Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Online Education In India Is At Grave Risk

Indian educational industry has lot of potentials provided we make a proper education policy in India. Education and skill development is at the core of a trained and talented manpower. This is more so regarding e-learning in India and online education in India. However, if the educational policy can be circumvented and defeated by weak and criminal friendly cyber laws, little can be hoped from the same. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Indian educational policy is currently suffering from.

Firstly there was a failure of the online examination conducted by IGNOU and now we witnessed collapse of Common Admission Test (CAT) exams. This shows that India is still not ready for online education and e-learning in India.

This is, however, not the real problem as a graver problem is still awaiting for us. None other than the government of India (GOI) can be held responsible for this fiasco. The GOI amended the sole cyber law of India, i.e. Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) through Information Technology Act, 2008 (IT Act, 2008). From here starts the real trouble and demise of Indian online educational system.

According to Praveen Dalal, the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India and Managing Partner of Perry4Law the IT Act, 2008 made almost all (except few like cyber terrorism) the possible cyber crimes “bailable”. This has made India a “Safe Heaven” for cyber criminals. Think about a situation where the online exam or entrance is going on and someone collapses the servers through hacking, virus introduction, etc. Even if the police is able to trace such culprit, he would be released on bail. This practically means that a competitor can create havoc with the online education system of another with no deterrent at all, says Dalal.

It is clear that Indian online education system is very bad in shape. On the one hand we lack technical capabilities whereas on the other hand cyber criminals are on a ride without any deterrent law to desist them from attacking the server and other computer resources. If the GOI still does not wake up, it must forget about attracting foreign universities and their opening of campuses in India. In fact, such foreign universities must not open any centre in India till India is ready, both technically as well as legally.