Friday, November 12, 2010

India Is Not Digitally Sound

Although India may be providing many information and communication related (ICT) services yet when it comes to being an ICT superpower India stands nowhere. Whether it is the failed e-governance of India, ailing e-infrastructure, absence of ICT policy in India, absence of privacy and data protection laws in cyberspace, excessive e-surveillance in India without any lawful interception law in India, falling e-readiness rank and many more such issues, India has failed on all counts.

The problem with India, like Praveen Dalal says, is that India does not have an effective and nationally applicable ICT Policy. Further, the absence of such ICT policy and lack of control of prime minister’s office (PMO) of India over organisations like department of information technology (DIT) India is further increasing the woes of India.

On the legal and judicial side also there is not even a single e-court in India. Even there is no committee or group that is managing the e-court project currently. Further, India is also not famous for online dispute resolution (ODR) as it is still struggling to bring in order its outdated alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arbitration law. Obviously, there is a lack of good techno legal expertise in India to manage ambitious projects like e-courts and ODR. There is just a single e-courts and ODR training and consultation centre managed by techno legal law firm Perry4Law.

The truth is that digital issues like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, digital preservation, lawful e-surveillance, etc are presently well beyond the capabilities of India. With a lack of political will and bureaucratic apathy, the scene may not change for the next five or ten years.

This technological bankruptcy of India can be removed only if the prime minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and his office exercises some sort of direct control over DIT, India. Further, there is also a pressing need to enter into good public private partnership (PPP) between the PMO and private players directly and over and above the DIT, India.