The Aam Aadmi Party’s pet scheme of making entire Delhi WiFi enabled will now be possible in two years time. The announcement regarding setting up of 700 WiFi hotspots in Delhi by February 2016 was made by Adarsh Shastri, Parliamentary Secretary to IT Minister on Thursday.
Explaining about the plan of action, Shastri said, “We will get the budgetary allocation in June and issue tender for WiFi by July. In the first phase, 600-700 hotspots will be set up by February 2016 and in two years time, entire Delhi will have access to Internet.”
A few days back, the AAP government had proposed a cheaper and efficient way to bring Internet to the people.
Under the plan, Delhi government was mulling the idea of mounting WiFi antennas on electricity poles instead of cellphone towers.
The move was motivated by the need to reduce expenditure and increase efficiency.
Indicating the Centre’s unhappiness over the latest reports of security breach in WhatsApp that also compromised Indian users, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said India takes the issue of privacy, especially informational privacy, seriously and data imperialism would not be tolerated.
Addressing the Commonwealth Law Ministers’ conference in Colombo, Prasad articulated India’s approach and stand with regard to data protection, according to an official statement.
“We are living in the age of Information Technology (IT) and data is going to play a very crucial role in the digital economy discourse. In India we view privacy seriously and informational privacy is also integral to that. It means a person must have control over his data and its commercial usage”.
He elaborated on the entire evolution of data law in India, the recommendations of the Justice Shri Krishna Committee, the public consultations and said that the government is looking at tabling Bill on the matter in Parliament.
Prasad emphasised that any data protection law must be technology agnostic, must be based upon element of free consent, no abuse of consent beyond the permissible limits, requisite data protection authorities and a fair mechanism for data processing.
There is a need to balance innovation and enterprise in data but with due regard to privacy, the Minister said, adding that data economy both in terms of commercial use and employment will play a crucial role.
According to the statement, Prasad noted that while a large amount of data is being generated in developing and underdeveloped countries, but the claim for processing it is being emphasized only by the developed world.
The Minister cautioned against any attempts at data monopoly. He said that any attempt to create monopoly on data by few companies and few countries, or data imperialism, will not be acceptable.
Prasad also articulated India’s initiatives of Digital India, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and digital inclusion.
The Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland appreciated India’s stand and endorsed the country’s approach for equity in data management.
After messaging company WhatsApp recently disclosed that an Israeli spyware had targeted Indian users as well, an irate Indian government asked the company to explain the breach and why the Indian government had not been informed.