Safe Internet: Tech Plus Citizens – Union Home Minister argues GoI’s modern cybersecurity setup will protect the fast-growing digital economy

Source: The post is based on the article “Safe Internet: Tech Plus Citizens – Union Home Minister argues GoI’s modern cybersecurity setup will protect the fast-growing digital economy” published in The Times of India on 18th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS – 3: Basics of cyber security.

Relevance: About protecting India’s cyberspace.

News: The increased use of digital platforms has increased serious risks to cybersecurity.

About India’s digital potential

India has 65 crore internet users, and 114 crore mobile users. India’s broadband infrastructure reaches more than 6 lakh villages, and the number of digital transactions of more than Rs 9,000 crore.

Why cyber security is a matter of national security?

Prime Minister has recently stated that “Cybersecurity is no longer limited to the digital world. It has become a matter of national security”. This is because of a) the borderless nature of cyberspace, b) the sophistication of the methods and tools of cyber criminals, c) the constant evolution of cyberattacks.

How India is developing its digital ecosystem?

In 2015 the government introduced Digital India as an umbrella concept to create ‘digital infrastructure as a fundamental service’ for every citizen.

India has developed a strong digital ecosystem for procurements, transfer of welfare benefits, and financial inclusion.

India is also working on the Internet of Things to ensure compassion and sensitivity in the use of technology.

In short, India’s digital push laid the groundwork for Amrit Kaal – India’s ambition for a $5 trillion economy and to be a developed country by 2047.

What are the initiatives for protecting India’s cyberspace?

Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility of both the Union and state governments.

To ensure the safe use of the digital ecosystem and combat cybercrime, the ministry of home affairs has taken several significant steps.

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS): CCTNS has now been integrated into all 16,447 police stations in the country. In 99. 9% of police stations, 100% of FIRs are registered immediately in the CCTNS.

CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team)

Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS): has been initiated to expedite justice by exchanging data across courts, police, prosecution, prisons, and forensic labs. Recently, the government approved Phase II of ICJS. This phase is based on the principle of ‘one data, one entry’ and would be made available through a dedicated and secure cloud-based infrastructure with high-speed connectivity.

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): Under this, seven platforms operate, such as a reporting portal, a cyber threat analytical unit, a cybercrime investigation task force and a research centre, work in coordination with each other. So far, more than 20 lakh cybercrime complaints have been registered on the portal, with 40,000 converted into FIRs. Fifteen crore people have used this portal.

A massive open online courses’ platform (MOOCs) called the ‘CyTrain’ portal has been developed under I4C.

Fingerprint data system ‘NAFIS’: It has been launched with a storage capacity of 300 crore fingerprint data along with a ‘1930’ helpline. More than 250 banks and financial intermediaries are onboarded on this platform, which helps in real-time actions like blocking and lien marking of defrauded money. he quick reporting system and action by the task force resulted in the recovery of over Rs 235 crore embezzled by cybercriminals from over 1. 33 lakh citizens so far.

Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) portal: It was launched in 2019 for real-time monitoring and management of cases of sexual assault and cases under POCSO.

Safe City project: It aims to create a safe, secure, and empowering environment for women in public places and has been introduced in eight selected cities.

Other initiatives: a) MHA is also working to promote cyber sanitation and hygiene to safeguard the most vulnerable, b) Grant-in-aid of about Rs 100 crore has been provided to states/UTs to set up forensic-training laboratories for the cyberworld.

Read more: Cyber attacks and Cyber Security in India – Explained Pointwise

What should be done for protecting India’s cyberspace?

India has to fulfill its commitment towards the twin objectives of ‘using technology with sensitivity’ and ‘ensuring public safety and security. Citizens should have to build awareness and alertness to ensure online safety and security.

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