India ‘important digital power’, will not compromise data sovereignty: Ravi Shankar Prasad


Union IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday that India is an “important digital power” and will not compromise its data sovereignty.

MUMBAI: Union IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday that India is an “important digital power” and will not sacrifice its data sovereignty. Speaking at the launch of the Rs 1,100-crore data centre developed by the Hiranandani Group company Yotta, Prasad also said that it wants India to be a data-refining centre that will include data-cleaning and data analysis, while keeping in mind privacy concerns.

The Minister’s comments come days after the country blocked 59 Chinese apps on “sovereignty and security” concerns. The day after that, Prasad called the move a “digital strike” and added that the apps had been banned to protect citizens’ data.

“We should never compromise the data sovereignty of India . India being an important digital force, our data sovereignty will be very important, and we must ensure that we never make any concessions or make any concessions,” Prasad said, speaking at the data center launch event on Tuesday.

He said cyber security is an important aspect and we should be very cautious about things. Prasad used the metaphor of a highway to stress that infrastructure building should not stop because of accidents, stressing that being cautious is the key.

Prasad, who manages the electronics, information technology and communications portfolios, said India needs to grow into a data refining centre for the world and also go deeper on the software front by creating products of its own.

“With the success of digital India (Campaign), India must become a major refinery for data cleaning and processing,” said the IT Minister, adding that data privacy concerns should be taken into account while doing so.

He said despite accounting for 20 per cent of the world’s internet users, India is far behind from a data consumption front, at only 2 per cent. At the same time, there are huge projects like the direct benefit transfer, which has helped the government save over Rs 1.70 lakh crore in the last few years, or over 3 crore Aadhaar confirmations happening every three minutes wherein data is generated, he said.

India is generating a lot of data, the question is how do we use the same, he said.

The data centre christened “Yotta NM1”, dubbed as the largest in Asia, was inaugurated by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at the virtual ceremony also attended by Prasad.