With increased demand and far wider usage, the pandemic has significantly impacted the financial sector in a multitude of ways. With stay-at-home advisories and lockdowns in place, reliance on online banking and digital commerce shot up astronomically. And the industry had to keep pace with this transactional mushrooming to stay intact, relevant and to meet the consumer requirement.
The latest OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 18 September 2020 explored how the financial sector industry in the Philippines is coping with the new normal and how it can better equip itself to last the long haul.
The packed OpenGov Asia virtual hub was a testament to the relevance and timeliness of the session. Senior digital executives from across the sector joined in to discuss and explore what has been done and what can be done in the field.
Data compliance for financial organisations as essential as ensuring the flow of money in the economy
The event opened with a welcome address from Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director, and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia and a quick round of introductions.
Mohit set the ball rolling by sharing how the pandemic has created a lot of chaos in the financial sector industry forcing the leaders to make the digital transformation as much a priority as ensuring the continued availability money in the system.
Data intelligence and governance are key issues for ﬁnancial industries in the post-COVID-19 era. Data strategy – whether to have an integrated approach or a siloed outlook – is dependent on each organisation’s culture and it’s thinking on how to survive in the current environment.
At the same time, of paramount importance in the GDPR era is for organisations to make sure their data strategy is compliant to industry and privacy regulations.
Since data compliance is of such significance, Mohit concluded by advising delegates to partner with champions in the field rather than trying to do everything in-house.
Drivers and pillars of data governance in organisations
After Mohit set the tone for the discussion, Sachin Tonk, Director, Data and Privacy Operations, Standard Chartered Bank shared his insights.
Sachin began by charting the journey of data governance and where it sits today. Data evolution is very challenging as, not only, is it complicated and complex, but the rate of change is also very fast.
He went on to address the question of why we need data governance in the first instance. The rationale sits in two main categories:
- Internal demand that includes in-depth analysis, agility for growth and real-time operations.
- External demand that comprises new data products, GDPR, MIFID ll and M&A.
All the factors under these two umbrellas make data governance both tedious and, often, convoluted.
Sachin opined that data governance and privacy is going to be the biggest priority for organisations in the coming year. He expounded on the major pillars of data protection policy in any organisation.
The first being robust governance framework, policies and processes. This must be complemented by the second pillar I.e. proper awareness and training to create a culture with compliance in its DNA. He also added that security and IT technology come are the glue binding all components together.
Continuing in the same vein, Sachin spoke about the various essential actors involved in the governance process. Data owners, data stewards and monitors have to come together and collaborate to get the right spirit of data governance.
He then shared that the key to having a robust data governance policy is creating a catalogue of questions related to the actors. When formulating the ideal governance policy, he advised teams to go for small wins rather than opt for prototyping and then scaling up across the organisation.
In closing, Sachin noted that data governance was not a one-time activity. He emphasised the importance of monitoring progress and measuring the success of the governance policy and constantly working to improve it.
Data governance is becoming increasingly challenging and complicated for organisations
After Sachin’s informative presentation, Varghese Mathew, Business Director, Hitachi Vantara, Philippines, spoke to the topic at hand.
Varghese began by sharing some interesting statistics s about the challenges faced by organisations in the data governance domain.
Almost 74% of organisations have difficulty in evaluating quality and reliability of data, 61% have too many data sources and almost 90% need an intelligent data governance strategy.
Varghese further explained the need for organisations to have data governance in place in the current digital era.
The sheer volume of data makes its governance enormously complex, inevitably driving organisations to go tech in order to manage data more efficiently.
Other drivers include technological silos and regulations like GDPR, MIFID etc. Moreover, increasingly, countries are formulating their own regulations around data protection, making it tough for organisations to survive amid the complexity. Companies that are not compliant across the board pay a heavy price.
Varghese explained that the objectives of having a data governance policy are to manage the huge volumes of structured and unstructured data, the data being kept in silos within organisations, multiple business goals and the rapid speed and demand for compliance.
He then went on to share the Hitachi Vantara approach. The goal is to help businesses deal with different types of data silos and to make sure it is visible and governed well and on an intelligent platform where it can be analysed.
