The government of India has set new rules and guidelines to describe the content and advise discretion for viewers of films and other forms of entertainment, including web-based, serials that are shown on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+Hotstar.
There will be 6 different categories, such as U (universal), U/A – General Viewing, U/A – 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A- Adult category.
U as in Universal will be suitable for all, U/A may include some scenes which will be unsuitable for children. Interestingly, even for children, two different categories have been devised – U/A-7 and U/A13+.
While for U/A-7 violence may be included but it would need to be rooted in fantasy, or comedy. There should not be explicit images of sex or nudity and any sexual content would need to be limited to affectionate encounters.
U/A13+ on the other hand may have violence that is more realistic and graphic, but not too gory. Acts of self-harm may be implied, but not depicted in great detail. There may be implied nudity or sexual activity, but not graphic; sexual references and innuendo are acceptable.
For 16 years and above, the program can include violence with more graphic acts, including self-harm and acts of sexual violence, but gore will not be prolonged or excessive. Sexual content and depictions of nudity may be more adult as well, but not graphic. The crude and frequent language will be more acceptable in this category. Drug use on the other hand may be depicted but will not be glamorized or promoted.
The adult category will be allowed to have “strong language” besides graphic details of violence used. The content may also contain strong or mature sex scenes along with nudity.
While the abuse of illegal substances may also be included, it won’t be allowed in cases where there’s a breach of criminal law.