The officials at the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) must be congratulating themselves on the excellent work done by their search committee which found out and recommended Sri Ankit Fadia to be appointed as the Brand Ambassador for the Digital India Program when they hear that their golden choice won an International award recently in a conference called DEFCON-23. The award was called “Security Charlatan of the year”.
It is great news that Mr Ankit Fadia the celebrated Brand Ambassador for Digital India appointed on 1st July 2015 under a grand certificate signed by none other than the then Secretary of the department Mr Ram Sewak Sharma won the coveted global award in the conference.
DEFCON-23 was held in Las Vegas between August 6-9 and I am not sure if any representative from DeitY attended the. But they must be glad to know that this is an annual event widely attended by the community of “Hackers” from around the world and is very popular in the Information Security Community. Perhaps they should plan to attend the next DEFCON conference is expected to be held between August 4-7, 2016 at Las Vegas. As custodians of Digital India, it will be a great opportunity for them to identify more Brand Ambassadors for Digital India program.
(P.S: We can for the time being ignore the controversy surrounding the appointment as to whether it was done by the Secretary without the knowledge of others in the department and hence was disowned in a PIB press release in the morning of 29th September 2015. However, by that time Mr Ankit had already published the certificate signed by Mr Ram Sewak Sharma and hence the department was forced to confirm the appointment in the evening. See details).
The Best Security Charlatan award was won by Ankit Fadia against stiff competition involving 7 global nominations including one more from India namely Rahul Tyagi. The citation is available in the enclosed Video available on Youtube (See minutes 31 onwards.. It is a must watch). The award was given in absentia since Mr Fadia did not attend the conference.
If I stop here, the officials of DeitY will perhaps pat their backs and also hold a grand function in Delhi to honour their newly appointed Brand Ambassador. Because I donot want Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mr Modi to be again facing inconvenient questions from the press, I would like to add the full details of the award.
The award is known as the “Security Charlatan Award” and is given for the “Best Charlatan in the Information Security and Hacking domain” as nominated by a global audience and voted during the conference.
The word “Charlatan” is not a commonly used word and hence we need to look up a dictionary for understanding the meaning.
According to dictionary.com, the word “Charlatan” means
This was surprising for me since I wase looking at the “Brand Ambassador” of Digital India and confused how can he be a “Quack” and that too an award winning “Quack”?
Then I made a fresh search in the trusted Google and was horrified to get the meaning as
“A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.”
I was stunned..What? “also called swindler”?.. I intend taking up this with Mr Sundar Pichai and seek a clarification.
Anyway readers may check their own dictionary and confirm if this word has any different meaning.
If Mr Ankit Fadia is a global award winner for the “Security Charlatan” in the DEFCON conference, it is high time DeitY should check what kind of award their search committee should get for identifying and appointing a “Charlatan” as a “Brand Ambassador”.
May be our readers have a recommendation?..If so forward it to Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad.