Battlegrounds Mobile India Launch May Not Face Hurdles From MeitY and MHA
- Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) may not face regulatory hurdles from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- This comes following the recent response by the ministry to multiple RTIs filed by Dr Gaurav Tyagi (an Assistant Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University).
- MeitY has come forward to state that it has no role in granting any permission for entry of PUBG or any company/Mobile App in India.
Battlegrounds Mobile India’s relaunch has been a topic of debate ever since its pre-registrations went live on 18 May. Several Indian politicians recently made appeals to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology to block the release of the game within the country. However, it now seems like the launch of Krafton’s India exclusive Battle Royale game BGMI may not face hurdles, at least not from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As reported by IGN India, a response to an RTI filed by Dr Gaurav Tyagi (an Assistant Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University), states that “MHA does not grant permission for launching any app. MeitY issues blocking direction for any mobile applications under the provisions of section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.”
BGMI Relaunch: MeitY, MHA Play no Role in Granting Permission to Any Mobile App in India according to RTI Response
A few days ago on 11 June, the hashtag ‘#BanBattlegroundsPUBG’ was trending on Twitter with many concerned users and politicians expressing their apprehension over the release of BGMI. The main reasons highlighted were worries over the game’s privacy and data policies, along with Tencent's investment in Krafton.
However, the recent RTI responses offer a ray of hope for BGMI fans in the country. The Department of Electronics & Information Technology has come forward to clearly state that MeitY has “no role in granting any permission for entry of PUBG or any company/Mobile App in India”. MHA’s response states that “MHA does not grant permission for launching any app”.
Further, it has been reiterated by the Ministry of Home Affairs that MeitY does have the power to block or ban any mobile application in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India as per the law. As was the case when PUBG Mobile was initially banned in September 2020. However, it does not grant permissions for the launch of any mobile application. Something that MeitY has themselves clarified in the past as well.
On 2 June 2021, Arvind Dharmapuri who is a Member of Parliament (MP) from Nizamabad, Telangana, had reportedly written a letter to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, requesting him to look into the matter.
Apart from him, Ashok Nete (MP from Maharashtra) had also raised concerns about user privacy and data theft by Krafton and Tencent. He also demanded “strict action against (the) Chinese company” in his Tweet.
Previously, Ninong Ering who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Arunachal Pradesh had also called for a ban on Battlegrounds Mobile India, calling it a “Chinese deception”. This had led to the hashtag ‘BanBattlegroundsPUBG’ trending across Twitter India as several users came forth requesting the Indian Government to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India’s relaunch.
Currently, there is no official announcement about the release date of Battlegrounds Mobile India. However, the official BGMI social media handles continue to publish several posts and teasers about the mobile game’s release, which in turn have contributed to over 20 million pre-registrations for the game.