Why does China have such strong involvement in the power sector of India, when the Chinese do not allow the same privilege to India?

Seemingly, there have been many lobbies by Indian companies against the involvement of the Chinese in the power sector of India, but still the Chinese, immerse themselves in the country. The India – China power investment, continues to be a serious topic of discussion, as electrical power equipment is persistently exported into India.

According to other sources of media, in order to appease the lobbyists and protect India, new regulations state that companies bidding for power transmission agreements in India, must have been operating there for approximately 10 years, if not more. In addition, their leading executives should be Indian citizens and the employees must also have lived in India for a many number of years.

Companies such as state-run China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd, Shanghai Electric, Dongfang Electronics, Sifang Automation and Harbin Electric, (all mentioned in Indian media coverage), are dominantly involved in the power distribution or delivery of equipment to almost 20 cities in India – that is quite extraordinary .

Due to the fear of possible cyber attacks in India, Prime Minister Modi, has created a policy that new conditions and terms have to be enforced and strong security implemented. The Chinese bring raw materials for transmission systems, which could quite easily be contaminated. Malware is a grave threat to India and any company or materials that contain it from China, are immediately banned from operations.

How India will protect itself from a power grid cyber attack is a growing challenge since it is a dynamic system. The grid is made up of individual generators, transmission lines, a distribution network and the consumer “load”, or end. India can never stop working on safety solutions since there are always loop holes to be cautious of in power grid systems.

India has to be extremely mindful of the Chinese, when it comes to the power sector, especially with the heightened tensions between India and China, on the Bhutan border.

A disruption to the power grid of India, created by an act of God, through foul weather or nature is no longer the main concern; the act of man, capable of divisive intentions, is the greatest fear of all.

 

 

 

Since the threat of terrorism has put everyone on high alert around the world, the U. S. authorities are taking the protocol of Homeland Security, extremely serious. Names and personal details of foreigners anxious for access into the United States of America, is carefully scrutinized.

Khan, is a rather popular name in India; it is as “common” and “as much used”, as Smith or Jones, in the Western world. There are files of people with the name Khan. Backgound checks may be frowned upon by many, but are more than ever necessary, in today’s world;  strict security cannot be avoided. This law applies so strongly, to the checking of names, that even one of the most revered actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, couldn’t escape scrutiny. He has twice been detained by U.S. authorities, at different US. Airports.

In 2009 Shah Rukh Khan, was held for two hours at Newark Airport in New Jersey. The second time was in 2012, while he was on his way to a function at Yale University. The famous Indian film star, arrived on a private plane at a small airport in White Plains, New York. Reports state, he was held by U.S. Immigration Officials there, for over an hour.

The charismatic actor, who has starred in over 70 movies, was able to retain a good sense of humor regarding the “hassle”, in both airport instances. U.S. dignitaries, as well as Customs and Border protection officials, expressed “profound” apologies.

Since then the U.S. Government has recognized that even though security is paramount to the protection of the great nation of America, the deep bond and valued relationship with India is equally vital. Due to this, the U.S. government has been gracious enough to grant travelers from India, easier access into America by way of  the Global Entry Program.

The first citizen to enroll in the program was Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna. Security officials of Customs and Border Protection, insist that Indian visitors must be pre-approved for the Global Entry Program. All applicants are subject to a meticulous personal investigation and in-person interview.

At select U.S. airports the pre-approved members of the Global Entry Program, receive VIP treatment. There are no lines or queues. Specially designed kiosks allow easy expediting of entry into the United States of America. The pre-approved travelers present their complete U.S. customs declaration forms, scan fingerprints, then present their machine readable passports and U.S. Permanent Resident cards. If the process is followed correctly, and all is satisfactory, a receipt is given to the Global Entry member, who quickly finds his/her way to the baggage claim area to finally exit the airport.

Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan feels proud and excited to offer the “Trusted Traveller” program to Indian citizens.

