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1. Cyber Security

1.1. Challenges of Cyber Security in India

  • Data colonization: India is net exporter of information however data servers of majority of digital service providers are located outside India.

  • Widespread Digital illiteracy makes Indian citizens highly susceptible to cyber fraud, cyber theft, etc.


Substandard devices:

  • majority of devices used in India to access internet have inadequate security infrastructure. Moreover, there are variety of devices used with non-uniform standards which makes it difficult to provide for a uniform security protocol.

  • Import dependence for majority of electronic devices from cellphones to equipments used in power sector, defence, banking, communication and other critical infrastructure put India into a vulnerable situation.

  • Lack of adequate infrastructure and trained staff: The present arrangements are highly inadequate and understaffed to deal with the rising incidents of cybercrime.

  • Under-reporting: majority of cases of cybercrime remains unreported because of lack of awareness.

  • Lack of coordination among various agencies working for cyber security. Private sector, despite being a major stakeholder in the cyberspace, has not been involved proactively for the security of the same.

1.2. Steps taken by Government

  • Information Technology Act, 2000(amended in 2008) provides a legal framework for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication.

  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in): established to enhance the security of India’s Communications and Information Infrastructure through proactive action and effective collaboration. CERT-fin has also been launched exclusively for financial sector.

  • National Cyber Security Policy 2013: proposes to set up different bodies to tackle various levels of threats, along with a national nodal agency, to coordinate all matters related to cyber security.

  • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to battle cyber security threats in strategic areas such as air control, nuclear and space. It will function under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a technical intelligence gathering agency controlled directly by the National Security Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office.

  • National cyber coordination centre (NCCC) is being set up to scan internet traffic coming into the country and provide real time situational awareness and alert various security agencies.

  • Indian cyber-crime coordination centre (I4C) and Cyber Warrior Police force has been established under newly created Cyber and Information Security (CIS) Division (under Ministry of Home Affairs) to tackle internet crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography and online stalking

  • Controller of Certifying Authorities: established under IT Act to license and regulate the working of Certifying Authorities. The Certifying Authorities (CAs) issue digital signature certificates for electronic authentication of users.

  • Digital Army Programme: a dedicated cloud to digitize and automate processes, procedures and services for the Indian Army, launched as a part of Digital India. This is similar to Meghraj, the national cloud initiative.

  • Industry Initiatives: NASSCOM has planned to introduce advanced training programmes with due stress on recent trends in usages of cyber forensic tools and methodologies at its Cyber Labs.


Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

  • It is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

  • It works under the aegis of Ministry of Electronics and Information technology.

  • It is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment, authentication, developing the policy, procedure and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers etc.

  • It consists of a Chairperson appointed on part-time basis, two part-time Members and a Chief Executive Officer who shall be the Member-Secretary of the Authority.

2. Aadhaar Security

2.1. Proposed two tier security system

What are AUAs?

  • It is an entity that provides Aadhaar Enabled Services to Aadhaar number holders, uses the authentication as facilitated by the Authentication Service Agency (ASA).

  • An AUA may be a government, public, or private legal agency registered in India that uses UIDAI’s Aadhaar authentication services and sends authentication requests to enable its services or business functions.

  • ASAs are entities that have secure leased line connectivity with the CIDR and transmit authentication requests to CIDR on behalf of one or more AUAs.


Virtual IDs

  • It is a 16 digit temporary number (like an OTP) which can only generated by Aadhaar holders in place of Aadhaar numbers to validate their identity.

  • It can be generated through UIDAI’s portal, enrolment centres, Aadhaar’s mobile app, etc.

  • There will be only one active and valid VID for an Aadhaar number at any given time.

  • Limited KYC: It involves giving an agency-specific UID ‘token’ for e-KYC authentication. It eliminates the need of many agencies storing Aadhaar numbers while still enabling their own paperless KYC.

  • For better safety of Aadhar Data, all Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) will be divided into two categories:

  • Global AUAs – Agencies whose services, by law, require them to store the Aadhaar number will be qualified as Global AUAs and will enjoy access to full demographic details of an individual along with the ability to store Aadhaar numbers within their system.

  • Local AUAs – They will neither get access to full KYC, nor can they store the Aadhaar number on their systems. Instead, they will get a tokenised number issued by UIDAI to identify their customers. UID token will be a unique 72-character alphanumeric string for each Aadhaar number for each particular AUA entity.

