The government is working on a war footing to put in place its own e-mail service, which will ensure that government communications and data are hack-proof.
The new e-mail service will have smart features, modelled on the lines of Gmail and Yahoo, to make it efficient and user-friendly.
The new made-in-India e-mail service will be first rolled out for the use of the Centre, after which it will be extended to all state governments.
In the final phase, it will also be made available to all Indian citizens for their interaction with the government.
According to a top official in the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, “The new set-up will be backed by enhanced bandwidth and improved servers positioned in India,”
He said the work has been fast-tracked, and the standardisation of e-mail design and templates for the government would be in place by November this year.
“It will be like Gmail or Yahoo. The e-mail service will have features like group SMS, chat and the option to form a closed user group,” the official added.
Former telecom secretary and president of National Association of Software and Service Companies R. Chandrashekhar said the new e-mail service will enhance the security of government communications and official data.
Though the Centre has invested more than Rs 800 crore for modernising its existing National Informatics Centre (NIC) to ensure effective hack-free communication between departments, the nic.in network lacks sufficient bandwidth, as a result of which it does not support larger files and slows download. This forces officials to switch to private e-mail services such as Gmail or Yahoo even for official work.
As the servers for these e-mails are positioned on foreign soil—mostly in the US— such communications are always vulnerable to misuse and theft of data, a senior official said.
“WikiLeaks revelations of controversial and sensitive matters concerning India’s diplomatic, political and other developments was an eyeopener,” another official pointed out.
The new upcoming India-owned Gmail like- platform is part of an ambitious Digital India programme, of the Narendra Modi government, which would be implemented in a phased manner by 2019. It is estimated to cost about Rs 1.13 lakh crore. Courtesy: Daily Mail.