Battlegrounds Mobile India: IT Ministry says it can’t ban a game before launch

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Battlegrounds Mobile India is expected to be launched soon in India. The battle royale game comes with a different name when compared to PUBG Mobile. However, there are numerous commonalities between the two. The news of the re-launch of the game has generated furore amidst few critics who believe the game to be just a re-branded version of PUBG Mobile.

Also read: Battlegrounds Mobile India expected to launch this week. What we know so far

A recent RTI filed by a critic, Dr Gaurav Tyagi, who is an assistant professor at JNU, yielded a response from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The ministry clarified that it can’t stop the game from launching in India. However, it can ban the game, once it is launched under the provisions of section 69A of the Informations Technology Act, 2000.

Responding to the RTI, the IT ministry said, “Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has no role in granting any permission for entry of PUBG or any company/Mobile app in India.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its statement, said, “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 and its rules namely the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information for Public) Rules, 2009, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of state and defence of India etc. Regarding vii, CPIO is not supposed to provide opinion under RTI Act.”

The game is being launched by Krafton in India. Pre-registration for Battlegrounds Mobile India have been open since 18 May. The game is expected to launch as early as this week. However, there’s no official confirmation so far. Recent posts from Krafton suggest that the game will launch on 18 June.

Krafton has promised some changes to the new game, in comparison to PUBG Mobile. The game will be exclusively available in India. The company will introduce green colour, instead of red to symbolize blood.

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