Their solutions help organisations ensure every bit of their data is available, insightful and actionable – making it easier to govern.
Varghese also explained how the Hitachi Vantara solution can help organisations make better sense of their data. It can help organisations save time and resources by not indulging in unnecessary data forensics, regulator reporting, etc.
He underscored this by sharing a case study where Hitachi Vantara helped a customer organise and make sense of their data. He shared how Hitachi helped Rabobank reduce time to discovery of data for governance and regulatory reporting by automating communication monitoring.
After Varghese’s presentation, it was time for polling questions and to involve the delegates in an interactive discussion.
On the first question regarding the current primary reason for data governance projects, a majority of the audience voted for compliance and regulatory requirements (46%).
A senior delegate from a major Philippines bank shared that she voted for compliance and regulatory requirements because once this is done, a better quality of information, data security and privacy will obviously follow.
On the next question about a centralised data compliance strategy, delegates were divided between, data being stored and managed centrally (56%) and some data being centralised while some are managed by specific department/country/ business (44%).
Another delegate shared that they voted for option one as their data is managed centrally and integrated in one place. Governance, data quality and analysis are done in one place for the consumption of management and operations.
On the final question about rating your organisation’s biggest concern in meeting GDPR requirements, a major chunk of the delegates voted for data protection: needing clearer details on how data is processed and secured with timely notification if data is compromised (57%).
A delegate reflected that data protection is the biggest priority of their organisation currently; with employees working from home, the data is more vulnerable to disruptions than ever before. Thus, it is very important to ensure that the data we are working on is fully secure and protected.
After the engaging discussions and deliberations, the session came to an end with closing remarks by Verghese Mattew.
He thanked all the delegates for taking their time and participation in the Virtual Breakfast Insight. He concurred that their ideas and reflections were in-line with the trends in the global space where Hitachi is operating. He also echoed their sentiments regarding the struggle faced by organisations to make their data accessible as well as keeping it safe and protected from a compliance point of view.
In closing, Varghese assured the delegates that Hitachi Vantara solutions were available to assist them in the same way as they have done for numerous organisations thus far.
The National Super Computing Mission (NSM) of India is making significant headway in boosting the high power computing capacity in the country. The nation is rapidly expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the appropriate capacity to manufacture its supercomputers in the country.
The NSM is jointly steered by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
The National Super Computing Mission is deploying a phased strategy through its various arms to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as also genomics and drug discovery.
With the infrastructure planned in NSM Phase-I already installed and much the infrastructure of Phase-II in place, the network of supercomputers through the country will soon reach to around 16 Petaflops (PF). Phase-III, to be initiated in January 2021, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.
Param Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti and Param Brahma at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
Thereafter supercomputing facilities were set up in two more institutions, and one is being set up in Phase-I, ramping up high power computing speed to 6.6 PF under Phase-1. In Phase-II, 8 more institutions will be equipped with supercomputing facilities by April 2021, with a total of 10 PF compute capacity. Work on Phase-III will start in 2021 and will include three systems of 3 PF each and one system of 20PF as a national facility.
MoUs have been signed with 14 premier institutions of India to establish supercomputing infrastructure along with assembly and manufacturing capacity within the country. These include IITs, NITs, National Labs, and IISERs. While some of these have already been installed, more will be done by December this year. The Phase-II installations will be completed by April 2021.
The three phases will provide access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facilities to 75 institutions and thousands of active researchers and academicians working through Nation Knowledge Network (NKN) – the backbone for supercomputing systems.
HPC and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have converged together. A 100 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system is being created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.
The mission has also created the next generation of supercomputer experts by training more than 2400 supercomputing manpower and faculties till date.
Powered by the NSM, India’s network of research institutions, in collaboration with the industry, is scaling up the technology and manufacturing capability to make more and more parts in India. While in Phase-I, 30% value addition is done in India, that has been scaled up to 40% in Phase-II.
