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India to Train 3 Million Government Officials in Emerging Tech

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, recently announced that by 2023, over 3 million government officials in the country will be trained and exposed to emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain for effective governance and service delivery at the grassroots level.

The officials will learn about AI/ML, deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, the Internet of things, augmented reality and virtual reality, data analytics, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and blockchain.

Singh made the announcement while delivering the valedictory address at a two-day workshop on Emerging Technology for Good Governance for heads of central training institutions (CTIs) and state-level administrative training institutions (ATIs) at the Indian Institute of Public Administration. The 3 million central and state government officials will be trained through CTIs, ATIs, and the Integrated Government Online Training-Mission Karmayogi (iGOT-MK).

The 25 CTIs, 33 state-level ATIs, and several other civil service training institutions as well as the Capacity Building Commission and the Wadhwani Institute of Technology and Policy (WITP) will achieve the mission, he said.

AI and ML have the potential to detect fraud in GST and Income Tax returns. Blockchain technology can be used to secure records and certificates. The government will increase data-driven decision-making through analytics. The civil servants would learn to use these techniques in day-to-day work and administration.

Singh also stated that the government “plays a delicate balancing role between using and promoting technologies”. It becomes crucial that decision-makers at the forefront realise the potential and fallacies of emerging technologies. He noted that civil servants are not expected to become scientists or developers in any domain but rather to understand how, why, and where to use these technologies.

As the use of digital technologies becomes more widespread in public administration, the government has set out targets to improve cybersecurity. In September, the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under its Capacity Building scheme, organised the 30th CISO Deep-Dive training programme. It targeted chief information security officers (CISOs) from central, state, and union territory governments, subordinate agencies, public sector undertakings (PSUs), technical wings of police and security forces, and officers in charge of IT system security in their respective organisations.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the deep-dive training was specifically aimed at educating and enabling CISOs to understand cyber-attacks comprehensively and thoroughly, get necessary exposure to the latest security technologies, and translate the benefits of a resilient e-infrastructure to individual organisations and citizens at large. The training also focused on providing a holistic view of legal provisions and enabling CISOs to formulate policies in the domain of cybersecurity and build concrete cyber crisis management plans. Participants were reminded of various government initiatives in the cybersecurity domains, particularly the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), which addresses potential cyber threats to critical infrastructure.

The training programme brought together an array of subject matter experts from the industry, academia, and the government to speak on key domain issues of cybersecurity, including governance risk and compliance; emerging cybersecurity trends; the landscape of cybersecurity products in India; network security and cyber crisis workplace plans; and application and data security.

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