Welcome Mr Jitin Prasada as Mos IT

With the new cabinet of Modi 3.0 announced, it is heartening to note that Mr Ashwini Vashnav continues to be the minister for IT along with Railways and Information and Broadcasting. Digital publishing being a major part of Meity’s regulations, it is good that I&B ministry has been combined with MeitY at the level of the minister.

The MOS of IT Mr Rajev Chandrashekar unfortunately lost his election narrowly in Tiruvananthapuram against Mr Shashi Tharoor and will be missed for continuity. With his personal IT knowledge, he had brought his own welcome style of operations in the MeitY and worked hard on the DPDPA as well as the amendment of ITA 2000 through Digital India Act. He will be missed by the industry.

We wish Rajeev Chandrashekar all the best in his next stint as a party worker either in Kerala or in Bangalore which he represented in the Rajya Sabha.

In place of Mr Mr Rajeev Chandrashekar, we have now Mr Jitin Prasada as the new minister of state for IT.

A product of Doon School Dehradun and an MBA from International Management institute in New Delhi, Jitin Prasada recently served as a Minister in the UP state Government as Minister of Technical Education for 2 years. We hope under the guidance of Mr Ashwin Vaishnaw, he would be continuing from where Mr Rajeev Chandrashekar left off.

We had heard that in the 100 day agenda, passing of the rules of DPDPA was one of the items included and we look forward to Mr Jitin Prasada to ensure that the draft rules are released quickly and initiate the public debate. We also hope that he will not succumb to the lobbying of the industry which is interested in delaying the rules and manipulating it to their advantage.

Though Mr Jitin Prasada comes from the background of Congress, we presume that if Mr Modi has chosen him for the job, he must be committed enough to take the Indian IT forward. Apart from the task of constituting the DPB, releasing the draft rules on DPDPA, Mr Jitin Prasada has the responsibility of defending the Digital Media Intermediary rules under ITA 2000 which is under challenge in the Supreme Court by Meta/WhatsApp.

In the past we have found that the MeitY has not effectively defended cases against itself from the multinational Big Tech industry since this industry is also supported by the NASSCOM. There is a need to change this attitude and enable the opposition to have its way when it comes to tightening the laws against “Fake News Industry”.

Laws and regulations related to the AI industry is another major step required from the Meity and the earlier regime had been pursuing the revision of ITA 2000 with a replacement act like Digital India Act. There was a fight between Meity and Ministry of Finance on the Bit Coin regulation which also was kept pending due to corruption at all places and possibly including the Judiciary.

Now, if Mr Jitin Prasada pursues the DIT dream, he should ensure that the law is made for the people and not for the benefit of the Bit-Coin industry and the Fake news industry.

There is also a need for taking action on Cyber Crime prevention and ensuring that the existing ITA 2000 is itself used to strengthen the mechanism with better training of the “Adjudicators” who are administratively close to the MeitY. With the passage of DPDPA, we expect that the compensation payable to Data Principals under DPDPA needs to be handled by the Adjudicators of IT and they need to be trained on DPDPA quickly. Even after 24 years of ITA 2000, the performance of IT Secretaries as Adjudicators have been below expectations and this needs to be corrected.

The opportunities before MeitY are plenty and we wish Mr Jitin Prasada success in his new stint.


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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