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In India, "major" platforms will have to get government approval before launching new AI offerings.


India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a new AI advisory on Friday. It stipulates that untested AI platforms published on the Indian internet must be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

The advisory is not yet legally binding, but could become so. According to Deputy IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the guidelines are explicitly aimed at large platforms, not start-ups.

The advisory requires companies to, among other things, ensure that their products or services do not allow for bias or discrimination and do not compromise the integrity of the electoral process.


Affected companies are required to submit a report to the ministry within 15 days on the actions taken and the status of implementation.

Indian IT industry caught off guard by AI regulation

The government's new guidelines have surprised and unsettled India's AI industry. Some Indian startups and investors fear that lengthy approvals could hinder the country's competitiveness in the global market.

One of the statements circulating on X was that any generative AI model would have to be approved by the government in the future, even relatively small open-source language models.

According to Chandrasekhar, these fears are based on a misunderstanding. He tries to clear up the "confusion" surrounding AI regulation, emphasizing that these guidelines are primarily aimed at the large and important platforms. They do not apply to startups.

According to Chandrasekhar, there are legal consequences for platforms that enable or directly distribute illegal content. To minimize this risk for platforms, he recommends the use of labels and consent-based provisioning for users on unverified platforms. Larger platforms should seek government approval before deploying risky AI systems.


These measures should prevent unverified AI platforms from taking over the Indian internet and act as an insurance policy against potential consumer lawsuits, Chandrasekhar said. The public space of the internet should not be confused with a sandbox.

India is fully behind AI, and this stance is consistent with the goal of providing a safe and trusted Internet for Internet users, Chandrasekhar said.

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Image: Chandrasekhar via X
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  • India is requiring "major" tech platforms to seek government approval before launching new AI models to avoid bias, discrimination, and interference in the electoral process, among other things.
  • The new guidelines, issued by India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), have surprised and unsettled the Indian AI industry. There are fears that they could stifle innovation.
  • Deputy IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar stresses that they are primarily aimed at large platforms and do not apply to start-ups.
Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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