In a bid to create cybersecurity awareness, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued instructions to all the universities and other higher education institutions to include digital safety programs in the syllabus.
NDTV reported that the directions have been given to aid the formulation of a National Cyber Security Strategy document and hence, the commission has aimed to start the process with ground-level changes.
It has, in a letter to the vice-chancellors and heads of the institutions across the country, stated the growing importance of understanding the digital space in today's world and also to comprehend the challenges and threats attached to it.
Stressing on its significance, Professor Rajnish Jain, Secretary, UGC, said that since cyberspace is a complex environment consisting of interactions between people, software and services supported by technology devices and network, it is vulnerable to several types of interventions.
"HEls (Higher Educational Institutions) may further encourage, promote and facilitate the academic fraternity to work on cyber-security start-ups and conduct of hackathons. This may also be brought to the notice of colleges affiliated to your university," he said.
The central government is reportedly in the process of formulating a national cybersecurity strategy document. Meanwhile, it has been decided that cybersecurity awareness should start at the school level where the syllabus should include cyber safety measures and progressively also comprise of offensive and defensive aspects, at university and IIT level, Jain mentioned in his direction.
According to an Inc42 report, government data has revealed that in 2019 alone, India witnessed 3.94 lakh instances of cybersecurity breaches pertaining to central ministries, departments, and state governments.