Why in news?

  • Big data is being increasingly used by the government in policy formation.

What is Big Data?

  • Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process data within a tolerable elapsed time.
  • Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.
  • Big data is characterized by 4Vs – Variety, Volume Velocity and Value. Additionally, two more concepts have been added – Variability and Complexity
  • Interesting insights from big data can be got using data mining.

Data mining

  • It’s defined as a process used to extract usable data from a larger set of any raw data by analysing data patterns in large batches of data using one or more software
  • It involves effective data collection and warehousing as well as computer processing.
  • It uses sophisticated mathematical algorithms for segmenting the data and evaluating the probability of future events.
  • Data mining is also known as Knowledge

Discovery in Data (KDD).

Applications of Big Data

  • Better understanding and targeting of customers.
  •  Optimization of Businesses processes
  • optimizing treatment and even predicting diseases
  • Analyze and improve the performance of individuals
  • Prevent cyber-attacks, detect credit card fraud, foil terrorism and even predict criminal activity.
  • optimizing the heating or lighting in our homes, the traffic flow in our cities, or the energy grid across the country.
  • In the wake of challenges for Big data in India, government had constituted a committee under Justice B.N. Srikrishna which came out with a white paper on Data Protection Framework for India. Earlier in 2016, CAG finalized a Big Data Management Policy to make itself future ready.


Why in News?

  • Maharashtra became the first state to mandate its departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud unlike currently where government departments have their own data storage facilities.


  •  Cloud Storage- Cloud storage is a service model in which data is maintained, managed, backed up remotely and made available to users over a network or cloud services platform (typically the Internet).
  • Apart from storage, cloud computing also involves on-demand delivery of compute power, applications, and other IT resources
  • Similar Government initiatives
  • Digilocker Service- It is a part of goverment’s
  • Digital India Initiative, to enable Indian citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud.
  •  GI Cloud Initiative (Meghraj): To accelerate delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the Government. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is providing National Cloud services under this.


Why in news?

  • The Finance Ministry recently issued a statement warning against investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (CCs). These currencies use a technology called blockchain.

What are cryptocurrencies?

  •  A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Hence it is difficult to counterfeit. It is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.
  • The first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009 by an individual or group known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin’s success has spawned a number of competing cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Namecoin, PPCoin etc.
  • Advantages: easier to transfer funds with minimal processing fees, safety from hackers due to block-chain technology and difficult to counterfaeit
  • Disadvantages: well-suited for illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion due to anonymous nature of transactions, rate of exchange of cryptocurrencies fluctuate widely and a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash. Recently concerns are being raised on its immunity to hacks as well.
  • Various countries have adopted use of bitcoins with regulations such as China, South Korea, Japan etc.
  • Some countries are also coming up with their virtual currencies such as PETRO by Venezuela,WhatSOVis (Sovereign)it? by Marshall Islands etc.
  •  India does not consider crypto-currencies as legal
  •  Blockchains are basically digital ledgers or tender or coin.
  • decentralized database of financial transactions that are immutable and instantly updated across the world.
  • Distributed database: The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable.
  • Whenever a financial transaction happens, it is grouped in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions and sent out to the entire network.
  • The members in the network then validate the transactions by solving complex coded problems.
  • The new validated block is then added to the chain in a linear, chronological order and linked to older blocks making it a chain of blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain
  • Thus, the blockchain cannot be controlled by a single entity and has no single point of failure


  • The World Economic Forum in 2015, predicts that 10% of global GDP will be stored on the blockchain by 2027.
  • Crypto currency (CC) is just one use of Blockchain technology. The other possible uses are – streamlining payment mechanism,
  • eliminated the need for trust. Programmable money to not allow using products of company flouting norms, promoting artificial intelligence and internet of things etc.


  • The main challenges today are the missing standards, the unclear legal and regulatory framework, lacking confidence and technical issues. Current blockchains have trouble with scalability and latency (i.e. verification speed).


Why in news?

  • Department of Science and Technology is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers.

What is quantum computing?

