Global Conference on Cyber Space
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General Studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
General Studies 3
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
In news: India for the first time hosted Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), one of the world’s largest conferences in the field of Cyber Space and related issues. Today, government is focusing on providing services such as health, education and governance services backed by technology even in remote areas. The special emphasis on programs like Jandhan Accounts, linking Jandhan with Aadhar and mobile governance services have been quite successful. These programs have changed the way subsidies are given to the poor by removing middlemen. At the Conference on Global Cyber space, PM pointed out that government has saved 10 billion dollars through this various schemes and digital technology has emerged as a great enabler.
Help by digital technology
The government has given emphasis both on electronic governance as well as on mobile governance where the poorest of the poor and the disadvantaged in the rural areas can avail of the best services of the central government, state government and local government on their mobile phones or through common service centres.
This is bringing about digital revolution in India to bridge the digital divide so that government services especially at the local level are taken to the consumer rather than the consumer having to make rounds of government services.
The broadband revolution has helped a lot in bridging the digital divide. The government has laid out optical cable networks and connected Gram panchayats and private sectors are now to provide last mile connectivity, content in local languages and the applications in local languages.
Bharat Net Project is a good scheme wherein fibre connectivity to 1 lakh villages is already provided and by 2019 and remaining 1.5 lakhs villages to be connected. Private sector has to provide last mile connectivity from end point of the Optical Cable Connectivity. It is often deemed to provide wifi hotspots in villages and for this the government is giving them a subsidy. With all this initiatives taking place cyber security becomes important issue
Cyber security is very big problem in India. Identity theft, financial frauds become extremely easy with increased computerisation. More the people avail access to the bank accounts over smart phones or over the internet, more they are going to have chances of cyber security frauds due to insufficient data protection mechanism as well as laws. Question on integrity and security of aadhar is another concern as identity theft is a major problem in India right now and using biometrics solely as authorisation and authentication is really fraught for danger.
- Providing e governance services to population of more than 80 crores
- Digital literacy- how fast government can penetrate among the poor and can go in remote areas.
- Issues of corruption and middle man
- Bureaucratic hurdles in the way of transparency
- Local language content and literacy
- Minimum private sector participation due to low ROI
Role of state government
There should be a great coordination between the state government and the central government. State governments like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu are forward looking so they are more receptive to the new development but some states have low interest in new technology and thus are not upgrading the service delivery mechanism. The local governments are little more responsive to the leads of the populace because its closest to them. But the state governments have to take the lead especially in development of content in their local languages and in terms of developing their packages which the user can easily understand who is barely literate or handicapped or aged. They should easily understand what are basic rights, what basic subsidies are available, what are the pension schemes, what are the agricultural subsidies etc.
There has to be a certain amount of technical proficiency as well as fluency in English in order to operate a laptop or mobile phone (easier option). What really is required is local language content where all the government modules are being brought to popularise in their language. It has to be audio based or video based and not only text based because still literacy is low in the country. Most of that is functional literacy and there is a need for technological literacy. The content developed should be in easy to understand format of video, audio and text.
Because of the digital revolution, citizens get their rights, services, benefits over the mobile phones over digital networks. Transparency, accountability of local officials has increased.
There is a national cyber security policy 2013 which says that India needs about half a million cyber security experts a year. The policy aims at creating secure computing environment and enabling adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions and also guiding stakeholders actions for protection of cyber space.
Cyber security mechanism needs to be in-built when the institution starts building complex databases and security system. It cannot be a temporary or knee jerk reaction every time to solve the cyberspace problems.
Connecting the dots:
- Government is promoting digital adoption for availing basic services without data security mechanism. Explain the challenges faced by lack of cyber space security in providing basic services.
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