The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has made the government’s prior clearance mandatory for hosting international conferences, trainings, and seminars online and also forbidden such virtual events on themes related to India’s security, Northeast states, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh or any other issue concerning the country’s “internal matters”.
The fresh set of guidelines, issued in November last year and part of the new “approval procedure” notified by the MEA for organising virtual events, apply to all government ministries and departments, Public Sector Undertakings, public-funded universities, and organisations controlled and run by the Union and state governments.
The organisers of the virtual event will now have to approach their respective “administrative secretary” for approval regarding the theme and the list of participants. For instance, a Central university keen on hosting an online international conference will have to seek prior clearance from the Ministry of Education. But matters related to internal matters and security will be a no-go area.