India to unveil cybersecurity strategy policy in January

Set to be released in January 2020, India's cybersecurity policy will enable the government to 'cyber-secure' the nation and work to realise its vision of a $5 trillion economy.

India will release the cybersecurity strategy policy in January next year to enable the government to "cyber-secure the nation", which will also help in achieving the target to achieve a $5 trillion economy, an official said on Wednesday.

"India's cybersecurity strategy policy will be released in January 2020 and will enable the government to cyber-secure the nation. The government's vision of a $5 trillion economy will be helped to a great extent by this effort," said Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity Coordinator on cyber policies, at an SKOCH event here.

The most important requirement for internet safety is increased effective coordination between ministries that are overseeing various aspects of cybersecurity, proper critical infrastructure protection, and public-private partnership, Pant said.

He said the critical information infrastructure does not only lie with the government, and partnership with private sector becomes essential.

On the requirement of huge budget to successfully implement cybersecurity at all levels, Ajeet Bajpai, Director General of the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, said even a small country like Israel had allocated $20 million as the annual budget for cybersecurity.

"Considering the size and scale of our nation, we need approximately Rs 25,000 crore budget for the same. The biggest question is where this money will come from? Also, there is a need to emphasise on the need to make cybersecurity mandatory as a subject at the university level for high-decibel awareness," Bajpai said.

Ashwini Mahajan, National Co-convener, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, said, "Data is oil. While other countries have oil resources as a big opportunity to gain revenue, our country by taxing can use data mining as a revenue generating avenue".

He said many technology multinational firms were using data mining from India for their benefit but not paying any taxes for it. "By taxing the data being mined from India we can open up a new pool for generating tax revenue," Mahajan said.

Sameer Kochhar, Chairman of SKOCH Group, said reaching a $5 trillion economy was an achievable target for India.

"For becoming a $5 trillion economy, we require 34 percent gross capital formation and the biggest question that people are asking is where will the funds come from... There are ample avenues to generate funds, the important thing is to efficiently utilise resources to generate more capital," Kochhar said.

He also said Indian industries require capability building to replace multinational corporations and handle the government's development projects, especially in the technology sector.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)