  • In a classical computer, information is stored using binary units, or bits. A bit is either a 0 or
  • A quantum computer instead takes advantage of quantum mechanical properties to process information using quantum bits, or qubits.
  • They function according to two key principles of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement.
  • Superposition means that each qubit can represent both a 1 and a 0 at the same time.
  • Entanglement means that qubits in a superposition can be correlated with each other; that is, the state of one (whether it is a
  • 1 or a 0) can depend on the state of another.
  •  Using these two principles, qubits can act as more sophisticated switches, enabling quantum computers to function in ways that allow them to solve difficult problems that are intractable using today’s computers.
  • The computing power of a quantum computer increases exponentially as the qubits are increased.
  •  It can be used in research in new medicine and organic materials as quantum computers would require 3.5 million fewer steps as compared to a traditional machine.
  • Other uses – efficient logistics and delivery mechanism, more secure platforms for banking transactions, revolutionize artificial
    intelligence by faster processing of complicated data, faster communication etc.
  • Quantum mechanics (QM): QM deals with sub-atomic particles viz electrons and photons. It is used in making products such as integrated circuit chips and fibre-optic lines for global, instantaneous communication.
  • Quantum cryptography: It is a recent technique that can be used to ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted between two parties by exploiting the counterintuitive behavior of elementary particles such as photons. Quantum cryptography is different from traditional cryptographic systems in that it relies more on physics, rather than mathematics, as a key aspect of its security model.


  •  China launched the world’s first satellite under the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) mission, to test the fundamentals of quantum communication in space.
  •  It is known as Micius, after an ancient Chinese philosopher.


Why in news?

  • Recently, the Minister for Earth Sciences (MoES) unveiled India’s fastest supercomputer named Pratyush and high performance computer system ‘Mihir’.

National Supercomputing Mission

  •  It’s implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)
  •  Mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
  • These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN) under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.
  • The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network
  • The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.

More on news

  •  MoES has acquired a high performance
  • computing (HPC) system which is an array of computers jointly hosted by IITM, Pune and
  • National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida.
  • The HPC at Pune is named Pratyush with a capacity of 4 petaflops (a measure of a computer’s processing speed expressed as a quadrillion floating point operations per second) and HPC at Noida named Mihir with capacity of 2.8 petaflops giving a total capacity of 6.8 petaflops.
  • It is India’s first multi-petaflop supercomputer and is the fourth fastest super-computer in the world which is dedicated to weather and climate research after Japan, U.S.A. and United Kingdom.
  • It will also take India up from the present 365th position to top 30 in the infrastructural ranking of Top 500 HPC facilities in the world.
  • Other top five super computers of India are SahasraT (Cray XC40), Aaditya (IBM/Lenovo system), TIFR Colour Boson (Cray XC-30), IIT Delhi HPC and Param Yuva 2.
  • Sunway TaihuLight is the World’s fastest computer, belonging to China


Why in news?

  • The government has formed a high-level panel under the chairmanship of Rajiv Kumar to lay out a roadmap for India’s research and development on AI and its applications.

Artificial Intelligence

  • It is branch of computer science dealing with simulation of intelligent behavior in computers vis-a-vis visual perception, speech recognition, decision making and translation between languages.
  • It enables computer system to carry out task on their own that otherwise requires human intelligence.
  • Robotics is also a major field related to AI.

Other Developments

  • Recently, Department of Defence Production constituted a task force headed by N Chandrasekaran, to study use of artificial intelligence in military.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Sets up Task Force chaired by V. Kamakoti on Artificial Intelligence for Economic Transformation.


  • Microsoft has launched “Project Brainwave”, a deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI).
  •  It uses the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure.
  • The system architecture allows very high throughput, with the FPGA processing requests as fast as the network can stream them.
  •  Significance: Real-time AI is becoming
  • increasingly important as cloud infrastructures process live data streams, whether they be search queries, videos, sensor streams, or interactions with users.

About deep learning

  • It is a subset of machine learning which utilizes hierarchical level of artificial neural networks to process unstructured data.
  • Neural networks are a set of algorithms, modeled loosely after the human brain, that are designed to recognize patterns
  • A hierarchical neural network is an artificial neural network(ANN) with multiple hidden layers between the input and output layers


  • A humanoid robot is a robot with its overall appearance based on that of the human body.
  • Features of Humanoid Robots o Self-maintenance
  •  Autonomous learning
  •  Avoiding harmful situations to people, property, and itself
  • Safe interacting with human beings and the environment
  • Androids are humanoid robots built to resemble a male human, and Gynoids are humanoid robots built to resemble a human female.
  • Recently, Humanoid Robot Sophia became world’s first robot citizen as Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to her in a bid to promote artificial intelligence.
  • Other Example: Unplugged (USA), Asimo (Japan), Icub (Cognitive Universal Body by European university), Poppy (france), Lexy & Tess (Germany), Actroid-Sit (Japan) etc.

