply with E-mandate processing framework
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through a notification dated 31.03.2021 extended the timeline to comply with the “framework for processing e-mandates on recurring online transactions” till September 30, 2021.
Regulator: Ministry of Civil Aviation
Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted permit to “No-Permission-No-Takeoff’ (NPNT) compliant drone operations at 34 additional green zones to facilitate, smoothen, and promote drone operations in the country. The approved sites allow drone usage up to 400 ft Above Ground Level (AGL). These zones are in addition to the twenty-six green zone sites approved dated 02 Feb 2021 and six green zone sites approved dated 03 Apr 2020.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has asked all companies in the country to mandatorily disclose any dealings in cryptocurrency or virtual currency in their balance sheets.
TRAI issues directions to banks, others to comply with directive to check SPAM
TRAI issued a press release directing operators to re-activate SMS checking filters beginning April 1 and block traffic that fails to comply with regulatory standards.
TRAI issues press release asking on implementation of the ‘Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR)’, 2018
In a notification released by TRAI, it has issued directions to all the Principal Entities who are using the telecom resources to send bulk messages to their customer, to fulfill the regulatory requirements immediately so that there would not be any disruption in their business activity and inconvenience to the public and at the same time businesses work in a safe and trusted environment.
DoT Amends UL license for procuring telecom equipment
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) amended the unified license for procurement of telecom equipment. The amendments come into effect from June 15. It also directs that the licensee will only use ‘trusted products’ in its network and seek permission from ‘designated authority’ for upgrading the existing network.
TRAI decides to temporarily suspend implementation of Content template Scrubbing functionality
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) temporarily suspended the scrubbing of short message service or SMS by telecom service providers (TSP) for seven days to allow principal entities to register their messaging templates. The notification seeks to direct telecom companies to inform the respective principal entities and facilitate their registration within the stipulated time.
The newly notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021make a distinction between social media intermediary and significant social media intermediary. Through a notification dated 25th February,2020, the central government notified fifty lakh registered users in India as the threshold for a social media intermediary to be considered a significant social media intermediary.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India enacted the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 has been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011
Cabinet approves Production Linked Incentive Scheme for IT Hardware
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for IT Hardware. The scheme proposes production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain of IT Hardware. The Target Segments under the proposed Scheme include Laptops, Tablets, All-in-One PCs and Servers
Government notifies that Fino payment bank to be included in the second schedule
The Reserve Bank of India has notified through a notification that Fino Payments Bank has been included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular on digital payment security norms for regulated entities to set up a robust governance structure to implement common minimum standards of security controls for channels like internet, mobile banking, card payments, etc.
Regulator: Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways
Ministry of Road Transport declares FASTags to be mandatory from February, 15th
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has decided that all lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways shall be declared as “FASTag lane of the fee plaza” w.e.f midnight of 15th/16th February 2021. As per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times of the fee applicable to that category.
IRDAI intimates all Insurance companies for issuance of Digital Insurance Policies via DigiLocker
IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory Authority of India) in a Circular has advised all Insurance companies for issuance of Digital Insurance Policies via DigiLocker. The Circular states, “in order to promote the adoption of Digilocker in the insurance sector, the Authority advises all insurers to enable their IT systems to interact with Digilocker facility to enable policyholders to use Digilocker for preserving all their policy documents”.
SEBI revises objective, eligibility criteria of innovation sandbox
SEBI has revised the objective and eligibility criteria of its innovation sandbox with graded entry norms. Additionally, a steering committee comprising representatives from the enabling organisations has been formed to drive the innovation sandbox, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).