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Setting up data centers in India shouldn’t be mandatory – Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said that the "Decision to set up data centers in the country (India) cannot be mandatory and it will be not be conducive for the eco-system." Kant said, while releasing the IAMAI's Make In India report on incentivizing data center infrastructure in India, that he will "initiate a dialogue with departments like IT, Telecom and Energy to create the best possible infrastructure for data centers." For long, it has been a demand from the Indian government that companies should compulsorily host their data in India, especially from a security perspective. This was a demand put forth by Vinit Goenka, the national co-convener of the BJPs IT Cell, a couple of years ago, a month before the BJP came to power. The points he had made then were largely around national security concerns: that the police cannot track people, that ecommerce companies often store data of Indian users outside the country, and location information "gathered by companies like Google" is stored outside India. In June 2013, several Indian ISPs had reportedly asked the Indian Government to insist foreign Internet companies like Facebook and Google setup local servers in India. Microsoft is among the few that have. Apart from security, another issue is that of jurisdiction: can the Indian courts, or the Indian government order sharing of user data when legitimately required, if datacenters are outside India's territorial boundaries? The position taken by Kant and the IAMAI is pragmatic and welcome: India needs to incentivize hosting of websites…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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