Cybersecurity to be tertiary-level subject in India

The University Grants Commission is calling on local universities and technical colleges to teach cybersecurity at undergraduate and post-graduate levels as a means to improve India's security system.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Cybersecurity is set to be introduced as a subject in Indian universities and technical colleges, following recommendations made by the government task force.

According to Times of India's report Thursday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to all the vice chancellors in these institutions requesting them to introduce the subject of cybersecurity in the curriculum at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. 

The UGC reviewed India's national security system and presented its report on May 31, 2012. Among its various recommendations, the task force suggested the inclusion of cybersecurity as a tertiary subject locally.

India's prime minister Manmohan Singh had set up the task force in 2011, appointing former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra to head the unit and including retired civil servants, armed forces officers and national security experts in the group. Its mandate was to review existing processes, procedures and practices in India's security system to suggest ways to strengthen it, the report noted.

The local government has implemented a series of measures to beef up India's IT security over the past month. Last week, the government asked for every computer hardware sold in the country to include a cybersecurity brochure, but manufacturers have expressed concern it could give rise to logistical issues. The country's Defense Research and Development Organization is also working on the country's own operating system (OS) to reduce dependence on foreign-made platforms, which it says may contain security risks.

Industry observers previously told ZDNet Asia cybersecurity education in schools should start as early as possible, considering students are being exposed to the latest technologies at an increasingly young age. Such courses should also be holistic and include ethical and societal implications, they said.

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