Discussion on “Cybersecurity in Comparative Indian and European Contexts” held  in NEHU

Shillong, May 29: In a collaborative panel discussion on “Cybersecurity in Comparative Indian and European Contexts” held with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), New Delhi in presence of German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Party Member of Parliament Mr. Florian Müller, the need for a more secure virtual and digital world was discussed.

Attended by large number of students, researchers and faculty of NEHU, the MP narrated his experience of representing a mountainous province of Attendorn of Western Germany located on the foothills of Alps in Bundestag and found parallel with Shillong and Meghalaya.

Securing data about genetic resources, climactic specialities and overall natural environment of a mountainous ecosystem in the digital world is a prime necessity of securing economy and culture, the German MP stated.

The panel discussion was organized by the office of International Affairs of NEHU and it was chaired by Prof. Prabha Shankar Shukla, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor.

The Vice-Chancellor stated the need for NEHU and Konrad Adenauer Foundation relationship in promoting faster economic growth and in developing researches of mutual interest.

Padmashree Ms. Patricia Mukhim as a key speaker in the panel asserted that cybersecurity is needed the utmost, as ordinary and common people are easily targeted by numerous cybercrimes and technologically savvy section of academia and civil society must develop way and means of protection of rights of private individual and other vulnerable sections like women and marginalized in the domain of cyberworlds.

She said that she often fell victim to trolling and even legal proceedings due to her writings and so she is much concerned about cybersecurity that can shield the ordinary people and media persons from purported attacks on their rights and liberties.

The  Vice-Chancellor Prof. Shukla detailed the need for connecting research in social and natural sciences with cultural and technological advancements  in a holistic manner so that no harm could be done to public at large and individuals making use of Information Technology.

Speaking at length, Dr. Adrian Haack, German representative to the India Office of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung argued how India and Germany should work together in securing the cyber environment from possible attacks originating from countries like China.

He pointed out how Germany had built up databases covering all important information at the level of cities and how such databases can be transmitted in a user friendly manner. He urged upon Governments to build such databases so that insecurity and  prying could be neutralized.

Speaking as an expert in Information Sceinces, Prof. P. Hangsing of NEHU added that there are ethical boundaries that need to be drawn between how many Governments be allowed to breach privacy and how much right of privacy be protected by empowering the citizens.

Prof. Hangsing enumerated how poor and the ordinary do suffer from data leaks, fraud and other such cybercrimes and suggested a claoser ethical networking for the purpose of cybersecurity.

Speaking further on the impact of cybercrimes on the economy, Prof. Bhagirathi Panda stated that Indian economy annually suffers a potential loss of Rs.1.5 Lakh crores or more due to cyber frauds. He advocated that advanced economies need to primarily protect their economic interests from attacks from hostile entities.

Earlier welcoming the guests, Prof. Anand S. Dixit, the Registrar-in-charge  expressed the need for meaning collaboration in the area of cybersecurity and implored the visiting German dignitaries to engage deeply with our domestic researchers so that issues like date leakage.

Preservation of databases and securing critical information are better achieved. Joining him, PatricaMukhim explained that new technologies of data protection need to be made available to ordinary users so that what is achieved through research could be translated in the ground.

The panel discussion ended with expression of mutual interests in augmenting research in cybersecurity in the domain of knowledge as well as in solving security related issues, for which both India and Germany must come together.

In the context of North-East India, Prof. PrasenjitBiswas emphasized upn the need for building databases on rare natural aspects and to develop a framework for their mutually beneficial use.

The panel expressed hope for a long terms German collaboration and investment in augmenting knowledge potential of North-East India with its rich soil and landscape like that of Western part of Germany.


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