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30 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. India’s push for e-governance is facing a serious challenge from its weak cyber security system and infrastructure. Critically analyze, in the context of the recent high profile hacking episodes. (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Just like real estate sector is facing the issue of trust similarly e-governance is also said to be getting regressive push on the back of perceived inability of state to protect critical digital systems from hacking etc
    • Recent series of attacks like Petya Ransomware etc taking advantage of loopholes in operating systems of Microsoft
    • Similarly hacking of debit card data and withdrawal of money from accounts of various persons last year
    • Companies paying little attention to cyber security
    However not just cyber attacks but there are other constraints to the expansion for e-governance
    Supply side factors:
    • Non-preparedness of many government organisations to shift to the digital mode
    • Unavailability of internet in many remote regions of the country
    Demand side factors
    • Low digital literacy among the poor
    • Lack of awareness among the people about the various digital initiatives of the government
    The USSD based financial transactions enabling system being designed by National Payments Corporation of India [NPCI] is expected to help with security and internet issues.
    As habits take time to form, it is expected that with passage of time along with persistent efforts by the government proliferation of e-governance will see the light of the day

  • Osho Korde

    It is widely discussed that governments in developing nations cost too much, deliver too little, and are not sufficiently responsive or accountable. There is a distinct inclination of several governments across the developing. Countries to move towards e-Governance to improve processes, connects citizens and build interactions with and within the civil society.

    • Models of e-governance from the developmental perspective, e-governance can be defined as the application of electronic means (in particular the ICT) in the interaction between and citizens and government and businesses, as well as in Internal government operations to simplify and improve democratic, government and business aspects of governance.
    • The country’s cyber security agency Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has issued a red-coloured ‘critical alert’ in connection with the WannaCry attack, and warned users to not pay the ransom.

    These needs are governed by the necessity to protect the following security attributes
    Authentication: this is the ability to say that an electronic communication (whether via email or web) does genuinely come from who it purports to. Forging the “from” field in an email header is trivial matter, and far more sophisticated attacks are standard fare for hackers.
    The challenge here is to give simple, cost-effective but strong enough authentication method. At least two levels of authentication are recommended. However, implementation of hardware tokens like citizen smart card are expensive and not easily manageable