Efforts are being made to design and develop parts like server board, interconnect, processor, system software libraries, storage, and HPC-AI converged accelerator domestically. India has developed an Indigenous server (Rudra), which can meet the HPC requirements of all governments and PSUs. This is the first time that a server system was made in India, along with the full software stack developed by C-DAC.
Experts said that the pace at which things are moving forward, we may soon have the motherboards and sub-systems manufactured in India, making the supercomputers indigenously designed and manufactured.
Such indigenously designed systems with most parts designed and manufactured in India will be installed at places like IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Chennai, and Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC) at Delhi, C-DAC, Pune, which are covered under Phase-III and help move towards supercomputers developed and manufactured totally in India paving the way for self-reliance in the field.
As the world moves towards the digitisation of the economy, the adverse impact of financial crime in banks and other financial institutions is accelerating rapidly. The shift to a work-from-home system as a result of the pandemic has increased the vulnerability of remote financial sector employees whose devices lack adequate security.
There is so much fraud that goes unidentified and cannot be accounted for. As a result, fraud prevention is one of the top areas of concern for the financial sector industry today.
To understand and alleviate the relevant pain points of digital executives from the financial sector industry in Thailand, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight that explored how Advanced Analytics, AI and Machine Learning can power the next-generation of compliance.
The full house of delegates at this event was a testimony to the relevance and importance of this topic among financial sector executives from Thailand.
Bad actors in the digital space are getting harder to identify as they are using the same technology as us
The event began promptly with Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia introducing participants and laying the ground for the discussion ahead.
Mohit emphasized the increased risk of fraud and money laundering in the financial sector industry in the current atmosphere. Bad actors in the digital space are leveraging the same advanced technology as legitimate organisations with a destructive mindset – and no restrictions of regulation and compliance.
This makes it imperative for financial sector institutions to augment and bolster their existing fraud protection through Advanced Analytics, AI and Machine Learning.
Mohit shed to light on the importance of sound leadership in these trying times and urged all to think as responsibly as leaders do.
He left the audience with advice to partner with experts who excel at utilising technology to strengthen compliance and fraud protection rather than losing this valuable time in understanding and enabling it themselves.
Innovation, adoption, and maturity: three phases of AI and ML adoption cycle in financial institutions
Ahmed: Other stakeholders in the industry recognizing and supporting the use of AI and ML in anti-money laundering initiatives
After Mohit’s opening, Ahmed Drissi, Anti-Money Laundering Lead, APAC, SAS elaborated on the detailed features of SAS’s money laundering solution. Ahmed spoke about the challenges in using traditional AML solutions and how SAS solutions overcome these shortcomings.
He further shared in detail of other the recognition and support for AI and ML in anti-money laundering initiatives by stakeholders in other industries.
Ahmed expounded on the three phases of AI and ML adoption cycle that include innovation, adoption, and maturity as demonstrated by various global and regional banks.
He shed some more light on the various AI/ML use cases in AML. These include entity resolution, customer segmentation, post alert scoring, model detection, tuning and optimisation. Being an expert in the field, he was able to articulately and authoritatively share details of the above-mentioned use cases with the delegates.
Banks and financial institutions must focus on simplifying and strengthening compliance
After Ahmed’s information-rich presentation, Viswanathan Namasivayam, Advisor for Data Science Enterprise Architecture, Data and AI Group at UnionBank Philippines gave his insights and opinions on the topic.
An advocate of simplification of compliance for banks and financial institutions, Viswanathan bases his conviction on the dramatic rise in fraud and hacking incidents he has observed.
He also believes in the power of advanced technology like AI/ML to mitigate these risks as it offers institutions the ability to go beyond a single representation of an individual or an entity, rendering a better understanding of the fraud risk.
Viswanathan shared a recent case study from Germany with the delegates to bring home the point that using AI in technology and security is inevitable in today’s world of increased cyber risk. The case study is a classic example of the consequences of failing to manage the risk associated with fintech companies. He also cautioned the audience that incidents like these would trigger more stringent and tighter regulations.
He completely agreed with Ahmed’s opinion about regulators and supervisors in the industry who also see a lot of value in using technology in this space.