About Sophia

  • Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics under David Hanson.
  • Sophia is conceptually similar to the computer program ELIZA, which was one of the first attempts at simulating a human conversation.
  • The software has been programmed to give pre-written responses to specific questions .The information is shared in a cloud network which allows input and responses to be analysed with blockchain technology.
  •  She also made surprise appearance at UN and also joined meeting on artificial intelligence and sustainable development.
  • In Artificial intelligence, turing test is a method of inquiry for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.



Why in news?

  • As of now, over 1.04 lakh gram panchayats have been made “service ready” for providing broadband connectivity as on March 11 under Bharat Net project

About International Telecommunications Union

  •  ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
  • It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
  • Members: It includes both public and private sector membership i.e 193 UN Member States and ICT regulators, many leading academic institutions and some 700 tech companies.

Bharat Net Project

  •  In 2011, National Optical Fibre Network(now called Bharat Net Project) was launched to provide broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats with an affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
  •  It is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) named Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) set up under Companies Act.
  • It is  funded  through  Universal  Service

Obligation Fund (USOF)


  • Bharat Net Project is also significant for generation of as much as 5 lakh jobs during the installation of Wi-Fi hot spots.
  • Some issues involved are high usage of internet through mobile phone, cyber security, high cost of services, low internet education.

Universal Service Obligation Fund:

  • It aims to provide non-discriminatory access to quality ICT services at affordable prices to people in rural and remote areas through subsidy support to incentivizing telecom service providers to venture forth and provide services to such target beneficiaries.
  • It was envisaged in National Telecom Policy, 1999 and was given statutory status through Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003.
  • The resources are raised through a ‘Universal Access Levy (UAL)’, which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licenses.

Optical Fibre Technology

  • Fibre optics, is the science of transmitting data,voice, and images by the passage of light through thin, transparent fibres.
  • Optical fibre  is  made  up  of  semiconducting materials and usually has a cylindrical structure. In inner core there is material of higher refractive index than in outer core resulting in Total Internal Reflection (TIR)
  • When light passes from a medium with one index of refraction (m1) to another medium with a lower  index  of refraction  (m2),  it  bends  or refracts    away  from   an  imaginary  line perpendicular to the surface (normal line)
  • However at critical angle, the refracted  light travel along the surface between the two media and  at  angle  greater  than  critical  angle,  the refracted beam will be reflected entirely back into m1. This phenomenon is known as total internal reflection.
  • Optical fibers allow data signals to propagate through them by ensuring that the light signal enters the fiber at an angle greater than the critical angle of the interface between two types of glass.

5.7.2. 5G

Why in news?

  • The government has set up a high level forum
  • to evaluate roadmaps and formulate a strategy to adopt 5G in the country by 2020

What is 5G?

  • 5G is a wireless communication technology. It is the next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks.
  • The final standard for 5G will be set up by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

What is spectrum and how does it work?

  • Spectrum refers to the radiowaves that are used by mobile phones to transmit data.
  • The spectrum has been divided into bands by the government for uninterrupted transmission of data.
  • Carriers in India use airwaves in the 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz, 2300 Mhz and 2500 Mhz bands.
1.generation (1G)

  • First wireless communication.

  • Voice Calls.

  • Limited capacity, not secure,
    background interference

  • 2 Kbps

2.Generation (2G)

  • Digital version of 1G technology

  • Voice calls, Short messages,browsing (partial)

  • Low network range, slow datarates

  • 64 Kbps

3.Generation (3G)

  • Digital broadband,speed increments

  • Video conferencing, mobile TV,GPS

  • High power consumption, Low network coverage, High cost of
    spectrum licence.

  • 2 Mbps


  • Very high speeds, All IP

  • High speed applications, mobile TV, Wearable devices

  • Hard to implement, complicated hardware required

  • 1 Gbps

5.Generation (5G)

  • Cell densification, software defined network, low signal traffic

  • Hologram TV, Augemented reality, Ultra large and high data transfer, energy saving.

