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Govt set to roll out advisory for matrimonial websites

Govt set to roll out advisory for matrimonial websites
These guidelines were finalized during a meeting held on April 12, 2016 attended by officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), Ministry of Information Technology (IT), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and stakeholders from matrimonial websites.

A senior official from the WCD Ministry said, “An agreement has been arrived at by everyone during the meet. This unified position which has been reached is expected to be notified as an advisory issued by Department of Electronics and Information Technology. These guidelines will be mandatory for these websites should be issued by end of April or early May.”

“During the deliberations at the meet, NASSCOM took the lead and explained some of the problems faced by portals. They said matrimonial websites exist only in India. Everywhere else in the world dating websites are used. The industry stakeholders said that they were only a platform which facilitated the meeting of prospective matches and don’t ensure an ideal and blissful matrimonial alliance. Based on information provided by users they can only offer possible matches to their users,” said the official.

These do’s and don’ts for the marriage portals will be mandatory. The WCD official explained: “Now it is compulsory for the websites to have disclaimers, advisories and warnings on their web portal cautioning users against harassment and fraud. Apart from email and mobile number verification, it will also be mandatory for the users to provide an authentic identity proof when they create an account on these websites. A government approved identity proof too will be incorporated during the verification process. NASSCOM also suggested that these websites can create a business opportunity wherein they can offer separate verified and non-verified accounts to the users,” said the official.

In a recent complaint to the WCD Ministry, a woman from Bangalore had met a prospective match from Madhya Pradesh through one of the matrimonial websites. After she met him in Gwalior, he drugged and raped her repeatedly, after which he left her at Bangalore railway station.

Spearheading the initiative, Union WCD Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi had told Millennium Post, “This is a very serious issue and severe action should be taken against these people (matrimonial websites) because they need to address the concerns of the people who are being harassed through their websites.” Millennium Post has been reporting the issue of fraudulent users on these websites since August 2015.
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