Wednesday, June 11, 2014

International Cyber Security Cooperation

Cyber security is a complex mechanism that combines both technology and legal aspects. Further, cyber security also involves conflict of laws in cyberspace on the one hand and civil liberties protection in cyberspace on the other hand. The former is involved when the conflicting laws of two nations are involved that is usually the case these days. The latter comes into picture when the cyberspace policy of a nation is used to the detriment of the other as usually happens in the case of e-surveillance activities. Naturally international cooperation in the field of cyber security is need of the hour.

As far as India is concerned, the cyberspace landscape of India is fast changing. According to law firm Perry4Law, the cyber security breaches in India would raise complicated cyber security issues. The cyber security breaches need a mandatory reporting mechanism in India.

Similarly, with the active use of e-governance in India, cyber security of e-governance services in India must also be ensured. Indian cyberspace must be protected on a priority basis but this would create many techno legal cyber security challenges before the Narendra Modi government.

As cyber security breaches are increasing world over, both national and international stakeholders must deliberate upon this issue. The sooner this is done the better it would be for the cyberspace at large.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Indian Android Application Would Help Hearing And Speech Impaired People

India has not been very receptive to the plights and rights of disabled population. Whether it is educational institutions or public employments, disabled population in India is always at the disadvantageous position. Whatever little efforts that have come to rescue of these people they have come from private individuals with no profit motive. One such initiative has been undertaken by a team of four girls from the Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology (VIIT) who have developed an android application to bridge the communication gap that exists between hearing and speech impaired people and normal beings. 

In an attempt to utilise their technical skills for a social cause, four students in their final year of engineering—Apeksha Bhat, Shubhangi Yerolkar, Nisha Advani and Sayali Bora—have developed this app that may prove handy. Their efforts need to be taken further on a large scale and in other directions as well.

The application in question converts the sign language into speech that will help a hearing and speech impaired person talk to people who do not understand sign language. Conversely, the hearing and speech impaired person can know what the other person speaks as the application also converts verbal language back into sign language. 

Talking about what differentiates their app from others in the market, Bhat says, “Designing an app in Hindi and only using the Indian Standard Sign Language was the most-difficult aspect of the whole development process. It is this feature that distinguishes our app from the others in the Android market and serve a similar purpose”.

For the project, the girls visited the Aadhar Deaf School located at Bibvewadi, Pune, where they researched to understand the special needs of the hearing impaired students. “Sitting in their classrooms, interacting with their faculty and the principal was an eye-opener for us. We were inspired to contribute in whatever small way we could to bridge the communication gap between them and us,” said Yerolkar. While encourage the initiative, Bilavari Karkare, principal, VIIT, Pune, has asked the college management to sponsor a smartphone with the app installed to the Aadhar Deaf School.

I hope Indian government would encourage these courageous and public spirited young girls in the larger interest of Indian population that needs special facilities.