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India Working On Sharing Co-WIN Platform With Partner Countries: Official – dot newz

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India has developed Co-WIN as part of its Covid vaccination drive.

New Delhi:

India’s Co-WIN technological platform which is spearheading its COVID-19 vaccination drive can be customised and scaled up for health interventions across the globe, a senior Ministry of External Affairs official said on Wednesday, noting that New Delhi is working on sharing this platform with partner countries.

Addressing the ASEAN-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Cyber Issues, Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das also said that some states are leveraging their expertise in cyberspace to achieve their political and security-related objectives and indulge in contemporary forms of cross-border terrorism.

“At the same time, non-state actors and terrorists around the world are using cyberspace to broaden their appeal, spread virulent propaganda, incite hatred and violence, recruit youth and raise funds,” Ms Das said.

There are widespread concerns that with the advent of new technologies like 5G, vulnerabilities and harmful hidden functions are being introduced, including through backdoor channels, into ICT networks and products, she stressed.

Noting that since cybercrime often has a transnational dimension, Ms Das said there is a crucial need for international cooperation to exchange experiences and share best practices for the protection of information infrastructures.

“Our overarching objective is to harness cyberspace for the growth and empowerment of people, not just of our own country, but for all humanity,” she asserted.

As part of its COVID vaccination drive, one of the largest such drives in the world, India has developed Co-WIN – a scalable, inclusive and open technological platform, she said.

“The Co-WIN platform can be customised and scaled up for health interventions across the globe. We are working on sharing this platform with partner countries in the interest of health cooperation and their preparedness to meet challenges to the health of countries across the world,” Ms Das said.

She underlined that India lays huge emphasis on bilateral and international cooperation on cyber security.

“The need for cooperation between India and ASEAN member countries in this field is, therefore, self-evident,” she said.

ASEAN, as we know, has been proactive in the region’s efforts to tackle cyber security challenges and has undertaken various cyber confidence-building measures, she noted.

Ms Das said this emphasis of ASEAN on Cyber Security and Cyber connectivity in accordance with international laws resonates deeply with India”s approach towards Cyberspace.

India has also been working domestically to address the cyber security challenges through platforms capable of supporting and sustaining the efforts in securing the cyberspace as well as through the adoption of comprehensive policies such as the New National Cyber Security Policy, which would provide an overview of what it takes to effectively protect information, information systems and networks, Ms Das said.

Noting that equitable access to Cyberspace and its benefits is the other important area that India-ASEAN engagement on Cyber issues needs to focus on, Ms Das said, “We have witnessed the critical role played by digital technologies during the Covid-19 waves, in keeping the supply chains open for an accelerated and sustainable economic recovery in the region and therefore, it becomes all the more important that the digital inequalities are addressed.”

Digital inclusion is at the heart of the Digital India programme which envisions transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy with various programmes like BharatNet, Digital Village, Aspirational Districts, MyGov and eKranthi, Das pointed out.
This gradual digital inclusion has proven to be of immense value to us in these uncertain times, she said.

“We must cooperate to bridge this digital divide through capacity building to create globally secure cyberspace,” she added.

Das asserted that India is committed to an “open, secure, free, accessible and stable cyberspace environment”, which will become an engine for innovation, economic growth, sustainable development, ensure free flow of information and respect cultural and linguistic diversity.

“With our transformative technology initiatives in recent years such as IndiaStack, Aadhar and UPI, we have successfully leveraged the tremendous potential of cyber technologies in implementing the SDG agenda and improving governance,” Ms Das said.

Moving forward, India is keen to exchange its experiences with ASEAN toward a safer and more secure global cyberspace for our peoples, Ms Das said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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China Poses Significant Challenge To India’s Strategic Goals: Air Chief – dot newz

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Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said the Indian Air Force needs to be rapidly modernized. (File)

New Delhi:

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said that China poses a significant long term challenge to India’s strategic goals. He said it should be made clear to the world that today’s India has the capability and will to respond at a level that the nation deems appropriate.

“China poses a significant and long-term challenge to India’s strategic goals. Both People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have enhanced their military capabilities in equipment and infrastructure. The Indian Air Force (IAF) needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities,” the IAF chief said at a seminar conducted by the Centre for Air Power Studies.

The IAF needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities, he urged.

The IAF chief said that China’s hegemonic and entrapping policies can provide opportunities for India to leverage in trade and military domains.