Viswanathan concluded his presentation by pointing to the fundamental shift in financial institution’s approach in the handling of fraud incidences – moving from being reactive to proactive.
None the less, Vishwanathan ended on an optimistic note – acknowledging that this fundamental shift in institutions of becoming more proactive is a significant step for them in their journey towards a having a robust fraud and risk management system.
After these two insightful presentations, the event moved into the more participatory part of the session: polling and discussions.
On the question about the extent to which your organisation is incorporating AI/ML learning capabilities in your risk and compliance programmes, a majority of the delegates voted that they are using AI/ML across risk and compliance, including financial crime – watchlist filtering, sanction screening, and/or transaction monitoring (63%).
A senior delegate from a major bank shared that they are using AI and ML for other functions like data prediction and collection, sales, and contacting their customers but are still evaluating the advantages of AI to be implemented across all risk and compliance programmes.
On the next question about conducting or the need to conduct proper investigations on suspicious transactions and the availability of a sufficient platform to help with the investigation process, most delegates indicated that they have a platform providing these capabilities (63%).
Ahmed was happy to know about this trend and it was in keeping in with their expectation that most banks in Thailand have the proper platform and investigation tools in place.
On the final question about having a real-time fraud detection, prevention, and monitoring solution that is working together with an AML solution, the delegates overwhelmingly voted that they have a fraud system but it is separate from the AML solution (76%).
Another senior executive from a major bank shared that he voted for the above as they have two different departments taking care of fraud monitoring and anti-money laundering n their organisation. In the same vein, he shared that it would be good to have an integrated system over time.
After the polling session Nutapone Apiluktoyanunt, Managing Director, SAS Thailand came forward to close the session. He thanked all the delegates for taking the time to participate in the session and share their invaluable insights.
He also encouraged the delegates to reach out to team SAS if they have any questions or want to get more clarity on the solutions shared during the presentations.
The Vietnam government strongly believes that ensuring safety in cyberspace will accelerate the process of national digital transformation as it is the key to a successful and sustainable digital transformation. Spam messages, e-mails and calls have been a burning issue for years in Vietnam. The issues of how to prevent spam have and are a topic of discussion at many National Assembly’s sessions.
After one year of compilation with many amendments, Decree 91 was issued by the government on August 14. The latest decree has many positive developments as compared to decrees 90 and 77 addressing the same issue. Legislators and experts are confident that the decree will have a significant impact on reducing spam in the Vietnamese digital landscape.
The strong measures were designed after learnings from the experience of developed countries were applied to strategies. Case in hand: since Australia started a DoNotCall list, 50% of subscribers have registered not to receive ad messages.
Decree 91 gives new definitions about spam messages and emails and adds a new concept about a ‘spam call’, which helps set the criteria for recognizing spam messages, calls and emails. The new decree mentions new measures for users to protect themselves from spam, including DoNotCall, the list of subscribers refusing advertising messages.
As the compiler of Decree 91 on fighting spam SMS, calls and messages, an official with the Authority for Information Security, Dang Huy Hoang, said he was happy that he could contribute to reducing ‘garbage’ in digital space, “All my enthusiasm and 8-year experience in fighting against spam are shown in the content of the decree.”
Hoang began working on the anti-spam segment in late 2012 and early 2013 when he had the chance to work with an expert at VNCERT. Since then, he has been fighting against spam. Hoang said over the last 10 years of working at the Ministry of Information and Communication, his colleague and he have been working determinedly to resolve the issues at hand. In addition to compiling Decree 91, he was also one of the compilers of circulars and other legal documents and set the criteria applied to technological solutions that recognize and authenticate genuine subscribers using artificial intelligence for prevention of spam messages.
Decree 91 also stipulates that mobile network operators have to improve techniques to prevent and filter spam, using modern technologies such as AI, Big Data, Machine Learning and behaviour analysis technology. The decree also sets new sanction methods to deter violators and protect users.
Soon after the decree was issued, Hoang and his colleagues put in place a plan to bring the decree to fruition. The new management mechanism is hoped to help mitigate spam and promote the legal advertising market and create a more secure digital ecosystem for the nation.
