Question For Experts
Q. What are the measure taken by the authorities in regard to contain the cyber-attacks in the country?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is a federal agency to respond to cyber security related incidents in the country. The CERT-In gathers the information and issue advisories about malware infections in networks across various sectors. To strengthen the cyber security, the government of India has taken following measures: - CERT-In issues advisories as countermeasures to protect computer systems and networks. - Government of India has issued guidelines for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) regarding their key responsibilities for securing the cyber milieu of respective infrastructures. - Prior to ..

Q. What is Information Technology Rules 2021?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 or the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021, is a legislation stemmed out of Section 87 of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, and in suppression of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. In 2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) proposed to strengthen the legal framework and held social media platforms accountable for disseminating fake news, under the law. Among other rules, the IT Rules 2021 defines social media intermediary in two categories: i) “Significant soci..

Q. What is Pegasus program and its connection with surveillance on WhatsApp?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
In May 2019, WhatsApp submitted an incident report to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), mentioning that it has “identified and fixed a vulnerability which could have enabled an attacker to insert and execute a code on cellular devices.” The Government of India acknowledged the issue of digital privacy infringements of its citizens. In November 2019, WhatsApp informed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) about an exploitation of their platform by a spyware program—Pegasus, developed by the NSO Group. On 26 November 2019, CERT-In had sent a notice to the NSO Group and sought detai..

Q. Given the current situation, how do we establishing our presence in Afghanistan by having talks with Taliban?

Replied by Prerna Gandhi, Associate Fellow, VIF
Owing to the organic cultural connect and civilizational continuity, India has never had to 'establish' its presence in Afghanistan to earn legitimacy from its masses, much like the other regional players are compelled to do in the past few years to create the 'pockets of goodwill' in Afghanistan. Yet if we were to look at it from the prism of 'establishing Indian presence in Afghanistan', India is actively involved in developmental work in Afghanistan with over 430 projects in operation. Though India's developmental model is smaller compared to Chinese, American or European funding, the impact of the Indian aid in terms of per unit..

Q. How can India shift more towards R&D investment to become a technologically independent country? Now the investment is always looks for more and more returns in order to please the shareholders. How can we make a policy shift towards more and more R&D investment?

Replied by Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee, Editor, VIF
R&D is the foundation of technological development, and by implication, industrialisation. R&D is organised at two levels; One by undertaking translation of scientific principles into practical application; and two, product improvements undertaken at the user’s or manufacturer’s end. While the latter is more easily organised, financed and introduced in the interest of the users, original R&D requires high scientific knowledge, hugh investments and long gestation period. Even then, no more than 10 percent of the attempts find fruition, the rest do not work out. Long periods of slavery has put us into scientific and indust..

Q. What is Cartographic Aggression?

Replied by Anushka Saraswat, Young Professional, VIF
Cartography is the study that may be defined as the science or the art of drawing or making and using maps. Since the formation of the modern state, the administrators have used maps to shape the collective perception and belief of the population residing in a geographical area. As an academic discipline, Cartography facilitates understanding political elements in International Relations (IR) studies—territory, boundary, and sovereignty of any nation. Maps are used to understand cartographic information and define modern territoriality and sovereignty with acceptable and neat boundaries. Cartographic aggression translates..

Q. What are India's Energy Security Concerns and it's impact on Armed forces in the current era?

Replied by Col Shashank Sharma
Most of the combat platforms, forward deployed units (with the exception of nuclear submarines) and all means of transport of the armed forces run on petroleum based fuels. Any disruption in the supply of fuel supply would adversely effect the combat capability of the armed forces. The armed forces are completely dependent on public sector and state-owned companies for supplyof oil and electricity respectively. The national energy security strategy and actions to mitigate the energy security concerns of the country would subsume the military requirements including through the national strategic petroleum reserves. The crude and petroleum products st..

Q. Is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) facing a backlash in Pakistan?

Aakriti Vinayak, Research Associate, VIF
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship component of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, was billed as a game changer by the Pakistani elites. Officially launched in April 2015, the economic corridor that would link Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar in Balochistan five years later has entered its second phase. While the first phase was essentially about electricity projects and railway lines the second phase has special emphasis on development of special economic zones, agriculture,industry, trade and science and technology. However the plan’s details- the term of the investments and loans, the full extent of the pr..

Q. How is China protecting their own critical information infrastructure?

Replied by Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd), Consultant, VIF
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is the central Internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency for the People's Republic of China. China defines National critical information infrastructure as: The national critical information infrastructure refers to the information facilities concerning the national security, the national economy and the people's livelihood, which may seriously damage the national security and the public interest if the data is divulged, destroyed or lost, including but not limited to providing public communications, broadcasting and television transmission and other services..

Q. What do you think about Cyber Warfare and Offensive Cyber Ops? Is India capable of countering cyber attacks by China? by Hari Om Chuahan

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
“Cyber-Warfare” is a form of warfare in which a cyber-attack is coordinated with intentions to disrupt the operability of vital computer systems supporting the infrastructure of a nation. However, there is a debate on defining the term cyber-warfare, as no cyber-attack or cyber-based offensive operation to date could be described as a war. Sir, I am no authority to comment on if India is able to counter offensive cyber-attacks from China. However, in September 2018, the Defence Cyber Agency (DCA)—a tri-service command of the Indian Armed Forces was established, with primary objective to handle cyber security threat and ..

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