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NITI Aayog advocates comprehensive cybersecurity framework; flags constraints in broadband access

Unleashing the full force of India’s digital potential would require overcoming constraints in broadband connectivity, digital access and literacy, while strengthening the cybersecurity framework that is currently inadequate, according to NITI Aayog. The ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document released by the government think-tank Wednesday underlines the relevance of digital infrastructure to economic growth and need to eliminate the digital divide by 2022-23. India should aim to achieve physical digital connectivity across all states, districts and gram panchayats, delivery of government services digitally by 2022-23, and hundred per cent basic digital literacy across the country in order to leverage benefits of digitisation, the report said. Citing an estimate, the document said that about 27 per cent of India’s population (355 million users) uses the internet, and while this is an exponential growth over the 2009-levels, there is scope for improvement. With the increasing role of technology in our daily lives and the growing significance of Industry 4.0, India can only unlock its true potential once digital connectivity, the basic building block for most technological solutions, reaches the last mile, it said. It further said that the Ministry of Electronics and IT would need to evolve a comprehensive cybersecurity framework for data security, safe digital transactions and complaint redressal. It also pointed towards a large number of e-services not available on the digital platform and the wide variation across states in the availability of citizen e-services. The regulatory framework for cybersecurity is inadequate. Hacking and denial-of-service attacks have led to disruption of services, both in the government and the private sector – banks and governments increasingly face security breaches, said the NITI Aayog document.

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