Recently OpenGov Asia reported don the sharp decrease in virus-infected computer networks in Vietnam. The initiative is a large-scale campaign aiming to ensure the safety and benefits of communities, businesses, individuals and families that use internet-connected devices that are networked in a cyber environment.
The Singapore Government has announced that they will combine the power of TraceTogether and SafeEntry, two technologies dveloped by the government to help prevent or slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore
In order to resume larger-scale activities and further reopen the economy in a safer manner, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, known as TT-only SE, will be progressively expanded to more venues.
The use of TT-only SE will provide added assurance that everyone present at these largerscale activities is better protected by effective contact tracing through participation in the TraceTogether Programme.
“TT-only SE ensures that if a COVID-19 case is identified, we can quickly inform close contacts in those locations through the TT Programme. The close contacts can immediately take the necessary precautions to keep their loved ones safe.”
By end of this year, we plan for all popular venues that currently require SE to transit to TT-only SE. The current scanning on-site QR codes with a phone camera, using SingPass Mobile for SE check-in, and scanning of personal IDs, will be disabled at venues where TT-only SE is implemented.
Instead, SE is allowed only if one uses their TT App to scan the on-site QR code, or if they let the on-site entry staff scan the QR code on their TT Token.
Staged Rollout of TT-only-SE
Since August 2020, TT-only SE has been trialled at selected venues where people are likely to be in close contact for prolonged periods, or where human traffic is high, to ensure that individuals at these venues are covered by the TT Programme.
From now till mid-November, TT-only SE will be implemented in venues with activities that involve larger groups of people. These include live performances, business events, places of worship conducting congregational and other worship services with more than 100 people and cinemas. Members of the public who intend to attend these activities are encouraged to download the TT App or collect their TT Token as soon as possible.
By December, TT Tokens would already have been widely available for a substantial period of time. TT-only SE will be implemented at all popular venues where SE is currently mandatory. This would include workplaces, schools, shopping malls and F&B outlets. The latest list of venues which will transit to TT-only SE will be updated on an ongoing basis at www.safeentry.gov.sg/deployment.
TraceTogether Programme Crucial for Effective Contact Tracing
TT and SE are critical digital tools that allow us to quickly contain the spread of COVID19 the moment it is detected, so that we can safely ease our measures and continue to resume economic and social activities.
These tools help to stem multiple generations of spread and prevent large clusters from forming. We seek everyone’s cooperation in using SE and participating in the TT Programme, to make Singapore safer from COVID-19.
Vietnam’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) under the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications announced the results of the implementation of its campaign on reviewing and removing malware nationwide for this year.
The results were released by Tran Quang Hung, director of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
The initiative is a large-scale campaign aiming to ensure the safety and benefits of communities, businesses, individuals and families that use internet-connected devices that are networked in a cyber environment.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce the rate of malware infection by 50% and reduce the number of IP addresses of Vietnamese computer systems in globally popular computer networks infected with viruses by 50%overall.
Researches by a number of reputable security firms that conduct global surveys showed that although malware infection in Vietnam had decreased recently, it was still high compared to other countries in the world.
Statistics showed that Vietnam had about 16 million computer addresses following the 4th generation internet protocol (referred to as IPv4) in the middle of September 2020. Of these, about three million IP addresses were frequently blacklisted by many international organisations.
One of the key outcomes of the campaign implementation is to take Vietnam out of the top list of malware infection rates reported by major security and information technology firms in the world.
The campaign was hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications and implemented by NCSC in co-ordination with corporations including VNPT, Viettel, BKAV, FPT and CMC.
Many individuals and organisations have joined forces to check and remove malware from thousands of infected computers of individuals and businesses free of charge. The number of individuals and organizations giving feedback to the campaign has reached over 17,000.
Of the 900,000+ computers involved in malware scanning, over 300,000 infected computers were pinpointed and attended to by units participating in the campaign.
Information technology units, participating in the campaign, provide tools to inspect, process, and remove malware to ensure user safety when using computers and internet-connected devices.
