Digital India Scheme receives Rs 14,903 crore boost for digital expansion; Sunil Sharma, VP – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos reacts

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Digital India Scheme receives Rs 14,903 crore boost for cybersecurity expansion; Sunil Sharma, VP – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos reacts
Digital India Scheme receives Rs 14,903 crore boost for cybersecurity expansion; Sunil Sharma, VP – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos reacts

One of the key components of this expansion plan is the Information Security & Education Awareness (ISEA) Phase Programme, which aims to train approximately 265,000 citizens in cybersecurity.

In a significant move towards advancing technological empowerment and cybersecurity, the Union Cabinet of India has approved a fund boost of Rs 14,903 crore to expand the Digital India Scheme. The augmentation of this scheme underscores the nation’s commitment to bolstering digital skilling, cybersecurity, and AI innovation.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the expansion of the Digital India programme. The total outlay is ₹14,903 crores.

This would enable the following:

    • 6.25 lakh IT professionals will be re-skilled and up-skilled under the FutureSkills Prime Programme;
    • 2.65 lakh persons will be trained in information security under the Information Security & Education Awareness Phase (ISEA) Programme;
    • 540 additional services will be available under the Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) app/ platform. At present over 1,700 services are already available on UMANG;
    • 9 more supercomputers will be added under National Super Computer Mission. This is in addition to 18 supercomputers already deployed;
    • Bhashini, the AI-enabled multi-language translation tool (currently available in 10 languages) will be rolled out in all 22 schedule 8 languages;
    • Modernisation of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) which connects 1,787 educational institutions;
    • Digital document verification facility under DigiLocker will now be available to MSMEs and other organisations;
    • 1,200 startups will be supported in Tier 2/3 cities;
    • 3 Centres of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence on health, agriculture and sustainable cities will be set up;
    • Cyber-awareness courses for 12 crores college students;
    • New initiatives in the area of cyber security including development of tools and integration of more than 200 sites with National Cyber Coordination Centre.

The infusion of funds will play a pivotal role in addressing the acute skills gap in the realm of cybersecurity, a concern that has been looming large in the increasingly digitized landscape. One of the key components of this expansion plan is the Information Security & Education Awareness (ISEA) Phase Programme, which aims to train approximately 265,000 citizens in cybersecurity. This initiative reflects a proactive step towards equipping individuals with the knowledge and expertise needed to safeguard India’s digital infrastructure.

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Sunil Sharma, Vice President – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos

Sunil Sharma, Vice President – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos, a leader in next-generation cybersecurity, commented on the development. He praised the visionary stride that India’s expansion of the Digital India Programme represents and acknowledged the infusion of funds as a testament to the nation’s dedication to fostering technological growth. Sharma highlighted the critical role that cybersecurity plays in this journey and commended the plan to train a substantial number of citizens in cybersecurity through the ISEA Programme.

Sharma shared, “India’s expansion of the Digital India Programme reflects a visionary stride towards technological empowerment. The infusion of Rs 14,903 crore underscores the nation’s commitment to fostering digital skilling, cybersecurity, and AI innovation. As a leader in next-generation cybersecurity, Sophos recognizes the pivotal role of cybersecurity in this journey. The acute skills gap in cybersecurity is an ongoing concern. This plan to train 265,000 citizens in cybersecurity under the ISEA Programme, is a positive step forward. However, bridging the skill gap requires collective efforts and Sophos is steadfast in providing AI powered security solutions as well as collaborating with academia, industry, and the government to nurture a skilled workforce. Together, we can fortify India’s digital landscape and ensure a secure and prosperous future.”

As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, the expansion of the Digital India Scheme and the emphasis on cybersecurity are timely and crucial. With the infusion of funds and the concerted efforts of leaders in the cybersecurity field, India is poised to not only keep up with the digital transformation but also lead the way in creating a safe and resilient cyber environment.

The commitment to cybersecurity education and innovation showcased by the expansion of the Digital India Scheme and the collaborative efforts of stakeholders like Sophos sets a promising precedent for other nations grappling with similar challenges in the digital era. As the nation gears up for a more digitally empowered future, the focus on cybersecurity will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in safeguarding both individuals and the nation’s digital assets.

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