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Nations have right to frame digital standards based on requirement: Ravi Shankar Prasad


IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that every country has the right to frame digital standards for its citizens based on its requirement. “Without compromising on norms of safety security and regulatory compliance, it is the sovereign right of a government to frame its own digital standard to promote digital platforms for its citizens. It is not necessary that the world will have a same model,” Prasad said in response to a question around standards being framed for software products.

Prasad, at an event had cautioned software companies that norms or standards being worked out by the industry should not create monopolies in the market and instead facilitate digital inclusion and innovation.

“Standards should be nuanced in a manner that the ability of standards should not become monopoly of few and exclusion of others. Why I am saying so, because open source of software was area of great debate even from international players too. On the garb of close source I would not allow India to become monopoly of few,” Prasad had said.

Some of the global firms earlier attempted that software coding be granted patents, but the same had been opposed by various Indian companies and non-profit entities.

“Standard should also be such that they should become enabler of digital inclusion. Thats my first observation. Whenever we talk standard codes we need to ensure that innovation does not become a casualty,” Prasad said.

The minister said that he expects recommendation of former Supreme Court Justice B N Srikrishna committee on data protection framework to be in place by June. “I expect it to be end of June. It can take some more time and I am flexible for it,” Prasad said.

The committee was set up by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology on July 31, tasked with writing a draft data protection law. The minister was speaking to media on the sidelines of an event announcing internship scheme at Ministry of Electronics and IT for students pursuing engineering.

“Two months internship will create value. If students have done internship in nodal ministry of Digital India then their CV will become very valuable. We will give remuneration of Rs 10,000 per month. We will expand it in future,” he said.

Under the scheme, summer internships would be available for a period of two months in the field of research and development in electronics and information technology, cyber security, digital forensics, digital payments, electronic equipment function test etc. Students will be able to apply online for the internship.

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