Scoping a New Law for India’s Digital Economy: A joint roundtable on the proposed Digital India Act
  • Highlights
  • Agenda

IT For Change, IPCIDE and nasscom
Scoping a new law for India’s digital economy
A joint roundtable on the proposed Digital India Act

AGENDA 28th April 2023, 11:00 AM to 6:15 PM
11:00 – 11:30 AM Registration
11:30 – 11:45 AM Opening remarks 
11:45 AM – 12:45 PM Session 1: Designing the Act: Opportunities and challenges

The framing of the DIA affords us an opportunity to reimagine policymaking and regulation of digital technologies for the future. This session will explore the challenges to address and directions to consider. Questions to examine include:

What does a “principles & rules-based approach” entail, and what guardrails are required for “futureproofing” such an approach?
How will the DIA interact with other existing and proposed laws and how do we better ensure cross-sectoral cohesion and coordination?
How do we approach supervision & enforcement, keeping in mind best practices of regulatory governance?
What should be the guiding principles for the adjudicatory mechanisms envisioned for the Act?
How can the Act balance between flexibility required to regulate future technologies and avoiding legal uncertainty?
12:45: PM – 1:45 PM Lunch
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Session 2: User rights, harms, and redress

The IT Act has been the primary site for discussing how to protect users of the internet,digital services, and technologies so far. This session will explore how the DIA can realise and extend rights and protections online. Questions to examine include:

What harms to end-users should be on the legislative agenda?
How can harms arising from the use of contemporary and emerging technologies be regulated with legal certainty?
What should the purpose and design of “digital rights” be and should these be framed in the context of “users” or “citizens”?
What could a coherent and horizontally applicable set of digital rights look like?
How can the Act safeguard user rights and provide remedies for user harm? What will redressal of harms look like in the law?
How should the Act safeguard children’s rights and protect them from harm?
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM Session 3: Intermediary liability & platform regulation

The regulation of online services in India has taken place through the concept of “intermediary” under the IT Act. This session will explore how the DIA can learn from the experience gained from the IT Act. Questions to examine include:


How should intermediaries be defined and classified?


What activities/aspects of intermediaries should the DIA cover?
What should accountability frameworks for platforms involve? Which entities will govern decisions on accountability?
How should we balance considerations of safe harbour provisions and the regulation of illegal and harmful content?
What are the norms around due diligence that need focus?
What kind of platform responses should we expect if they are held accountable?
3:45 PM – 4:15 PM Tea Break
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM Session 4: Digital infrastructure & public services

The IT Act dedicates a chapter to e-governance. This session will explore how the DIA can continue and build on this task in the modern era of digital government and public goods. Questions to examine include:

How could the DIA enable, promote, and orient the provision of electronic governance services towards delivering public value?
How can India strengthen its Digital Public Ecosystem including Digital Public Goods/Infrastructure/Platforms/ Services and ensure they are open, trusted, safe, accountable?
How can the DIA ensure the resilience and sustainability of interconnected critical digital infrastructure across the public and private sectors?


5:15 PM – 6:15 PM  Session 5: Cybersecurity & law enforcement assistance
The IT Act provides much of the legal foundation for cybersecurity and law enforcement agency (LEA) access to data in India. This session will explore how the DIA can modernise, bolster the effectiveness of, and promote trust and privacy in relation to this foundation. Questions to examine include:

How can a framework for cybercrime offences be formulated for India to address emerging forms of cybercrimes, especially against women and children?
How can DIA work in tandem with the IPC, CrPC, and Evidence Act, to enable effective prosecution of cybercrimes?
What can the desired outcomes be on cybersecurity regulation?
Should there be a parent law for CERT-IN & NCIIPC? If yes, what should it look like?
What should the design principles be to establish a modern framework on LEA access, technical assistance, & encryption?



28 Apr, 2023