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Diversity is a fact of life in India, can not be wished away: President Mukherjee

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New Delhi, April 9 : Describing “pluralism and tolerance” as India’s core philosophy, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said diversity was a fact of life in the country that cannot be wished away by any whims.

Mukherjee said democracy was not merely about numbers but rather a phenomenon that calls for consensus building.

“Diversity is a fact in India. It cannot be turned into fiction by whims and caprices of few individuals,” he said delivering the first Arjun Singh memorial lecture here.

“Democracy is not all about numbers but it also calls for consensus building,” Mukherjee said and described “pluralism and tolerance as core philosophy” that must be continued undeterred.

“While we must wield no space to anarchy, efficient democratic machinery must have the means and wherewithal to absorb public opinion for formulation of sound policies,” the president said.

He said India’s cherished communal harmony might be often put to test by “vested interests” but maintained that “we must remain alert to communal tensions rearing its ugly head anywhere.

“Rule of law must form the sole basis for dealing with any challenging situation. It is our democratic underpinning that must prevail at all times.”

“The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. We derive our strength from tolerance. It has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries. It has worked well for us and it is the only way it will work for us,” he said.

“India is a multi-faceted nation of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1,600 dialects and seven religions,” Mukherjee said at the function attended among others by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who speaking earlier, expressed “chinta” (concern) over the “increasing threat to the secular fabric of the country”.

The function was also attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, M.L. Fotedar and others.

Recalling her long association with former union minister Arjun Singh, Sonia Gandhi said he was a true symbol of commitment to secularism and to the cause of the poor.

Paying tributes to Arjun Singh’s commitment to secular values, Gandhi said that by looking at things happening in the society, “I feel there is need to have more people like Arjun Singh”.

The president spoke at length on Arjun Singh’s steering of the country’s education portfolio and said his former colleague holds the distinction of handling the responsibility for eight years — in two stints.

Arjun Singh held the human resource development ministry portfolio under P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

“This (eight years) was the longest stint by any education minister after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,” the president said.

On the overall higher education front, Mukherjee lamented that for long no Indian university has given any Nobel laureate and pointed out that the likes of Amartya Sen and Har Gobind Khorana could not be retained by Indian universities.

There must be “serious scrutiny” over this, he said and asserted that this trend must change.

In terms of numbers, he said while India has over 730 universities and 35,000 colleges but “the quality of education is not up to international standards”. (IANS)

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Indian Education Institutions Face Cyber Security Challenge

Indian Education Institutions receive cyber threats from hackers

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Cyber crimes
Indian education institutions are hit hard by cyber crimes. Pixabay

Education domain is one of the most “at-risk” industries in India, with the sector accounting for more than 30 per cent of cyber threats targeting enterprises in the country between July and September 2019, a new report from Seqrite, the enterprise arm of IT security firm Quick Heal Technologies, said on Wednesday.

Other industries that remained at high risk included manufacturing, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), media and entertainment and professional services — underlining that no sector remained immune from the growing cybersecurity challenge in the country.

Between July and September 2019, Seqrite detected and stopped more than 38 million cyber threats, including ransomware, malware, virus/worm infectors, cryptojacking and exploit-based attacks.

This marks an increase of four million and 10 million over the number of threats detected in Q2 2019 and Q1 2019, respectively.

It also marked a massive year-on-year increase of 12 million over the corresponding numbers in Q2 2018, which saw 26 million threats stopped by Seqrite.

“In the face of the growing cybersecurity challenge highlighted in the report, it is important that Indian organisations across industries understand and acknowledge the heightened severity and sophistication of the threat landscape,” said Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies.

cyber security
No sector remains immune from the growing cyber security challenge in the country. Pixabay

“Deploying robust, multi-layered, and tech-backed security solutions is no longer a luxury, but a critical necessity for enterprises across the country,” Katkar added.

The emergence of sophisticated ransomware such as “LockerGoga” marked a shift from a single-screen approach to leveraging ransomware as a sophisticated payload distribution platform.

Unsecured Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) was also targeted by ransomware such as “TFlower” to compromise the security of corporate enterprises and government agencies at scale.

Constantly evolving malware continued to use complex obfuscation techniques and attack methodologies to escape detection by conventional, signature-based cybersecurity approach.

Also Read- Amazon Introduces ‘Project Zero’ in India to Block Counterfeits

During the latest monitoring period, Trojans saw a huge surge in their adoption and were the preferred attack method deployed against Indian enterprises, with such intrusions accounting for 27 per cent of the total threats.

Other threats such as infectors (24 per cent), worms (17 per cent), PUAs (13 per cent), and cryptojacking (11 per cent) also remained popular amongst cybercriminals. (IANS)