Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it must be ensured that digital space doesn’t become a playground for forces of terror and radicalisation and that the Jan Dhan Yojna, Aadhaar and Mobile trinity (JAM) had helped the government save $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) in leakages.
“The quest for an open and accessible internet often leads to vulnerability. Stories of hacking and defacement of web sites are the tip of an iceberg. They suggest that cyber attacks are a significant threat, especially in the democratic world,” Modi told the inaugural session of the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS).
“Three factors — financial inclusion through our Jan-Dhan bank accounts; the Aadhaar platform; and the Mobile phone — have greatly helped reduce corruption. We need to ensure that vulnerable sections of our society do not fall prey to the evil designs of cyber criminals. Alertness towards cyber-security concerns should become a way of life,” he said.
Modi said the JAM trinity had also helped bring in transparency.
“We call this the J.A.M. or JAM trinity. Through better targeting of subsidies, the JAM trinity has prevented leakages to the tune of nearly $10 billion so far.”
Modi said that one of the major focus areas should be the training of well-equipped and capable professionals to counter cyber threats.
“The term ‘hacking’ may have acquired an exciting, even if dubious, overtone. We need to ensure that cyber protection becomes an attractive and viable career option for the youth.
“On a related note, nations must also take responsibility to ensure that the digital space does not become a playground for the dark forces of terrorism and radicalisation. Information sharing and coordination among security agencies is essential to counter the ever-changing threat landscape.”
He said countries can strike a fine balance between privacy and openness on the one hand and national security on the other.
The theme of the two-day GCCS conference is “Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development”.
Modi said digital technology had emerged as a great enabler. It had paved the way for efficient service delivery and governance. It was improving access in domains from education to health. It was also helping to shape the future of business and economy.
“Through each of these ways, it provides the less privileged sections a more level playing field. On a macro-scale it has contributed to the emergence of a flat world where a developing nation like India can compete on a level footing with developed nations.”
Saying internet had provided ‘ease of living’ to Indians, Modi added: “Empowerment through digital access is an objective the government is especially committed to. We believe in mobile power or M-power to empower our citizens.”
Modi on Thursday launched the Unified Mobile Application For New-age Governance (UMANG) Mobile App, which will provide over a hundred citizen-centric services.
Incepted in 2011 in London, the second GCCS was held in 2012 in Budapest. The third and fourth GCCS were held in 2013 in Seoul and in 2015 in The Hague respectively.
The current meet has drawn over 10,000 delegates. There will also be virtual participation from over 2,800 locations globally.