Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mandatory E-Governance Services In India

Legal framework for mandatory e-governance services in India is long due. If we make e-governance service optional or discretionary, the whole purpose would be defeated. This is the reason why we need time bound and accountable e-governance based public services in India.

Keeping this objective in mind, the central government formulated the draft electronic delivery of services bill 2011 (EDS Bill 2011). The EDS Bill 2011 intends to provide delivery of government services to all citizens by electronic means by phasing out of manual delivery of services delivered by the government including matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Bill if made a law would require complete overhaul of the present e-governance infrastructure and services delivery mechanism of Indian government. However, the real problem with Indian e-governance initiative is that legal framework for mandatory electronic delivery of services in India is missing, says Praveen Dalal, Supreme Court lawyers and Managing Partner of India’s exclusive techno legal law firm Perry4Law.

Till now there was no provision under which citizens could ask for mandatory electronic delivery of services by the government. After the Bill becomes an enforceable law, the Indian Government would be under an obligation to mandatorily provide electronic services to its citizens, opines Dalal.

To effectuate this objective, high-level delegates from all ministries will be meeting next month to decide on a cut off date to switch to total e-governance. However, before introducing it in the Parliament, each ministry will assess its readiness and accordingly fix the timelines for mandatory electronic service delivery in India. However, no department will exceed a cut off date fixed for the country.

I wish this initiative would become reality very soon.

Cyber Security Of Social Networks And Cloud Computing

Cyber security business model has been passing through a transformation phase. This is happening due to the growing pace at which technology is changing and evolving. Newer technologies and concepts are revealed on daily basis giving rise to novel cyber security challenges.

Senior executives of corporations have expressed great concerns regarding their ability to ensure enterprise security arising out of the use of social networking, mobile platforms and cloud computing model. Accessibility, use and control of data and the potential danger of having unauthorised access to confidential and proprietary information is also troubling security professionals.

Mobility, Cloud Computing, Security and Innovation have become the main issues for Cyber Security Professionals, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law. Mobility of handheld devices like cell phone has given rise to Mobile Phone Security Requirements. Similarly, Cloud Computing Security is also becoming a headache, informs Dalal. Cyber Security Requirements and Innovation Requirements of Cyber Security also need to be addressed, says Dalal.

The fact is that digital economy is expanding too fast and this is well beyond the capacities of cyber security professionals. There is an urgent need to safeguard the digital economy from cyber attacks and cyber threats.

At the same time, using concepts like cloud computing, virtualisation services, software as a service, etc also requires a cautious approach. This is more so for India that lacks data security, data protection and privacy laws.

In the absence of legal framework to protect sensitive and commercial data, self protection measures of cyber security must be more robust and effective. Cyber security of social networking sites and cloud computing environment is a challenging task and cyber security professionals must be aware of the cyber threats and must accordingly arrange their cyber security environments.