Word around PUBG Mobile's return in India making a return has been doing the rounds for a while now, and the last update had the developers seeking a meeting with the federal ministry to bring back the game. However, information based on a citizen's query indicates that nothing of this sort is happening anytime soon.
In response to an RTI (right to information) query submitted to the federal ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), the government has said that PUBG Mobile still does not have the requisite permissions to return. In the past, we had reported that even a meeting request from PUBG hadn't gone through.
The new RTI which was shared on Instagram by Gem Esports, and the request read, "Dear Sir/ Maam. In the month of September, 2020, Government of India with the consultation of your Department (MEITY) banned various Chinese apps. One of which was PUBG Mobile Game. Now, there are many news which says that the game is being relaunched and the same is made specifically for the Indian Public and will not be harmful to the nation and its citizens. I would like to know if your department has given any such permission to the game so that it can be re-launched."
It was filed on November 30 and the government has responded saying, "MEITY has not given any permission for launch of PUBG."
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Why is the government turning away?
The ministry banned PUBG Mobile alongside 118 apps on September 2 because they “are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order.” But with passage of time with inaction, the PUBG Mobile India officials seem rather frustrated.
The developers have since tried to get on the good side of the Ministry but experts believe that the Ministry can't just play favourites and remove the ban since the developers just made amendments to match the laws. This would open the floodgates for other banned apps and developers doing the same and ask to be reinstated.
The ban, which was effected post the June 15 skirmish on the China borders in Galway Vally, continues to simmer. Though there have been some conciliatory talk from both sides, the issue is far from resolved. Which could also be a reason the government isn't keen to remove the ban.