Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar stepped down on Wednesday, adding to the list of top local politicians who left their posts before that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not restructure his cabinet.
The resignations of Prasad – who also served as Minister of Law and Justice – and Javadekar – who also oversaw the environment, forests, climate change, heavy industries and state-owned enterprises – come at a time when they were at the center of a tough talk with US tech companies over Southeast Asia’s new IT rules, which went into effect at the end of May.
There is no evidence that Prasad and Javadekar’s application of the new IT rules and public exchanges with US tech giants are linked to their resignations.
“All social media platforms are welcome to do business in India. They can criticize Ravi Shankar Prasad, my prime minister or anyone else. The problem is the misuse of social media. Some of them say we are bound by US laws. You are operating in India, making a lot of money, but you will take the position that you will be governed by US law. It’s just not acceptable, ”Prasad said in a virtual conference last week.
The new IT rules “will impact the privacy and data security of Indian Internet users, as well as the technology sector’s hitherto enormous contribution to India’s economic growth by imposing onerous compliance frameworks on the Internet. local and international digital media companies, said Jeff Paine, chief executive of Asia Internet Coalition, an industry body that represents all major tech companies, in May.
“While it is important to keep the Internet of users and online platforms accountable, we urge the government to work closely with industry to ensure these rules are implemented in a manner that mitigates the impact on the operations of online platforms in India, and ultimately, on individuals, startups and the country’s tech ecosystem.
Other ministers who resigned today include Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his deputy Ashwani Chaube, both of whom have come under fire for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic measures.
“The president, as advised by the prime minister, has accepted the resignation … with immediate effect,” Ajay Kumar Singh, press secretary to the president, said in a statement.