Good quality anti-malware software is updated and allowed for free use by the providers themselves on a dedicated website. There have been more than five million approaches to the campaign after three weeks of implementation.
The Vietnam government strongly believes that ensuring safety in cyberspace will accelerate the process of national digital transformation as it is the key to a successful and sustainable digital transformation.
Spam and fake calls are a global problem that has emerged in Vietnam in recent years, a representative of the Telecommunications Department said.
According to the Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, mobile network operators in Vietnam locked 34,700 subscribers that made spam calls and prevented over 9 million fake calls in the last three months.
Since July this year, network operators have blocked outgoing calls of more than 34,700 subscribers who made spam calls, including 16,288 subscribers in September 2020 alone. Additionally, network operators blocked over 9 million fake calls since July of which and 3.3 million fake calls were in September.
After network operators sent messages warning subscribers about fake calls, the proportion of subscribers answering calls made by strange numbers decreased from about 40% in June and July 2020 to below 10% at present. Reports of fake calls to the police have also dropped by 70%.
To ensure better cooperation of mobile service users, the Telecommunications Department and network operators have appealed to the wider community to work with the government and operators.
The Australian Government has updated the National Security Science and Technology Priorities, to strengthen the country’s national security.
The update identified six priority areas, including cybersecurity, intelligence, border security and identity management, technology foresight, investigative support and forensic science, and preparedness, protection, prevention and incident response.
The update has given greater consideration to recent challenges such as national resilience and biosecurity. These priorities will help to drive strategic advantage by developing, adapting and delivering science and technology solutions to current and future national security challenges.
The National Security and Defence community will work closely to shape and harness the national science and technology enterprise, to achieve a cohesive innovation system as outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.
Given the commitment and capacity of adversaries to engineer smarter, more agile and increasingly innovative technologies to threaten Australia’s national security, and the growing challenges arising from its natural environment that test the resilience of its society and national systems, the country must remain at the forefront of science and technology to remain agile and anticipative of new and emerging threats.
Currently, Defence, specifically Defence Science and Technology (DST), is responsible for coordinating national security science and technology. DST is recognised as having expertise across key areas of science and technology delivery, experience in establishing and managing diverse research programs, and strong connections with domestic and international science and technology providers.
The six national security science and technology priority areas are:
- Technology Foresighting
The ability to monitor, analyse and evaluate the implications of scientific and technological developments to prevent strategic and tactical surprise.
The ability to collect, analyse, integrate, assess and disseminate intelligence with the accuracy, scale and speed required to support timely national security and intelligence decision making.
- Preparedness, Protection, Prevention and Incident
The ability to appropriately equip and prepare Australian agencies to effectively address national security threats and natural or man-made destructive events, including mass-harm and mass-damage incidents, either by preventing their occurrence, or responding and recovering effectively if they have occurred.
- Cyber Security
The ability to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of critical infrastructure and systems of national significance through the conduct of research and development, and the delivery of advanced cyber technologies, tools, techniques and education.
- Border Security and Identity Management
National security community’s ability to protect and secure Australia’s borders from disease outbreaks, hazardous material and threats to our community, including maximum disruption effect on illegal activity and migration with projected growth in people and cargo movement across Australian borders.
- Investigative Support and Forensic Science
Law enforcement’s ability to prevent, disrupt and prosecute terrorist and criminal activities in a complex transnational and evolving digital environment.
Fostering academic and industry partnerships
The NSSTC continues to strengthen national science and technology partner capabilities to enhance targeted delivery to the Australian national security agencies. NSSTC participated in the May 2018 Civil Security Congress and Exposition which provided an opportunity to widely engage with Australian industry.
Of particular note, two Australian companies have produced equipment in the areas of explosive trace detection and stand-off detection of improvised explosive devices following receipt of NSSTC development funding.
