Regulating Emerging Technologies under proposed DIB

On 13 June 2024, Software Freedom Law Center, India ( hosted a virtual learning call on “Navigating the Future: Regulating Emerging Technologies under DIB.” The learning call was organized given the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) announcement of the Digital India Bill in March 2023.

Our resource persons included Aparajita Bharti, Founding Partner of the Quantum Hub; Shweta Mohandas, Researcher at the Centre for Internet and Society, India; Ritesh Aeron, Director (Digital Health) of Health Systems Transformation Platform at Enira Pvt Ltd; moderated by Arjun Adrian D’Souza, Legal Counsel at

The call focused on the interplay of AI and the need for a regulatory framework around it and garnered significant attention among the attendees. It fostered enriching panel discussions at the intersection of AI and its use in various sectors, such as health, crime, aviation, agriculture, governance etc.

The experts noted the potential ramifications of the upcoming legislation on the AI given there is a new coalition government in the Union. The formation of current government  was identified as a factor leading to inevitable changes. The need for increased civil society and public participation, as well as easier compliance for start-ups and organizations, was emphasized.

The panel also explored whether regulations for intermediaries and emerging technologies, particularly AI, should be integrated into existing legislation or addressed separately. Experts suggested a separate legislature due to interdisciplinary nature of AI affecting all sectors and ministries. Currently, regulations on the internet only talk about intermediaries and publishers, which makes it difficult to place AI in either of these two categories. However, concerns were raised about the time-consuming legislative process in India and the need for more efficient regulatory frameworks and bodies.

Speakers also shared their expertise in child sexual abuse and healthcare, which were examined with the intersection of AI. While AI can be used to detect abuse, the discussion emphasized the need for content regulations to address the issue effectively. Additionally, limited implications for health data privacy were also touched upon, with prevailing exceptions.

The discussion concluded the necessity of horizontal legislation, with the collaboration of various ministries instead of just one, to address the interdisciplinary nature of AI and its impact across various industries. Furthermore, the panel awaits the draft of DIB for a more comprehensive and critical discussion.

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