IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked the global community to work on protection of data privacy while emphasising on innovations using data analytics. “In India, 1.08 billion mobile phones, 60 million smartphones are a data, 112 billion Aadhaar is a data but on the other side, it is an equally important issue that data is mine. I am the individual. Why should my data be made public,” Prasad said at the “International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV)”.
The minister said there are strict clauses to maintain the privacy of Aadhaar holders as per the Aadhaar Act. “Our law is tough that even as a minister of IT, I cannot reveal my own fingerprint and iris except for the authorised objective underlined in the (Aadhaar) Act. Otherwise, I will suffer consequences,” Prasad said.
The minister said that for innovation to grow, data has to grow. “We will have to find ways to maintain innovative spirit of data analysis and sanctity of data privacy. How do we respond to those two challenges which are completely conflicting but also exciting. I think this is an area where I will expect ICEGOV to reflect upon,” Prasad said.
He said that virtual world is now affecting the real world and the problem that arises in virtual world is being addressed in real world. Prasad said such problems between virtual and real world can be handled through an effective collaboration.
The minister said the government is going to make 60 million people digitally literate in three years. Human Resource development Minister Prakash Javadekar said his ministry can partner with the IT Ministry with 40 million army of young college students.
Javadekar said the HRD Ministry has taken the digital route through Swayam platform to provide education for free to people. “It (Swayam) is available on all platforms including mobile phones. Now with Swayam, like ‘Any Time Money’ with ATM machines, it is any where learning. More than 2,000 courses will be offered for everyone in the country. That will be free of cost,” Javadekar said.