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PUBG affecting youth, accept Government but not in favor of Ban



Chandigarh-June 5th, (Dr. Abhinav Kalra) – A big breakthrough in struggle against mobile game PUBG – PUBG, in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has undertaken to introduce various   safe guards by June, 2020, for preventing ill effects against health of the children playing this game.

Dr. Dhawal Gupta, Additional Director, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has supplied a copy of reply  dated 30.4.2020, given by PUBG to the issues raised by Advocate H.C. Arora in his  representation dated December 12th, 2019 read with issues raised in his PIL, to the Union Ministry. In its reply to the Union Ministry, the PUBG has given the following proposal for preventing ill effect of Mobile Game PUBG on the health of children:-

Reducing Game time

We are in the process of implementing a 2nd - 3rd - 5th hour game time regulation framework for minor users. The framework provides for a health warning to pop up at the 2nd hour, and subsequently a compulsory 1-hour break to be imposed at the 3rd hour, and a compulsory log out at the 5th hour. In other words, the maximum playing time allowed for a minor user will be 5 hours for each day.

          For adult players, currently, health warnings appear after the 4th hour and 6th hour mark (including at every successive 2-hour interval after the 6th hour). To reduce excessive game play time, we plan to display such warnings at the 2nd hour and 4th hour mark.

OTP based restriction

          We are in the process of looking into other measures to improve oversight of game usage by minors. This includes measures such as incorporating an OTP-based parental consent requirement for a minor to continue playing the game after 3 hours of game-time. Thus, if a minor has been playing for 3 hours, an OTP authentication will be required before the minor can continue to play for another 2 hours during the same day. The minor will be required to provide the parent’s mobile number and insert the OTP obtained via such mobile number. If the minor does not proceed with OTP authentication, the minor will be automatically logged out of the game for the day. As OTP involves collaborating with a local telecom service provider, we intend to implement this feature latest by early June 2020, subject to assessments on potential data privacy considerations.”

          Thus, the contrary stand taken by PUBG in   earlier part of their reply dated 30.4.2020 to the Union Ministry, stating that there is no ill effect on the health of the children to play this game for longer durations, stand has been rendered irrelevant because  the aforesaid safeguards, if introduced by the PUBG, if implemented would be a great relief to the parents of children ,who are spending lot of time in playing mobile game PUBG.

However, the petitioner-Advocate, H.C. Arora is now required to submit a rejoinder to Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, with reference to other contentions raised by PUBG, in justification of the game, is required  to be submitted by him upto June 12th, 2020, after which the Union Ministry will take a final decision either to ban PUBG, or to regulate the game by accepting the aforesaid assurances/proposals of safeguards submitted by PUBG.

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