He also asserted that India has demonstrated its capabilities during a standoff on the northern border while simultaneously handling the national COVID-19 response.

“In the future, we could be attacked from all fronts, starting from economic strangulation to diplomatic isolation and military stand-offs to information blackouts, in the form of attack by a distributed denial of services. We will need to prepare for the full spectrum,” the Air Force chief cautioned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Gen Rawat Was On “Very Safe” Mi-17V-5, Crash Confounds Experts – dot newz

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India owns a fairly large fleet of Mi-17V-5 helicopters that are often used to ferry VIPs.

New Delhi:

The Mi-17V-5 helicopters are extremely reliable and are the workhorses of the Air Force, several former army officers told NDTV after one of these choppers crashed in Tamil Nadu, with Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and several members of his family on board. The crash perplexed the experts, who said the flight from Sulur to Wellington did not involve complications.

Four people are dead and another four who survived, have been taken to a hospital. It is believed that there were 14 people on board, including the chopper’s crew and passengers.

The Indian Air Force has already ordered an inquiry into the crash.

The Mi-17V-5 is the latest twin-engine iteration of the Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopter and is used regularly for high-altitude operations. One of the most advanced military transports that can be used in any topography and weather, it is one of the most powerful choppers used by Indian defence forces.

India owns a fairly large fleet of these helicopters that were purchased and inducted between 2013 and 2018.

Most experts NDTV spoke to described it as a “very reliable, safe, stable, and large” helicopter that is also used to ferry VIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister.

According to information available on the website of Rosoboronexport — the Russian arms supplier — the chopper is designed to “carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded”.

“Its armament system includes unguided rockets (up to 80 S-8 80mm unguided aerial rockets), cannons (suspended pods with 23mm cannons and 250 rounds each) and small arms,” the website says.



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‘Smartphones, Scootys, Security’: Congress’ “Women’s Manifesto” Before UP Polls – dot newz

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UP will vote for a new government in 2022, with the Congress challenging the BJP

Lucknow:

Girls studying in Classes 10 to 12 in Uttar Pradesh schools will get smartphones and female graduate students will get scooters, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Wednesday as part of a six-point “woman’s manifesto” ahead of an Assembly election in the state in a few months.

Ms Gandhi Vadra – who is leading her party’s campaign in the poll-bound state – read out a number of measures and schemes the Congress plans to implement should it win next year’s election, and demanded that all parties understand “the fact women have to bear with exploitation”.

Promises made by Ms Gandhi Vadra today include the offer of three free LPG cylinders for women – a significant offer given the skyrocketing prices of gas cylinders in the country, something for which the BJP (in power in UP and at the centre) has been severely criticised.

“I hope this women’s manifesto will put pressure on other political parties to also speak about similar issues. We want to release a women-specific manifesto so women have freedom of choice… I have seen that women ka bahut shoshan hota hai but they are fighting for their rights,” she said.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also highlighted the Congress’ promise to reserve 40 per cent of its election tickets for women; “this is not only on paper,” she said, giving late Indira Gandhi – India’s first woman prime minister – as an example of the Congress’ contribution to women in politics.

“Our attempt is to bring real women’s empowerment… at the grassroots level. Women’s empowerment is usually spoken about before elections and then mostly restricted to being on paper. We want to actually empower women on ground,” the Congress leader said.

“Parliament and legislative assemblies have an average of 14 per cent participation by women representatives. That needs to increase… we want that 40 per cent of all seats should be represented by women. This will increase their participation in policy-making,” she stressed.

Apart from smartphones, scooters and free gas cylinders, Ms Gandhi Vadra said women senior citizens and widows would get a monthly pension of Rs 1,000, and every new-born girl will get a fixed deposit in her name. All households with women will get a free internet connection.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also flagged the issue of women’s security – a serious subject given the worrying number of violent crimes against women reported from Uttar Pradesh.

“We want 25 per cent of the police to consist of women. All chowkis to have at least one woman officer and constable,” she said, reminding reporters that many crimes were unreported as the police is reluctant to file a case. “More women in the force will help the cause of women,” she said.

The Congress also promised Rs 10 lakh medical cover for women “for any kind of illness or disease”.

UP votes for a new government in a few months time.

The Assembly election here – for 403 seats – is widely seen as an indicator of how the ruling BJP might fare in the 2024 general election, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party will seek a third consecutive term in power.



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