Chapter Eight: India’s Global Cybersecurity Index

Let's celebrate this week's Digital Nukkad at TypeRight with the news that India has ranked 10th on the global cybersecurity index and 4th in the Asia Pacific. The report says:

"United Nations’ specialised agency for information and communication technologies — International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — has ranked India on the 10th spot in Global Cyber Security Index (GCI) 2020 that was released on Tuesday".

"India, along with other countries, was measured along five pillars, namely, legal measures, technical measures, organisational measures, capacity development, and cooperation to generate an overall score. The countries were asked 82 questions where 20 indicators were measured. India's overall score was 97.49." The report can be accessed here.

Interestingly this week only, we heard from Jamtara, heartening news how the district collector of this area in Jharkhand has established 118 centres of cybercrime and provided cybersecurity training for the villagers of Jamtara.

If you google, you will know that Jamtara became infamous for becoming the hotspot of cybercrime that had gone into history so much so that Netflix made a web series called Jamtara. The detailed story is here.

All the community level libraries imparting literacy and training on cybercrime are situated in refurbished spaces in Panchayat buildings - and most of the trainers are from the police departments who are local inspectors and sub-inspectors.

Once again, in perpetuity, we have a clear case of how institutions and organisations and not just individuals indulge in playing with numbers leading to misinformation and fake news and ultimately becoming rumours and habitual beliefs. In the digital ecosystem, data is the final frontier of boasting through dashboards and everyone wants to show their superiority of performance by data manifestation. However, little do we realise that ethics, morality, and truth must be the basic infrastructure to build and capture data. There has been news in Covid deaths that it was underplayed and under-recorded. It was revealed state after state when investigated through death certificates that numbers of death were not matching. And then later, in showing higher numbers of vaccination, Madhya Pradesh found to have fudged the numbers to be the lead performer in vaccinating its citizens. Any data that is devoid of basic principles will lead to society and community confusion and distrust.

Interestingly, it is also learned that the creation and act of misinformation and disinformation are always topdown. Read this interesting analysis here.

The fad of achieving higher statistical numbers only to show on the dashboard and not by activity and performance is numbing.

Let's discuss and find out what's the affordability rate we have in India as far as access to the Internet is concerned - especially amidst Covid when the dependency on digital has become irreversible.

According to the A4AI regional report 2020 focusing on the Asia Pacific, out of 29 countries surveyed, 17 countries have been found to have affordable Internet prices - and India is one of them. So, what is an affordable Internet? 1GB of mobile prepaid broadband must be available at the cost of less than 2 percent of the monthly income of an individual. Read the report here.

Can we deliver the Internet as an Aid? "Access to the internet is as essential as ever, particularly for the 281 million international migrants with changing needs. It’s time for the humanitarian sector to adapt traditional aid to meet new digital needs."

Here is an interesting article by Mercy Corp on the A4AI that calls out loudly "Human Rights Meet Humanitarian Practice: Delivering Internet as Aid".

Certainly, we all want universal access. We all want everyone to have a democratic meaningful, and affordable Internet connection . But have we asked how sustainable our access to the Internet is? And, how sustainable it would be if we have to connect the rest 50 percent of the population which are yet to be connected? A4AI came up last week with its latest Sustainable Access Report.

"Nearly half the world remains unconnected from the internet. We need a broadband policy that can connect the next generation of internet users and give them meaningful connectivity — while limiting the carbon footprint and climate impact that internet infrastructure carries".

It’s time broadband policy considers its impact on the natural world. This report analyses how governments embed climate issues into their broadband policies, looks at the consequences of inaction, and suggests policy recommendations towards a greener internet." The detailed report can be read here.

Meanwhile, International media is continuing its critical view on what India does to its citizens by curbing the Internet. There is an editorial in the Washington Post stating how the Indian government is asking microblogging websites to take down anything that is critical to its government in power. Here is the editorial:

Here is another thread explaining how the Internet Freedom Foundation is facilitating and helping an organisation to legally fight a case against the Jammu and Kashmir governments for the suspension of the Internet in the state.  

Amidst maligning news about the Internet, here is an example of the Internet for Good: "Rekhta's Trilingual Online Dictionary Opens up New Worlds For Urdu Lovers - the dictionary has a database of over three lakh words and their meanings in Urdu, Hindi, and English." Read the details of the good news here.

Another great good of the Internet: "Govt of India has created a National Digital Library for students for all subjects." It contains 460 million books. Read more about it here.

Here is a list of news and the headlines that come from the web house of Digital Empowerment Foundation. 

Everything around us is adapting to the new world created by the Covid-19 pandemic and one must seize the opportunity at hand. Read how Emmy Awards – awards that recognise achievements in the television industry and what lies ahead for other similar International and India award functions. Read this blog here

A Year of Ed-Tech: Read how in the Covid-19 pandemic Ed-Tech companies became a bridge in providing access to classes, assignments, e-learning among various other benefits for students. Read here.

Podcasts and the Pandemic: A crossover of technology and everyday life by Sana Alam. Read to know how the podcast industry has been flourishing, especially during the time of this pandemic, along with a list of a few mention-worthy podcasters. Read here.  

Wireless for Unconnected by Abner Manzar: Read Tamil Nadu’s Lambarda community’s journey from unconnected to connected and how digital interventions brought about wonders in the community’s lives. Read here.

WhatsApp Rules by Srishti Tripathy: What are WhatsApp's new rules and the dangers they pose in terms of surveillance and data privacy. Read here.

Digital Shot in Indian Women Cricket’s Arm: Read how Covid-19 pandemic brought about changes in playing cricket driven whilst shifting to everything digital revived the Women’s Cricket. Click here to read. 

For the past few months, Digital Empowerment Foundation has been conducting a unique training of 10,000 women in the areas of digital entrepreneurship - and nothing usual is happening there. And the learning and experience of the organisation and its people on the ground are just mesmerising. Digital Empowerment Foundation in collaboration with USAID and DAI is providing training to women entrepreneurs to ensure financial sustainability and stability under its project Digital Sarthak.  A scoping study was conducted to understand the existing usage and practice of digital tools by women entrepreneurs in their existing enterprises as well as to gauge how they currently use mobile and related internet services for their personal and business needs. Do get to know the insights through this blog by Anoushka Jha: Digital Sarthak: A Support to the Entrepreneurial Spirits of Rural Women.

And, for the full comprehensive report, visit here

Another advantage DEF enjoys, that it is spread across the whole country with its digital entrepreneurs at the village level - they are almost 1000. At the time of Covid, those digital entrepreneurs turned out to be covid warriors. Read to know the gravity of the situation that arose due to Covid-19 through Digital Empowerment Foundation’s network of ground staff and how they are involved in doing relief work and spreading awareness to curb the spread of the virus. Click here.


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TypeRight - The Digital Nukkad, is a weekly conversational bulletin curated through the news and discussions on social media as well as what's happening on the ground. Through the eyes and ears of Digital Empowerment Foundation across rural India and global south, TypeRight aspires to focus on bringing the contextual relevance of digital technologies and developments on the society - both connected and unconnected.