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BW Businessworld

“Ethical Hacking Should Be Part Of Our Education System”

India currently ranks 44th in the global connectivity index and 91st in the readiness of digital marketing index. The numbers clearly show us that we have a long way forward and a significant impetus is required. We have to also safeguard our digital revolution from the ever-growing parasite of cyber-attacks. Deliberating on the issue, here are excerpts from a conversation between Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Director General, NIELIT, and BW Businessworld’s Brij Pahwa

In the three years of the Modi Government, how do you assess its performance on the digital front? How far have we progressed towards digital India? 

I think we have made a very good progress in terms of digital technology especially due to the vision of the government for a digitized India. We have been trying hard, we are trying to make our citizens digitally literate and working in the right direction. In digital India, the government has laid down nine pillars and one of them is to deliver services to citizens through digital.  

There is a perception that only urban India is growing digitally. Is it true? If yes, how do we penetrate digital in the rural India?

It is a fact that more than half of the population resides in rural India. So if we have to make India a digital country we defiantly have to put our efforts for the digital literacy and digital education in rural areas. You rightly said that we are having some problems in terms of infrastructure, power and connectivity. But the government is trying. For example, it is trying to take the internet connectivity to the panchayat. They have been working to lay down the cables to panchayats and subsequently provide the connectivity. 

It is important to develop digitally but digital comes with its own mess of cyber-attacks. How safe are we as a country?

What is happening is technology is growing with a pace but the cyber-crimes are going faster than this pace also. So definitely there is a gap between these attacks and technology being used for these type of attacks but we have been making attempts for that, that’s the reason our organization is trying to cultivate preventive efforts towards cyber-attacks. We have also started new courses in field of cyber security.

What do you think of ethical hacking?

I think it is an important part which we need to plug in into our education system. People involved in ethical hacking can give us better solutions to handle cyber security issues.

Tell us about your new programme, power of she?

Power of she is a programme to motivate women to take up entrepreneurial initiatives. We organized an event and got a humongous response. We plan to do such events in the future as well.