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Parliamentary panel has approved data protection bill

The parliamentary standing committee on IT has examined and approved the draft digital personal data protection bill (DPDPB), Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on March 2.

“I would like to share some good news that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT and communications, which is the committee which deals with this subject, before the bill is taken to the Parliament, have in advance examined it, and then given a big thumbs up,” Vaishnaw said at the Nasscom Technology Leadership Forum (NTLF) 2023.

The government published the much-awaited draft digital personal data protection bill in November 2022. The revised bill focuses only on personal data, thereby doing away with regulating the use of non-personal data.

The draft bill requires a data fiduciary — ie an entity that processes user data — to give an itemised notice to users on data sought to be collected in clear and plain language. It also mandates that the user should be allowed the right to give, manage, and withdraw consent from sharing information.

Apart from this, the bill states that the data fiduciary shall not undertake tracking or behavioural monitoring of children or advertising directed at children. It mandates penalties of up to Rs 500 crore for non-compliance.

This bill was necessitated due to the recent withdrawal of the PDP Bill, which had garnered a lot of criticism since its first draft was formulated by the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee in 2018.

Takeaways from Davos
Vaishnaw was in conversation with Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh. The minister also shared his takeaways from the World Economic Forum at Davos and how India was perceived by global leaders there.

According to him, there were three major takeaways. Firstly the policies made in the country were conscious policies, giving a consistent growth path to the country.

“People had a lot of questions around how we managed to come out with a robust growth path during Covid, that has been answered,” he said.

Secondly, the ecosystem of startup growth and innovation was built in the country and enabled the PM’s Startup India Programme in 2016.

“See the progress the country and the startups have made since then. The recognition for these is global now. People see India as a very important innovation hub,” Vaishnaw said.

“People may not trust a country X, Y, Z but people trust India, especially the IT sector has been the flag-bearer throughout the world as one of the industries which have interacted with the best minds in the world economies. That has given tremendous confidence to the policymakers, decision makers who believe in India as a trusted partner,” Vaishnaw said.

Consistent growth, innovation hub, and a country which can be trusted, he said.

On India plus strategy
Vaishnaw highlighted the simplification of many regulations.

“We are on the path of simplification of so many regulations; 1,500 archaic laws have been repealed, about 40,000-odd compliances have been removed,” he said.

In terms of setting up supply chains in India, cost is a big parameter but the strategic importance of supply chains is recognised all over the world.

“So many CEOs I met at Davos, most of them have already committed to expanding their supply-chain base in India. Or if they are not present in India, they are looking at setting up their supply-chain bases here. At least three of them, who didn’t have their presence in India, said that by May and September 2023, they’ll do their groundbreaking ceremonies in India,” Vaishnaw said. Moneycontrol

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