The Indian government took an important step in recognizing the esports industry on Tuesday. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced that it has included esports under the category of “multisports events,” while the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has added a section related to “matters relating to online gaming.” The Department of Publication from the Directorate of Printing publicly announced that these changes have been added as the 370th Amendment of the “Allocation of Business Rules of 1961” relating to online gaming and esports and that the amendment will be added in Part II-Section 3-Sub-Section (ii) of the rules (read more about the changes here).
Earlier this month, the Indian government also announced that it would not limit the amount of time that India’s youth can spend playing games online. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for Electronics and Information Technology, said that, while the government is fully aware of the potential risks and challenges associated with online gaming and is implementing rules for stakeholders to comply with existing laws, the government has no plans to implement any limitations on the time spent playing online.
The government has been at odds with esports in the region mostly due to the fact that it has banned several games including Garena’s Free Fire and Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India mobile battle royale games. Both games were banned for different reasons, but the loss of these titles has caused esports organizations in the country major setbacks. Prior to those bans, these games were two of the most popular titles in India and major anchor points for some of the biggest esports competitions in the country.