This model is a not only a system that provides excellent security for the U.S.A and efficiency for U.S. officials, it completely revolutionizes international arrivals. Indian citizens traveling to America, are expected to feel “less hassle”. More importantly, they will feel highly respected and extremely welcome.

 

On 23rd and 24th November 2017, India will be proud to host the world’s largest conference on Cyber Space in New Delhi.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this prestigious 2-day conference is predicted to attract over 2000 delegates from different countries around the world. The theme for GCCS 2017 is, Cyber4All: An Inclusive Sustainable Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace”. Key notes include: Cyber4Inclusive Growth, Cyber4DigitalInclusion, Cyber4Security and Cyber4Diplomacy.

Under the spotlight, at the GCCS, will be the program, “Digital India“, a campaign launched by the Government of India, with an objective of connecting rural areas with high-speed Internet networks and improving digital literacy. It’s motto “Power to Empower, speaks for itself. Speakers will address growth opportunities and development challenges.

At a recent press meeting, the Honorable Union Minister for Electronics and Technology information, and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shanker Prasad, spoke while promoting the prestigious conference, ”it will help provide vision of inclusive digital society for inclusive growth, education, healthcare, especially for the developing world”.

This will be the first time the conference shall take place outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations (OECD), and it will be the fifth edition. Audiences will include industry leaders, senior government officials and civil servants. There will also be seminars, sessions, exhibitions and other activities and events.

 

 

 

The Hindu holiday, Festival of Lights, is a very important holiday to most people living in India, however, U.S. President Donald J. Trump, yesterday paid tremendous respect to the Indian culture too, by celebrating in the Oval Office of the White House.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and the Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, both Indian-Americans, joined President Trump, at the festivities. In addition, Chairman of the U. S. Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, was present, together with his Principle Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah.

While President Trump lit diyas, he praised the Indian people by recognizing their extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. He especially thanked the Indian- American citizens, who bravely serve in the U. S. armed forces, as well as India – American first responders who serve in their respective American communities.

It was during the Diwali Ceremonial Lighting of the Diya, that President Trump, expressed his sincere appreciation for the Indian people. His greatest accolade was to the leader of India, when he complimented the Hindu people of great faith, who built the world’s largest democracy and emphasized, “I greatly value my strong relationship with Prime Minister Modi.

Daughter Ivanka Trump, was also in attendance and tweeted, she looks forward to her visit to India, at Prime Minister Modi’s kind request, to attend November’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), in Hyderabad.

There is no question about it – the ties are strong between the USA and INDIA. Two of the largest and greatest democracies in the world are glued together with the same values of protecting the people of their nations with regards to security, technology or otherwise.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), earlier this year, between the Department of Homeland Security, and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the bonds between the two countries have never been stronger.

Since both shared the same values and mindset regarding Cyber Security, this MoU, allows collaboration and the interchanging of close guarded information. Respect and trust being the bridge between USA and India governments, Joint Cyber Dialogue, continues to focus heavily on all levels of security related to cybercrime. The two nations agree on bilateral measures to combat the cyberspace environment, as is evident in the US-India Cyber Relationship Framework.

In 2000 the USA relied heavily on Indian engineers, who literally,  “ saved the day,” for the USA, during the Y2K crisis. A telecommunications surge in India in the late 90’s brought Indians towards modernization and to the global market. This opened the door for private-to-private partnerships between USA and Indian companies.

In an ever-threatening volatile world, both countries need to keep a keen eye on national defense. Pakistan and China are the two biggest countries of concern to India, whilst USA, has multiple countries that pose cyber related threats. Although India and USA, do not secure an intense military to military cyber defense relationship, there is a keenness from both sides to pursue that avenue, and it would definitely suit both parties’ interests, in more ways than one.

 

How many parents feel safe leaving their children to their own devices when it comes to the Internet? Access to inappropriate websites is extremely easy for children nowadays. In a very busy world, where most youngsters are given the latest technology gadgets to keep themselves occupied, we are learning that this oftentimes, has a tremendous downside; too much time alone and unmonitored, children are susceptible to Internet predators.

