Despite our Dear Modi Ji has been focusing his hearts out for the promotion of his flagship programme “ Digital India” among masses, the audacity of situation was taken upto an extent that a major demonetization drive was announced on 8th November 2017 to kick off black money from the system and to move towards digital transactions.
While, this effort has been taken into an extent that ministers are visiting rural areas of India to compel rural-ites to do as much digital transactions as they can through mass rallies (while the hidden motives of these rallies is something which we all know). Another thing which is being done is easing out the process of opening bank accounts primarily jandhan accounts, getting debit cards, (getting credit card is still tiresome for obvious reasons), linking adhar cards, payment gateways, single window mechanisms etc.
However, nobody is focusing towards the rising cyber crime in India. According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the numbers of cyber crimes in India are rising at an alarming rate as the number of cyber crime cases filed in 2014 rose to 11,592 in 2015 and 12, 317 in 2016. The situation is so stressed that there are more than 27,482 cases of cybercrime reported from January to June 2017. These included phishing, scanning or probing, site intrusions, defacements, virus or malicious code, ransomware and denial-of-service attacks. At least one cybercrime was reported every 10 minutes in India in the first six months of 2017 which is higher than a crime every 12 minutes in 2016.
At one hand, citizens are being taught how to use digital services; however, nobody is being informed (as enthusiastically) to report cyber fraud. The premier body for legally resolving cyber-fraud disputes is practically non-functioning entity since 2011. Telecom dispute settlement and Appellate Tribunal didn’t have a single hearing of a single case in the past 6 months, according to various news sources. An examination of complaints received by the telecom department shows how thousands of Indians struggle with basic connectivity, especially while making digital transactions, due to poor network quality, which acts as a roadblock in transformation to digital economy.
Here, the action needs to be taken up immediately to put in place critical infrastructure which is essential for prediction and prevention of cybercrimes. Also, while we are setting up digital infrastructure for e-transactions, there is a need to give major focus to resolve the cyber frauds as this is the major concern in the era of digital economy. Major impetus has to be given to make our Telecom dispute settlement and Appellate Tribunal an active body so that all the pending cases are being solved in a faster pace. Until and unless, the redressal mechanism for cyber crime is not working effeciently, transformation to digital economy will become a risky affair.
About the author: Economist at heart, analyst by work. Facts intrigue me and so do numbers. Currently working at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Goes without saying that the articles are purely my thoughts with no connections to my workplace.