  • More than 1 Gbps

  • Low-frequency transmissions can travel greater distances before losing their integrity, and they can pass through dense objects more easily. Less data can be transmitted over these radio waves.
  • Higher-frequency transmissions carry more data, but are poorer at penetrating obstacles. The higher the frequency, the lower the wavelength, and thus the more energy that’s required to cover the same distance.
  • Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing, under Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is responsible for spectrum management at the national level.

About The internet of things (IoT)


  • The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items-embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
  • Thus IoT creates opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefits
  • IoT is one of the platforms of today’s Smart City, and Smart Energy Management Systems. It can also be used to improve crop yield to help feed the world’s growing population.

About Array of Things (AoT):

  • It’s an urban sensing project, a network of interactive, modular sensor boxes that will be installed around city to collect real-time data on the city’s environment, infrastructure, and activity for research and public use.
  • It is expected to provide localised information to the authorities enabling them to act quickly in emergencies and warn citizens of environmental threats.

VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution)

  • It is an Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) specification which enables a variety of services to operate seamlessly on the network rather than having to switch to different applications for voice or video.
  • Volte offer high definition (HD) quality voice calls, lesser call drops and calls get connected significantly faster, in comparison with standard voice calls over 3G and 2G networks.


Why in news?

  • X Development LLC, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet will supply and deploy two  thousand  cutting-edge   Free
  • Space Optical Communication (FSOC) links for Andhra Pradesh (AP) fiber-grid.
  • AP Fibre Grid project is aimed to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure
  • accessible on a nondiscriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable and end-to-end broadband connectivity for all households, institutions & Offices. It is being implemented by Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited
  • X is a research and development facility founded by Google in January 2010.
  • It has been working on several projects including driver-less car, product delivery through flying vehicles, Project Loon, Google glass among other technologies.

What is Free Space Optical Communication?

  • It is an optical communication technology in which data is transmitted by propagation of light in free space allowing optical connectivity.
  • Working of FSO is similar to OFC (optical fiber cable) networks but the only difference is that the optical beams are sent through free air or vaccum instead of glass fiber.
  • It is a Line of Sight (LOS) technology. It consists of an optical transceiver at both ends to provide full duplex (bidirectional) capability.
  • It is capable of sending up to 1.25 Gbps of data, voice, and video communications simultaneously through the air.
  • Advantages: low initial investment, flexible network that delivers better speed than broadband, security due to line of sight operation etc.
  • Challenges: misalignment errors, geometric losses, background noise, weather attenuation losses and atmospheric turbulence.


Light-fidelity (LiFi)

  • It is a high speed wireless communications through light emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • It uses both visible and near-visible light for free-space communication.
  • LiFi is not strictly a line-of-sight technologye. data rate is not dependent on the line of sight but on the signal quality at the device.

5.7.4. RFID

Why in news?

  • Recently National Highways Authority of India launched two mobile apps MyFASTag and FASTag Partner to facilitate Electronic Toll Collection. FASTag is a device which uses RFID technology for making toll-payment directly from the prepaid account.

About RFID

  • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked. It is applied for tracking items or as a pass.

Other related technologies


  • Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 cm distance. It is used in credit card related payments, e-booking etc.
  • Barcode scanner detects the light reflected from the barcode. This needs to be kept in range of several inches to several feet to read the code.
  • QR code (Quick Response code)
  •  It’s a two-dimensional (matrix) machine-readable bar code made up of black and white square. This code can be read by the camera of a smartphone. 
  •  It carries information both horizontally and vertically. It has error correction capability and data stored in it can be restored even if it is partially damaged or dirty.
  •   It  is  capable  of  360  degrees  (omni-directional), high speed reading.
  •  QR Code can store up to 7089 digits as compared to conventional bar codes which can store max 20 digits.

