RSS wing plans In­dian servers to im­prove cy­ber se­cu­rity

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Sm­riti Kak Ra­machan­dran

In­spired by Bei­jing, which has its own search en­gines and so­cial net­work­ing sites, with servers in China, an RSS af­fil­i­ate has started work on set­ting up sim­i­lar ser­vices that will cut the risk of “data leaks”.

The Bharatiya Shik­shan Man­dal (BSM), a Sangh af­fil­i­ate that fo­cuses on the ed­u­ca­tion and re­search sec­tor, has be­gun work on de­vel­op­ing dig­i­tal in­fra­struc­ture that will com­ple­ment the Bjp-led NDA gov­ern­ment’s Dig­i­tal India cam­paign and ad­dress con­cerns of “cy­ber se­cu­rity.”

Con­tours of the project, still in its nascent stages are still be­ing shaped, but it will be car­ried out in col­lab­o­ra­tion with uni­ver­si­ties, pri­vate com­pa­nies and with some as­sis­tance from gov­ern­ment-aided bodies.

Talk­ing to HT, Mukul Kan­itkar, all-india or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary of the BSM, said India needs to re­duce its de­pen­dence on ser­vice providers such as Google and Face­book that have servers abroad. “All our data is out there some­where. To­day we have friendly ties with these coun­tries, but it is pos­si­ble that there could a prob­lem in the fu­ture, leav­ing our data vul­ner­a­ble. Apart from soft­ware de­sign, we need hard­ware ca­pa­bil­ity too,” he said.

Like China, which has a lo­cal search en­gine Baidu; Ren Ren as the al­ter­na­tive to Face­book and Sina Weibo as a chal­lenger to Twit­ter, BSM wants India to de­velop sim­i­lar op­tions for its peo­ple. BSM is eye­ing tie-ups with IITS and uni­ver­si­ties to cre­ate se­cure spa­ces for data.

This is not the first time that a Sangh af­fil­i­ate has bat­ted for in­dige­nous plat­forms. For­mer RSS leader K Govin­dacharya knocked on the doors of the Delh High Court, ask­ing for compa nies such as Face­book and Goo gle to es­tab­lish their servers India. He also asked the gov­ern ment to re­frain from us­ing so­cia me­dia plat­forms and Google mail for of­fi­cial pur­poses.

“Cy­ber se­cu­rity is a ma­jor is­sue. The gov­ern­ment and the DRDO (De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion) are work­ing in this area, but more needs to be done…our IITS and other cen­tres of ex­cel­lence mus get in­volved,” Kan­itkar said.

To drive the Sangh’s Swade shi (in­dige­nous) cam­paign, BSM is also get­ting ready to launch in­cu­ba­tors for uni­ver­si­ties and re­searchers. It says, these cen tres would nur­ture stu­dents who have ideas, but not enough lo­gis tical sup­port. The only rider here is that the in­tended re­search must be “rel­e­vant to so­ci­ety and the na­tion”, Kan­itkar said.

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