The Gujarat government Tuesday issued a circular asking district authorities to ensure a ban on the online multiplayer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, popularly called PUBG. The state primary education department's circular was issued after a recommendation by the Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said officials. The notification comes just days after a students body in Jammu and Kashmir had sought a ban of PUBG Mobile in the state, blaming it for poor examination results. Separately, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is calling for a ban on the game across the country. The commission has sent letters to all state governments recommending the PUBG ban.
The circular directed District Primary Education Officers to take necessary steps to enforce a ban on the game in primary schools. It said the ban was necessary as children were getting addicted to the game and it was "adversely affecting their studies". While it is not known which version of the game the government is referring to, it is most likely banning PUBG Mobile and not the console or PC versions of PUBG.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended a ban on the game across the country, said Jagruti Pandya, chairperson of the Gujarat child rights body.
"The NCPCR had sent a letter to all the states and recommended a ban on the game. All the states are required to implement it. Looking at the negative effects of the game, we had recently sent a letter to the state government recommending a ban on the game" said Pandya. We've reached out to PUBG Mobile's publisher, Tencent Games, for comment on the move by the Gujarat government, and will update this piece when hear back.
As we mentioned, earlier this month, PUBG was blamed for poor exam results in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by a student body. Called the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, the body had asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Naik to ban the game immediately. The J&K students association claims that PUBG Mobile game is extremely addictive and has resulted in poor results for the students in the recent class X and XII board exams. In fact, it went as far as to liken PUBG Mobile to drugs.
Introduced in early 2018, PUBG Mobile has become a pop culture phenomenon. The game had hit 200 million downloads mark in December last year.
Written with inputs from PTI
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