Last week, in an effort to assist in protecting children from onine violence and exploitation, Pope Francis spoke about this disturbing subject at the Child Dignity in the Digital World congress, organized by Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and the WeProtect Global Alliance. The Pontiff, appealed to stakeholder organizations, politicians and religious leaders to collectively promote digital online safety. The focus was toward social media platforms such as Facebook and Microsoft, and the risks of pornography, paedophilia, trafficking, as well as online bullying

Co-sponsored by the London School of Economics and by an international research project Global Kids Online (GKO), facts were presented by UNICEF innocenti, based on data collected from 10 countries around the world.

Although there is specifically designed software on the market that assists in monitoring Internet activity for children, not all parents are clued in, or up to date on such applications and technologies. In addition, most teenagers demand a certain amount of privacy. Whether in the USA, India or any other country, this issues is a huge topic and one that needs constant attention.

This is a subject of serious magnitude and as Baroness Shields, OBE, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security emphasized, according to reports, “ Our increasingly connected society greatly empowers children, but also exposes them to risks that compromise their safety and wellbeing. To address these escalating global threats we need a broad coalition of government, faith leaders, academia, and industry, all committed to protecting the dignity of children in this digital age”.

Cyber security forces across the world are revving up policies to keep up with the evolving challenges in the modern cyber landscape. Virtual threats such as Petya and WannaCry may have victimized a wide number of networks, but they are just the tip of the iceberg in a sphere which looks to aggressively explore its frontiers. It is, therefore, imperative to foster an environment that allows for a comprehensive growth of the cyber landscape by minimizing threat impact and building capacity through an ‘execution’ oriented cyber policy.

India launched its novel cyber security policy in 2013 “with an aim to monitor and protect information and strengthen defences from cyber attacks”. The policy was introduced after the surfacing of grim NSA revelations regarding unauthorized surveillance of the government and citizens of not only the U.S. but also its allies. It was clearly a welcome move as the policy promised a “resilient cyberspace for citizens, business and the government”. As relevant as the policy was in the context of the cyber landscape of 2013, the past four years have witnessed a drastic change in the cyber space. The government now must take into consideration the increased focus on digitization of various elements, as well as the introduction of advanced and complex cyber threats to devise a Cyber Security Policy that is comprehensive in nature and adopts a more executive approach.

Given the emerging threats on display in the contemporary cyber space, India’s cyber security policy must shift from a reaction based model to a more proactive perspective. India must have the necessary framework in place to not only tackle the threat at hand but also actively identify and deflect any imminent threats to ensure absolute security.

It is also imperative to establish effective capacity building programs to ensure an all-round growth of the cyber landscape by implementing relevant staff training, strategizing public-private partnerships (PPP) and resolving for a coherent government-citizen collaboration.

Although such initiative were outlined in the 2013 Cyber Security Policy, a gap in an executive approach played a critical role in falling short on the set objectives. For instance, the National Cyber Security Policy stated its vision “to create a workforce of 500,000 professionals skilled in cyber security in the next 5 years through capacity building, skill development and training”. However, current findings showcase that the number of trained personnel remain at 50,000 after four years of operation. While it’s essential to define such objectives, a policy revolving around an ‘implementation’ framework will assist in achieving these objectives effectively.

Considering the evolving cyber geography and the growing complexity of threat factors, India must take a leap from a ‘suggestive’ to ‘executive’ cyber security policy to safeguard its citizens and facilitate a more comprehensive growth.

Are there apps, and web systems that can assist with the complex global crimes related to illicit wildlife trading? You bet your last rupee there are, and the development of such sophisticated tools is only going to increase, when brilliant minds come together, as they do at Zoohackathon.

In an effort to eradicate the illegal international selling of exotic animals, as well as other rare products of nature, the U.S. Government’s Task Force on Combating Wildlife Trafficking, highly supports the Zoohackathon project. The mission statement, “demand reduction and increase international cooperation”.