Bluetooth technology 

  • It is a high speed low powered wireless technology which uses radio waves to link phones, computers and other
  • network devices over short distance without wires.
  •  Wireless signals transmitted with Bluetooth cover short distances, typically up to 30 feet (10 meters).
  • Bluetooth sends and receives radio waves in a band (frequency band of 2.45GHz ) of 79 different frequencies and can connect up to “eight devices” simultaneously
  • It overcomes the constraints of line of sight and one to one communication as in other mode of wireless communications like infrared.
  • It guarantees security at bit level. When a group of two or more Bluetooth devices are sharing information together, they form a kind of ad-hoc, mini computer network called a piconet.
  •  It removes the problem of radio interference by using a technique called Speed Frequency Hopping. This ensures that the interference won’t take place as each transmitter will be on different frequencies.


Why in News?

  • The Telecom Department launched a portal – Tarang Sanchar Portal that will allow people to track radiation emitted from mobile towers within a locality.
  • The portal will empower consumers to know about the towers working in a particular area and whether they are compliant to the Electromagnetic field (EMF) emission norms defined by the government.
  • In general, mobile tower emissions rules in India are ten times more stringent than the global norms

About radiation

Energy emitted from a source is generally referred to as radiation. There are two types of radiation:

  • Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy to cause chemical changes by breaking chemical bonds. This ionization process results in the formation of two charged particles or ions: the molecule with a net positive charge, and the free electron with a negative charge. This effect can cause damage to living tissue.
  • Examples include heat or light from the sun, microwaves from an oven, X rays from an X-ray tube, and gamma rays from radioactive elements
  • Non-ionizing radiation is the term given to radiation in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where there is insufficient energy to cause ionization but may have enough e nergy to excite molecules and atoms causing then to vibrate faster.

Example: It   includes   electric  and magnetic   fields, radio waves,microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, and visible radiation.

Application of Radiation

  • Medical Application: X-Ray, CT, and PET machines use X-ray (X-ray and CT) and Gamma radiation (PET) to produce detailed images of the human body,
  • Industrial Application: to examine welds for defects or irregularities, or examining other materials to locate structural anomalies or internal components.
  • Food irradiation is the process of using radioactive sources to sterilize foodstuffs.
  • As a disinfectant: Ultraviolet light is used to disinfect drinking water in some homes.
  • Pollution Abatement: Radiation is used to help remove toxic pollutants, such as exhaust gases from coal-fired power stations and industry. For example, electron beam radiation.



Why in news?

  • Recently, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has favoured net neutrality.
  • Also, Washington has become first state recently to enact its own net-neutrality rules

Net Neutrality

  • Net Neutrality or Network neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without improper discrimination in favour of particular apps, sites or services.


  • The debate on net neutrality in India started from Facebook launching Free Basics and Airtel launching Airtel Zero.
  • These were opposed by IT industry body Nasscom as it violated net neutrality principles by differentiating internet access for certain types of services.


  • Non-Discriminatory treatment: irrespective of sender, receiver protocols used etc.
  • Specialised Service: are exempted from neutrality framework such as tele-surgery, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IPTV services etc.
  • Content delivery Network (CDN) platform: should not be included within the scope of any restrictions on non-discriminatory treatment
  • Reasonable traffic Management practices: by framing appropriate regulations time to time.
  • Regulatory Body: TRAI suggested DoT may establish a multi-stakeholder body with framework for collaborative mechanism among the stakeholders for monitoring the net-neutrality.


  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.

CDN platform

  • CDN is a system of servers, deployed at the edge of (or within) the terminating network of an access provider, that content provider can use to distribute their content.




Why in news?


  • Recently, Ministry for Electronics & Information Technology launched nation-wide hackathon #OpenGovDataHack with an aim to support and showcase great ideas or talent and enable them to develop apps or infographics by use of Open Government Data.



    • It is a platform which provides
      • The principle of data sharing and accessibility is based on openness, flexibility, transparency, quality, security and machine-readability.
        • The policy also facilitates the access to Government shareable data readable and machine readable form though an all India network within the framework of various policies, acts and rules.
          • The Policy aims to provide an enabling provision and platform for providing proactive and open access to the data generated through public funds available with various departments of Government.#OpenGovDataHack is an on-site 24Hrs Challenge which will be held at 7 centres. The participating teams will be required to submit the App prototype and info-graphics, out ofthese selected apps will be taken up for further development and the winner will be awarded. The theme of the Hackathon was“Drinking Water & Sanitation, Transport, Education, Crime and Health”.Open Government Data (OGD) Platform
  • OGD has been set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in accordance with National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) 2012.

