New Data Protection Law Finalised: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT, and Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said that a new data protection law has been finalised and will be taken to the Cabinet for approval. He also said the IT Act needs to be improved. Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) National Council Meeting, Prasad underlined the need to grow India’s digital economy.

“India’s digital economy must become a trillion-dollar economy in the coming four-five years,” said Prasad, adding that fields like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, electronics manufacturing, software development are important. “Telecom equipment is also a big area of growth, which we need to explore,” he added.

“I have already laid down a software product policy,” he said.

Underlining the importance of data, Prasad stressed that India will uphold its data sovereignty and this will “not be negotiable”. “I do acknowledge that some degree of data movement is important in a digital world. That would be based upon reciprocity,” he said. Prasad elaborated that data availability, utility, innovation, localisation, and security—all have to work in sync.

Digital villages are another area of focus for the government as it aims to set up one lakh digital villages with facilities such as public WiFi, computer literacy centres. Prasad appealed to the CII to take this up as part of their CSR initiatives.

Leveraging the Indian Postal network for e-commerce deliveries being an important aspect, Prasad said that 190 hubs all over the country will be set up as the vast postal network will become the “centre of e-commerce delivery”. Twelve such hubs are already in operation.―The Hindu Business Line

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