Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said there was a consensus during the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meeting that cyber security is an international problem that requires collaboration and steps for building trust and respect for other economies.
The minister, who holds the Electronics, IT, Communications and Railways portfolios, said there was absolute consensus in the G20 meeting on the concept and application of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), cyber security and skilling in handling digital technology.
Elaborating on the discussions on cyber security, he said some “very good principles” were achieved in terms of cyber security.
“It was clearly agreed and understood by everybody that cyber security or information security or digital security, whatever we call it, different countries call it with different names…this is something which is an international problem and we must collaborate,” Vaishnaw said in a press briefing here.
He further said, “We must take steps throughout the world to make sure that there is an overall trust and there is overall respect for other people’s economies, and there is overall deterrence against activities that are threatening somebody’s economy.”
According to him, there was a lot of consensus on cyber security, where everyone agreed that this is a problem that the entire world has to face together.
“This (cyber security) cannot be seen in isolation. On this, some very good principles were decided, achieved and the focus was on creating more awareness and creating more tools which are affordable for the common citizens and small businesses,” the minister said.
There was a lot of emphasis on cyber security for small businesses and MSME sectors, he added.
With regard to cyber security, the minister pointed out the steps taken by the Department of Telecommunications to check cyber fraud.
He said about a few months back, the Government of India had launched three major tools through which cyber frauds can be prevented and asserted that the result of those three tools is “phenomenal”.
With the first tool, five-and-a-half million fraudulently obtained SIM cards from which the cyber frauds were getting carried out were detected and deactivated, Vaishnaw said.
According to him, people in those hotspots that were known for involvement in fraud started feeling the pressure.
The Centre also blacklisted and deactivated about 40,000 point-of-sale dealers and got 300 FIRs registered.
A few days ago, the Union government launched two more reforms that would mandate that every dealer should be verified, he said added.
“So, it cannot be that a person who is giving a SIM card without doing a proper Know Your Customer (KYC) verification is not held accountable. That person has to be held accountable,” the minister said.
In a bid to check digital frauds, the Centre on August 17 announced that verification of dealers selling SIM cards will be made mandatory and discontinued the provision of issuing bulk connections. Also, the verification of SIM card dealers will be carried out by “the licensee” or the respective telecom operator with a penalty of Rs 10 lakh to be imposed on violators.
Vaishnaw added that the government’s focus is on making sure that the cyber frauds are controlled at every step. Every suggestion coming from industry, civil society, stakeholders, media and individuals is welcome.
“We are a very open-minded government. Many of our reforms are based on your suggestions, and we’d be very happy to take further reforms based on your suggestions and ideas,” he added.
There was “absolute consensus” in the G20 meeting on the concept and application of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI).
“As all of you are aware of the story of ‘Digital India’, through which our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has democratised technology and made it reach the poorest of the poor, reach the farthest village, reach every section of the society. That was highly appreciated, that has been adopted by the G20 ministers,” Vaishnaw said.
On skilling, the minister said all those who attended the meeting agreed that for inclusive growth and digital inclusion, it was important that skilling should be scaled up and its scope should be expanded on a war footing. PTI