Challenges to reach the cashless society

One of my friends and a prominent Cyber Security specialist Dr Rakesh Goyal of Mumbai has released a valuable article on Challenges for digital India a copy of which is available here.

Dr Rakesh has brought out the many challenges that are before us and also provides some of the solutions he thinks should be considered.

The paper is an excellent read and needs further discussion at the Government level.

Today, I also went through a video received through WhatsApp about a Chaiwala educating the public on the need for a surgical operation to remove black money”. This video in Kannada with English subtitles captures the mood of the ordinary men on the street and underscores several truths which some of us may fail to notice. I wish viewers need to go through the video and capture at least the essence of the narration.

Coming back to Dr Rakesh’s paper, it is interesting to note that he compares the cost of digital transactions vs savings of the Government if we move towards cashless society and makes a case for Government bearing part of the transaction cost. This will be one “Subsidy” which will be progressive.

Obviously Dr Rakesh raises the need to focus on interoperability and cyber security. These are not only concerns but also tremendous opportunities which I am sure IT savvy people will harness. Though in India we have so far seen little effort to invest in security, this time we hope things will be different. May be Government subsidy scheme can also consider how to drive the incentives towards a secure platform vs an insecure platform.

User awareness is ofcourse a challenge which is being addressed now through advertisements in the TV and Radio and should continue with the schools and colleges. Perhaps the public have a role in this education also.

Dr Rakesh also speaks of the legal issues and the need to protect the consumers. He points out the absence of a proper Cyber Insurance scheme for protecting the consumers. Government has a ready solution for this which is only being held up by the IBA and influential bankers. RBI is presently under pressure not to operationalize the August 11 2016 circular on Limited Liability which is a good starting point for protecting the interest of the consumers. The undersigned is trying to push RBI into taking a decision but so far not been able to persuade Dr Urjit Patel in taking action. Hopefully some thing is brewing and may happen soon.

Discussing the solutions, Dr Rakesh has suggested many measures which require a serious thought.

Hopefully the Government will take note of some of these suggestions and try to act on the same without any further delay.


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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