National Data Sharing and Access Policy, 2012


  • The Policy aims to provide an enabling provision and platform for providing proactive and open access to the data generated through public funds available with various departments of Government.
  • The policy also facilitates the access to Government shareable data readable and machine readable form though an all India network within the framework of various policies, acts and rules.
  • The principle of data sharing and accessibility is based on openness, flexibility, transparency, quality, security and machine-readability.
  • It is a platform which provides
  • single point access to open data sets, it also provides web based workflows to departments so that they can publish their datasets through a predefined metadata.
  •   better  visualization  tools,  better  user experience and efficient discoverability of resources.
  • Community participation through blogs, info-graphics, visualizations, mobile and web apps etc.
  • OGD platform is currently being supplemented by various sectors such as health and family welfare, home affairs, agriculture, rajya sabha, statistics and programme etc.



5.9.1. NIC-CERT

Why in news?

Government inaugurated the new body National Information Centre-Computer Emergency Response Team (NIC-CERT) to prevent and predict cyber-attacks on government utilities.

About National Information Centre

  • It comes under Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and has a key role in e-governance at the national, state and district levels. Almost all Indian-government websites are developed and managed by NIC


  • In May    2017,  a   ransomware called Wannacry, infected more than 100,000 computers all over the world.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in June, 2017 issued an advisory about Petya or Petrwrap, in the series of ransomware attacks affecting computer systems across the world whose spreading mechanism were similar to attack such as EternalBlue, Psexec, Windows Management Instrumentation.

Effect on India

Government steps to tackle cybercrime

Setting up NIC-CERT

  • NIC-CERT is a dedicated body to detect, prevent and mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks, by monitoring data across the NIC platform, including communication between all the levels of government and between governments to citizens.
  • It will help in real time data monitoring and operate in close coordination and collaboration with sectoral CERTs and CERT-IN.
  • Securing Digital India Initiative: NIC-CERT will help in securing digital initiative of government by preventing the threats and vulnerabilities arising due to cyberspace.
  • Malware: Malware is short for malicious software, meaning software that can be used to compromise computer functions, steal data, bypass access controls, or otherwise cause harm to the host computer. Malware is a broad term that refers to a variety of malicious programs.
  • Bot: Bots are software programs created to automatically perform specific operations. While some bots are created for relatively harmless purposes (video gaming, internet auctions, online contests, etc), it is becoming increasingly common to see bots being used maliciously.
  • Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware that functions by spying on user activity without their knowledge. Spyware spreads by exploiting software vulnerabilities, bundling itself with legitimate software, or in Trojans.
  • Ransomware: It is a form of malware that essentially holds a computer system captive while demanding a ransom. The malware restricts user access to the computer either by encrypting files on the hard drive or locking down the system anddisplaying messages that are intended to force the user to pay the malware creator to remove the restrictions and regain access to their computer.
  • Trojan Horse: A Trojan horse, is a type of malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware. A Trojan can give a malicious party remote access to an infected computer.
    • Virus: A virus is a form of malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to other computers. Viruses can be used to steal information, harm host computers and networks, create botnets, steal money, render advertisements, and more.


    • Worm: Computer worms are among the most common types of malware. They spread over computer networks by exploiting operating system vulnerabilities. Worms typically cause harm to their host networks by consuming bandwidth and overloading web servers. Worms often spread by sending mass emails with infected attachments to users’ contacts.


    Two recent initiatives

    Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative


    • It has been launched by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners, to strengthen Cybersecurity ecosystem in India.


    • It is first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity.


    • The founding partners include leading IT companies such as Microsoft, Intel, WIPRO. Its knowledge partners include Cert-In, NIC, NASSCOM and consultancy firms Deloitte and EY.


    • It will be operated on three principles of Awareness, Education and Enablement.


    • It aims to spread awareness about cybercrime and build capacity of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.


    Global Centre For Cybersecurity


    • It has been launched by the World Economic Forum (WEF) with headquarter in Geneva.


    • It will function as an autonomous organization under WEF. It will serve as laboratory and early-warning think tank for future cybersecurity scenarios and help to build a safe and secure global cyberspace.


    • Its aim is to establish first global platform for governments, businesses, experts and law
    • enforcement agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity challenges and work towards an appropriate and agile regulatory framework on cybersecurity.Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 
      • Theme: “Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development”.


      • Aim: to establish internationally agreed ‘rules of the road’ for behavior in cyberspace, and create a more focused and inclusive dialogue between all those with a stake in the internet on how to implement them.


      • It has set up an institutional mechanism – Global Forum on Cyber Expertise – to enhance capacity building, share best practices and expertise on cyber capacity.

Section 69B of IT Act, 2000, talks about the power to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for Cyber Security.



Why in news?

Ministry of home affairs recently called for signing of the Budapest Convention on cybercrime owing to the surge in cyber-crime.

About Budapest convention on cybercrime

  • This convention of the council of Europe is the only binding international instrument on this issue.
  • It is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks and deals with issues such as infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.
  • It aims to pursue a common criminal policy, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international police as well as judicial co-operation.
  • It provides for procedural law tools to make investigation of cybercrime and securing of e-evidence in relation to any crime more effective.
  • The Convention has 56 members, including the US and the UK.


Steps taken by Government

  • Information Technology Act, 2000(amended in 2008) provides a legal framework for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in): established to enhance the security of India’s Communications and
  • Information Infrastructure through proactive action and effective collaboration. CERT-fin has also been launched exclusively for financial sector.
  • National Cyber Security Policy 2013: proposes to set up different bodies to tackle various levels of threats, along with a national nodal agency, to coordinate all matters related to cyber security.
  • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to battle cyber security threats in strategic areas such as air control, nuclear and space. It will function under the National Technical Research


Organisation (NTRO)

  • National cyber coordination centre (NCCC) is being set up to scan internet traffic coming into the country and provide real time situational awareness and alert various security agencies.
  • Indian cyber-crime coordination centre (I4C) and Cyber Warrior Police force has been established under newly created Cyber and Information Security (CIS) Division (under Ministry of Home Affairs) to tackle internet crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography and online stalking.
  • Digital Army Programme: a dedicated cloud to digitize and automate processes, procedures and services for the Indian Army, launched as a part of Digital India. This is similar to Meghraj, the national cloud initiative.


Why in news?


  • Recently Home Minister launched a digital police portal under the CCTNS project.

More on news

  • CCTNS has originally aimed at maintenance of crime and criminal records of individuals through a national database, and delivery of web based police related services to all citizens.
  • Digital Police portal is a SMART policing initiative of government with aim to provide Services to Citizens at a National level
  •   Report a Crime
  •  Request for person verification o Links to State Citizen Portal
  • The access has been restricted only to authorized officials to protect Privacy of individual and concerns of National security.
  • The portal also generates various thematic reports of trends of incidence of crime across the country to facilitate policy analysis and undertaking targeted interventions.

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)

  • It is a project of MHA launched in 2009 which aims to:
  • Provide Citizen Centric Police Services via a web portal.
  • Pan India search on National database of Crime & Criminal records.
  • Crime and Criminal reports at State and Centre.
  • Computerization of Police Processes.

Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

  • It is a component of CCTNS
  • ICJS aims to integrate the CCTNS project with the e-courts and e-prisons databases initially and later to all components of criminal justice system.



Why in news?

  • India is ranked a high 23rd out of 165 nations in The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).


  • The second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI),released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), said only about half of all countries have a cybersecurity strategy or are in the process of developing one
  • The top 3 most committed countries to cybersecurity are Singapore United States and Malaysia.
  • India has been listed in the “maturing” category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cybersecurity and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives.

About ITU

  • ITU, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the leading UN agency for ICT.
  • As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, ITU’s role in helping the world communicate spans 3 core sectors: radio communication, standardization and development.
  • ITU also organizes TELECOM events and was the lead organizing agency of the World Summit on the Information Society.



Why in news?

Recently World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018 or the ‘Olympics of IT’ was held in Hyderabad for the first time in India.

More about the news

  • The theme of this edition of conference was‘Future Enterprises.’
  • WCIT is a biennial event and considered as the biggest event of its kind. It aims to provide single platform to IT experts, policy and decision makers and Government officials from all over the world together to discuss various challenges and and possible solutions to them.
  • It is unique in its global perspective on ICT issues and its ability to draw users, providers, media and academia from around the world.
  • It was first held in 1978 since then held after every two years. The 2014 WITC 2016 edition was held in Brasilia, Brazil.
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