3. Private Participation In Defence

3.1. Need for Private Participation

  • Effective use of defence budget: right now major part of the defence budget is spent in purchasing readymade foreign equipments with no transfer of technology. With increased participation of Private sector

  • Make II procedure will amend the existing ‘Make Procedure’ in Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016.

  • This will allow Ministry of Defence to accept suo-motu proposals from the industry and also allows start-ups to develop equipment for Indian Armed Forces.

  • The minimum qualification criteria to participate in ‘Make II’ projects have been relaxed and projects involving cost of less than three crores will be reserved for MSME.


Army Base Workshops (ABWs)

  • ABWs will now be operated under "GOCO (Government-Owned Contractor-Managed) Model": the contractor operates and utilises the facilities available, manages all types of work and is also responsible to get required licences, certifications and accreditations to deliver mutually agreed targets.

  • The decision is a part of larger army reforms based on the recommendations of DB Shekatkar committee. indigenous capacity building would occur and durable assets would be created that would reduce import dependence.

  • Growth in economy: Defence, being a major manufacturing sector, acts as a propulsive sector which would promote entrepreneurship, investment and employment.

  • Procurement will be streamlined: dependence on foreign players causes delay in procurements and at times substandard quality is provided by them, there are issues regarding getting the spare parts too.

3.2. Strategic Autonomy & self-reliance:

  • this becomes very important in critical situations like war. During Kargil war, US had withdrawn its GPS support which had a severe impact on casualty.



  • The defense procurement procedures operate with a bias on the capability and the experience of Indian companies. Lack of experience is often cited as a reason to keep private firms out even at the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) stage.

  • Direct and indirect nominations for the defense PSUs and ordnance factories for most of the procurements tilts the scale against the private companies.

  • Lack of well thought out strategic plans with foreign countries often impedes technology transfers. This is aggravated by the fact that most governments have strict export control rules which restrict participation of private players.

  • Cumbersome land acquisition and environmental clearances and delay in licensing along-with lack of clarity on intellectual property rights impedes private sector participation.

  • Lack of adequate industry-academic collaboration and trained workforce are also major challenges in private sector involvement in defence sector.

3.3. Steps taken by Government

  • Under Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016, preference to' Buy (Indian-IDDM)' ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ & ‘Make’ categories of acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ category. IDDM stands for Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured with a minimum of 40% local content.

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the broad contours of the Strategic Partnership Model (SPM). The policy is intended to engage the Indian private sector in the manufacture of hi-tech defence equipment in India.

  • Since the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative in 2014, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion has issued 81 Industrial Licenses to 61 companies for manufacture of various defence items.

  • Foreign Investment upto 49% is allowed through automatic route and above 49% under Government route on case-to-case basis. Moreover, Government is thinking of 100 percent FDI in defence through automatic route.

  • To establish a level-playing field between Indian private sector and the public sector, the anomalies in excise duty/custom duty have been removed.

  • To promote the participation of private sector, particularly SMEs for defence manufacturing, Outsourcing and Vendor Development Guidelines for DPSUs and OFB have been formulated and circulated to them.


4.1.  About AGNI-V

  • It is an intercontinental surface-to-surface ballistic missile developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Project (Other missiles developed under the programme were: Prithvi, Trishul, Akash and Nag).

  • At present, US, China, Russia, UK, France and Israel are known to have ICBMs.

  • It has been equipped with very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINS).

  • India has reportedly also been working on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) for the Agni-V in order to ensure a credible second strike capability or credible minimum deterrence. MIRV means one missile can carry several warheads, each for ifferent targets.

5. INS Karanj

5.1. More about INS Karanj

  • INS Karanj is the third of the six Scorpene-class submarines (conventional diesel electric attack submarines) being built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) under the Project 75 programme of Indian navy

  • The first one, INS Kalvari was commissioned on December 2017.The second one, INS Khandari is undergoing sea trials. Remaining three submarines Vela, Vagir and Vagsheer are in various stages of outfitting.

  • The technology being used would ensure superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels and hydrodynamically optimized shape.

  • Attacks can be launched using precision guided weapons (torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles) whilst underwater or on surface.

  • The Scorpene submarines can undertake various missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.

January Internal Security and Threats

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