In a wide-ranging discussion at the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) Partnership Summit 2021, India's IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shared his thoughts on the challenges faced by governments in regulating the internet and India's role in leading the world in this task, the growing risk of cyber warfare and how countries should prepare for it, and the measures taken by the government to make internet and smartphones available to all sections of society. The discussion gives us an insight into how the Indian government is thinking about some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Can India lead the world in internet regulation? "We have a really fantastic history that even at independence, we have managed to create norms which a large proportion of the world had signed up to with non-alignment. Now we need to find some like-minded countries on standards of privacy, data localisation, et cetera. Is it possible for India to take the lead in setting some global standards around data protocols?," moderator Janamejaya Sinha asked Ashwini Vaishnaw, to which the Minister responded: Technology is all-pervasive: "The fragility of supply chains is not purely because of COVID. It is also because of the disruptions in technology. Whole industries are being disrupted. The rising geopolitical tensions, they are also one of the big drivers of how technology disruptions are feeding in because technology is all-pervasive, it doesn't understand the boundaries that we understand as politicians or as a society," Vaishnaw said. Impact of technology still unknown: "The…
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