Some current projects include:
- Novel fingerprint detection techniques
- Developing CBRN risk protocols to ensure first responder safety
Fostering international collaboration
The NSSTC maintains bilateral Memorandums of Understanding with the following international partners:
- US Department of Homeland Security
- US Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office
- UK Home Office
- Canadian Centre for Security Science
- New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Building on the successful bilateral engagements between allied nations, a Five Nation Research and Development Initiative (5RD Initiative) has been established which seeks to create new opportunities to deliver more efficient and cost-effective access to results, expand research, development, testing, and evaluation capacity, and offset limitations in a constrained and fluctuating budget environment.
DST’s national security science and technology program
The NSSTC drives dual-use application of sovereign DST technology encouraging applicability in both military and national security environments.
DST has directly contributed to the nation’s security through the delivery of national security science and technology solutions in areas such as facial recognition algorithms, video analytics, vehicle survivability, decision support systems, blast modelling, cyber open-source training, home-made explosive characterisation and threat assessments, toxic chemical detectors and support to numerous operations.
Specific work includes assistance with the characterisation of the threat for the aviation security incident in Sydney July 2017 and recently working with Home Affairs to host a Chemical, Biological and Radiological Capability Exercise (CAPEX) in Queensland, which involved CBR specialists from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States.
In a major initiative, the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a major initiative onboarded its latest IT tools of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to provide assistance and solutions to micro, small and medium enterprises.
The ministry has implemented AI & ML on its robust Single Window System ‘Champions’ which was launched by the Prime Minister on 1 June 2020. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning analytics can be seen at the “AI Corner” on the portal.
The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has been done to strengthen the ministry’s Single Window System Portal ‘Champions’ that has been assisting MSMEs across the nation. This multi-modal system has virtual portals and technology-equipped physical control rooms at 69 locations spread across the country. It has emerged as one of the front runner platforms for the MSMEs in a very short span.
The ministry took the COVID-19 as an opportunity to deploy cutting-edge interventions. In this difficult period, the ministry not only whole-heartedly supported MSMEs but used it to break barriers and make a paradigm shift in operations for the sector. The ministry further is working aggressively to take the MSMEs, and the nation, in the direction of Industry 4.0. The ministry is itself, adopting technologies categorised as part of Industry 4.0 and is also encouraging MSMEs to similarly adopt the latest available technology.
Taking self-reliance a further step ahead, the ministry is aiding MSMEs to manufacture essential and enabling products like sensors, motors, computer displays and other animation technologies. In line with this strategy, the ministry has implemented Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on their Champions portal. The entire concept, scope analysis and design were done inhouse by the Ministry with the help of NIC and under the guidance of their tech partner.
The ministry’s technology partner has been guiding the Ministry over the last five months in implementing some of the tools of AI & ML. The ministry confirmed that the technology partner implemented the entire domain of AI & ML on the Champions portal free of cost.
The ministry confirmed they have deployed the tools to enable and optimise the Champions portal with AI & ML Analytics technology to derive a wide range of insights. This is helping them understand the issues in real-time which includes information intelligence and sentiment analysis based on widely available social media and online data.
In this current phase, the AI and ML tools:
- give the MSME Ministry social media insights relating to MSMEs for its policy action through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Forums and online news that were not available to earlier;
- enable the ministry to get the pulse of the entire MSME Sector even without the stakeholders going to our portal; till now, the ministry was dependent on the complaints and data which were seen on our the CHAMPIONS portal (for grievance redressal);
- make it possible to know the context and atmosphere of the people involved with or dependent on the MSME sector in real-time;
- present data-driven insights that are easy to understand. The tools can slice and dice data in many ways that were not available in traditional tools of Management Information Systems;
- empower all levels of staff, not just specialists, to easily discover actionable points;
- take over tedious work of preparing data for analysis, freeing up human resources to engage in more productive work.
- Allow data analytics to be easily shared as real-time live-data links with the teams at Central (Hub level) and spokes of CHAMPIONS Control Rooms spread all over India;
Ministry of MSME also said that now the next phase is relatively easier for which the trial is on. The second phase would be directed towards real-time grievance redressal and management.
This includes increasing the performance of control rooms and officers through AI-enabled ChatBots for faster response to the query of portal users. It will also give real-time, detailed analytics across the entire workflow of its single window system and grievance redressal.