The U.S. Embassy partnered with TRAFFIC India AND WWF-India during this month of October, in New Delhi, for Wildlife Week Celebrations, 2017. At the WWF-India Secretariat, experts and enthusiasts engaged in challenging platforms to discuss solutions of protection for endangered species. What resulted was a two-day competition with 11 teams and 70 participants presenting their technology designs, in front of a panel of highly respected judges.

The prize for first place was given to the team Geekforgreen. The module they created is a web application, which will monitor the trafficking of arachnids, on online platforms. The app also gives information to the public about the illegal structure of wildlife trade, and measures the movement of online trade of Tarantula Spiders and Scorpions, on social media.

Second place winners, Zoodesign, designed an equally valuable contribution to help prevent the threats to wildlife – a tool, Eagle Eye. These infrared filtered camera traps are strategically placed in forest areas where poachers may roam. Its intrinsic feature recognizes the difference between animal movement and that of a poacher. An alarm signal relays “danger”, to a central station of law enforcement officials, when human predators seek animal prey.

As well as being an event for inventions to be demonstrated and publicized, the speakers at Zoohackathon, were able to highlight much awareness to the fact that wildlife smugglers are using “new technology and techniques to find customers in virtual markets”.

The U.S. Embassy was praised and applauded by Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, “for leading on this initiative that will help innovate and develop new solutions to fighting wildlife crime”. He went on to say, “The solutions developed today will go a long way to helping to curb wildlife crime in India.

 

 

Keeping up with the evolving cyber landscape in India, Pune Police announced the launch of ‘We Fight Cyber Crimes’ initiative to sensitize the students and teachers of the city on tackling cyber crimes. This comes against the backdrop of rising counts of cybercrimes in the city, with youth between the age of 18 and 24 being a susceptible target of the menace. The initiative will help to counter this problem, as the programs strive to educate over thousand teachers and more than 20,000 students on the many ways of tackling cyber crimes effectively. The initiative will commence on October 16.

The Pune Policy has sided with a three pronged approach in order to successfully implement the program with optimum impact. The first step would involve actively creating awareness among students and teaches on the various aspect of cyber security and cyber crimes, as well as highlight the ways in which cyber threats can be prevented. This will be carried out through robust sharing of information via social media websites, blog and videos on online platforms. The second step would be to transfuse the issue of cyber crimes to school competitions such as debates, slogan making, etc. This would help in deepening the impact from the initial programs. The final step would include providing coherent training and education to the teachers from different schools and colleges on dealing with cyber crimes efficiently, who will then be expected to educate their students on the matter through workshops and teaching sessions.

In a bid to leverage the impact, full day conferences and workshops will also be exclusively organised by technical cells of various schools and colleges detailing the cyber landscape and the many ways to approach it. This is evidently a welcome step in an environment in which more and more elements are falling prey to cyber threats and crimes. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime) Sudhir Hiremath said in a statement that the students “would be given intensive trainingon cyber crime issues. Cyber experts from C-DAC, Google India and Career Corner have extended their support for the initiative.”

Around 400 military troops of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), stationed in Eastern Europe next to the Russian border, have recently been targets of hacking, according to media reports. Seemingly, a drone in the shape of a Stingray, was noted to be stealing personal details as well as deleting data from smartphones in its proximity. The cyber criminals pinpointed their focus on the Facebook and iCloud accounts of NATO soldiers.

The intimidating intention of the Russians, in their attempts to abscond private information from the many mobile devices is to also track the NATO soldiers’ whereabouts, as well as the quantity of servicemen located in the Baltics. Sources state that some phones had data completely erased and other phones had foreign details entered into their devices by hacking intruders. These bizarre incidents are causing NATO soldiers to remove SIM cards as well as disguise their smart phone devices, so they are impenetrable.

Fingers point to the Russian government as synchronizing suspects of this endeavor due to the highly developed scope of the hacking attempt.