eGov

Aadhaar: To be mandatory, or not to be

Ever since the unique identity number, or Aadhaar, was introduced in India, it has carefully avoided spelling out its status – whether it is mandatory or not. The official stance, even after a change in government, remains that Aadhaar is ‘essential’ to avail specific services but it is voluntary on the citizen to apply for it or not. The long-awaited law, passed last year, ha

Was MHA website hacked?

Home ministry, which is supposed to maintain the internal security in the country, has reportedly fallen prey to cybercrime. On February 12, reports of ministry of home affairs (MHA) web portal getting hacked came to the fore. The website was immediately taken down for some time by national informatics centre in response to threat. Although, the ministry has denied any hacking ac

UIDAI acts against 50 illegal websites

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has ensured that 12 websites and 12 mobile applications available on the Google Playstore are shut down and has directed to close down 26 more such fraudulent and illegal websites/applications.   It came to the notice of UIDAI that these websites and mobile applications downloadable through Google Playstore were pro

Bharat Net gets Rs 10,000 crore in budget 2017-18

For budget 2017-18 the government has allocated Rs 10,000 crore to Bharat Net project, which aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country.   Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that 1.5 lakh kilometre of optical fiber will be laid with Wi-Fi hotspots across the villages, making high-speed broadband connectivity av

Address current tensions for a robust digital economy: WEF white paper

Current tensions and anticipated future issues alike must be addressed to ensure the successful development of a robust digital economy for all stakeholders, said a World Economic Forum white paper.   The white paper on “Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society Valuing Personal Data and Rebuilding Trust” said that in this era of hyp

A bitter pill for e-pharmacies

Pawan Kumar’s doctor prescribed him some medicines for three months. The monthly bill of his medicines came around Rs 1,600, minus Rs 50 – the discount given by his local chemist. But when he bought the same medicines online he got a discount of 25 percent. Kumar now prefers ordering medicines online, as they are “obviously cheaper”. Online pharmacy is a

India needs 80 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots: Study

India needs over 80 lakh hotspots with a view to reach the global level of one Wi-Fi hotspot penetration for every 150 people, said a joint study carried out by ASSOCHAM and research firm Deloitte. There are currently over 31,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots installed in India. However, for India to match the current global average of one public Wi-Fi hotspot per 150 people, an addition

Cyber-attacks are most serious economic, national security threat: E&Y

Cyber security will cost the world $2 trillion in the next three years, and India, given the incidents of 2016, will continue to be the target, said Nitin Bhatt, national head and partner, risk advisory, Ernst & Young. Bhatt was speaking at the launch of the India report, part of the larger Global Information Security Survey 2016-17. Bhatt said that India would a victim of c

Paytm Payment Bank to be in operation from January 15

If you have a Paytm account and there is money in your wallet, then soon you can get interest on your money. The statement came from the Paytm’s blog post, in which the company announced that it will launch its payment bank on January 15.   Paytm wallet users will be given the option of opening a bank account with Paytm payment bank. On doing so, the user will ge

Does the net speak Dogri?

A 2016 report of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a bit of a misnomer: it’s called ‘Proliferation of Indian Languages on Internet’, but these languages account for hardly 0.1 percent of internet content. The internet, as the Chinese and speakers of other languages would agree, is dominated by English – as high as 56 percent of the content.

Demonetisation is a major driver that is forcing people towards digital payments: Nasscom president

From demonetisation’s impact on the digital economy to the growth of IT industry in the Trump era, NASSCOM president R Chandrashekhar shares his views with Taru Bhatia.  Do you think demonetisation is a right step towards a cashless economy? While recognising the inconvenience to a large section of society, NAS

CMAI suggests ways for better implementation of digital economy

Calling demonetisation a bold step by the Narendra Modi government, CMAI association of India noted that the move will help curb black money from the economy and push digital economy. The Communication Multimedia and Infrastructure (CMAI) association of India is an integrated professional registered association in India for mobiles, telecom, ICT, education, cyber security, commu

CMAI to educate people on online transactions

CMAI association of India will soon launch online training programmes for free and an educational campaign for the use of e-transactions, the association announced at a press conference held in Delhi on Thursday. CMAI is the only integrated professional registered association in India for mobiles, telecom, ICT, education, cyber security, communications, multimedia, manufacturing

Revisiting foundations of Aadhaar

1.1 The Unique Identity Project of India, now called Aadhaar, was started in July 2009. The first Aadhaar number was issued on September 29, 2010. As on date, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the agency responsible for implementing this project, has issued more than 1 billion numbers and continues to inch towards universal coverage. However, there have been controversies and co

No more files: Coal ministry is now paper-and clutter-free

It’s 2.30 in the afternoon and there is a mad rush in the corridors of Shastri Bhawan which houses the headquarters of several ministries. Holding a bunch of files in their hands or balancing the stack against the waist, peons run across various departments. To save some time, they carry at least five to eight files in one go, before they start for another round. A worker hurriedly pushin

Aadhaar toll-free helpline revamped

In order to quick access to information pertaining to Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched the revamped version of its toll-free helpline number 1947. The helpline will serve 24x7 throughout the year on IVRS mode. Call centre agents will be available from 7 am to 11 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, agents will answer calls from 8 am t

Automation: A boon or bane?

The fear that new technology could take away jobs and lead to a greater income inequality is not a new phenomenon. During the initial days of industrial revolution, people were worried that they would get replaced by machines. You might be tempted to dismiss this as a natural (and very human) fear of new technology and of change, but that would be unwise. After all, we aren’t talking abou

Regulatory framework remains cloudy

In August 2014, private photos of over 20 Hollywood celebrities were leaked online. Somebody apparently hacked into their accounts on iCloud – Apple’s backup service for all its devices – and stole the photos. The incident was a wake-up call for many, underlining the ease with which data stored in the cloud can be hacked. Keeping this risk in mind, the Indian government is tak

MCA to launch SPICE in Dec to strengthen ease of doing business

By December-end, the ministry of corporate affairs will launch Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically (SPICE), an e-form that will eliminate the need to fill multiple forms by business entities in India, Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said at a FICCI event on Wednesday. He said that the main objecti

India needs robust broadband connectivity infrastructure: TRAI chief

For an orderly growth of the telecom sector, it is necessary to have a clear regulatory framework with no scope of ambiguities, said RS Sharma, chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He underlined the need for a reliable and robust broadband connectivity infrastructure for a transformational growth of the telecom sector in India. Delivering his keynote address o

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