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Updated: Indian Government Bans Bulk SMS & MMS For 15 Days

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Update: On August 30, 2012, the Press Trust Of India has reported that the Home Minister has withdrawn the ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes with immediate effect.



Update: The Indian Government has revised its directive to limit bulk SMS. It has now increased the daily limit of 5 SMS per SIM to 20 SMS per day per SIM. The new rule has come into effect starting 23rd August 23, 2012. The news was first reported by Telecomtalk.

Earlier: The Ministry of Home affairs has banned bulk SMS and MMS for a period of 15 days, starting today, reports PTI. As per the report, users will not be able to send more than five SMSs and MMSs above 20kb at one go, following the directive.

The directive comes after reports of rumours being spread following violence in Assam, leading to mass exodus of people from the North-East region, from Bangalore, Pune and other cities.

The Union Home Secretary, RK Singh confirmed the development to PTI. The Ministry has advised the Department of Telecommunications to enforce the order through the telecom operators.

This isn’t the first instance of Bulk SMS being banned for political or security reasons  – previously, India’s Election Commission had banned Bulk SMS in Andhra Pradesh, on account of the Assembly bypolls in the state. In October 2010, Bulk SMS was banned from 22nd September to 4th of October 2010, due to the High Court’s Ayodhya verdict. At that time, it was to prevent the potential instigation of mob violence. We’re not sure if the ban would also affect server to phone messages. Note that social networks and messaging services use SMS as a bearer to offer updates to users.


Is This The Right Approach?

Although, it’s easy to enforce a ban and control SMSs, what about data based messaging services like WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)? Their reach is limited compared to SMS, but they also allow convenient bulk messaging. We’re not sure if this will address the problem.

Earlier in the day, some members of Parliament also suggested that the government should control social media sites as they’re being used to spread rumours. Previously, Maharashtra Home Minister, RR Patil, and Samajwadi Party MP Ramgopal Yadav, had requested the government to shutdown social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter for a few days to prevent the spread of rumours, according to a report by OneIndia. We feel that the government should use use social media and mass media to spread awareness and dismiss rumours, instead of putting curbs on them.

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  • arun kumar

    for what purpose …. stoping the sms . ????????

    • Pooja

      Hmm u r right i am student as well as bussiness women ,,,,, so its very important and necessary to send msg for me…… but what is this happening??? 1 day is ok………. but 15 days?????? how can we saty without sending msg

  • ambalika

    for what purpose they have banned this sms service as students use sms pack istead of talktime ..

  • Sagar

    Why are the operators not allowing us to send 5 sms per day. In your article it mentions that more than 5 sms are not allowed to be sent at one go. Please clarify??

  • soham

    it just sucks… Govt can never stop anything by blocking the sms service..

  • Sudipta Kumar Gogoi

    This is ridiculous. Its same like let the criminals go and let’s search where “crime” comes from. It ain’t a good way. Stopping communication can really aggravate the situation without anybody knowing or being informed.

  • Anshul Soni

    Dear Deaf Friends. We are deaf community useful SMS through communication. We can’t enough 5 SMS per day. Govt try Understand Deaf Community. Call equal SMS. If due Assam violence so only Assam state but not india

  • shiva

    u have to take public permission first.

    • soumya

      u r right

  • mallik

    It effects lots of people because many of them use this sweet SMS service daily. So i request govt to lift the ban on sms service.

  • dev

    omg !! :O only 5 sms ….
    bt pakka it vl b over after 15 day . ?

  • gaurav!

    good decision government i m with you!! love u


    why????? stopping sms??????that’s not right……

  • akki

    very very cruel…………… Plz allow us……..

  • Pru.0512

    Article dont give clear idea as in can we send 5 sms a day or at one go….Please put appropriate clear data

    • Unicorn

      its just 5 sms per day…

  • shahbaz

    plzz allow atleast 100 sms

  • Cute guy

    wat s the hell..? lift the ban plz….

  • Mark

    SIMPLE !! Download AIRTEL Messenger (for smart phones) for Rs. 29 every month and enjoy unlimited messaging…

  • sameer

    what govt thinks what will happen by bloking sms ??????

  • chai

    this is crazy!! i had no idea about such ban! here i was tormentin my phone and sim why they werent workin.. does this do any good and that too for 15 DAYS?!

  • abhishek

    good one

  • deepak jha

    its not apropriate step to handle wd situation…..

  • addm moco

    nice to share me