Ravishankar Prasad, who holds the Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology and Communications portfolios, was delivering the Late Thakur Prasad Centenary Memorial Lecture on “Data Privacy, Data Security and Data Sovereignty”.

Speaking at a virtual lecture, the Union Minister said, “Data is a nation’s asset. This great asset of data has to be properly used, processed and value-added for healthcare, agriculture and education. Therefore, not only data ownership but also data sovereignty becomes important.” “If data is a good asset it must be secured and vested into the sovereign power of a country. Therefore, we have brought data protection law which is being examined by the select committee of the Parliament,” Prasad said.

The Union Minister has been firm on his resolution to protect the data of citizens. Prasad had also lauded the India’s ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps recently on grounds of security and termed it as a ‘Digital Strike’ on neighbouring China.


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The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Parliament in December last year. The Bill seeks to provide for the protection of personal data of individuals, create a framework for processing such personal data, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the purpose. At present, the usage and transfer of personal data of citizens is regulated by the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2011, under the IT Act, 2000.

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The Personal Data Protection Bill aims at regulating personal data related to individuals, and the processing, collection and storage of data.


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The programme was organised by an organisation called Aatma Bodh. Late Thakur Prasad, a veteran Jan Sangh leader who served as a minister in Bihar in 1977, is the father of the minister. “Data is a nation’s asset. This great asset of data has to be properly used, processed and value added for healthcare, agriculture and education. Therefore, not only data ownership but also data sovereignty becomes important,” the Union minister said.

“If data is a good asset it must be secured and vested into the sovereign power of a country. Therefore, we have brought data protection law which is being examined by the select committee of the Parliament,” Prasad said. He said that Digital India today has become a transformative programme whereby common Indians are getting empowered through technology. The “great JAM trinity- Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile – has led to transformation in governance,” he said.

The central government has transferred close to Rs 11 lakh crore directly into the bank accounts of the poor under direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme and saved Rs 1.70 lakh crore which used to be pocketed by fake beneficiaries and middle men, Prasad said.

Platforms like e-scholarship, e-hospitals, soil health card, GSTN, UPI, Ayushman Bharat are all game changing programmes which have improved governance and delivery, Prasad added.


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