Ravi Shankar Prasad highlights digital ecosystem kept the world going during Covid

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November 26, 2020 1:30 AM

The global pandemic has created havoc with the lives, health and safety of people but it has also given us a lot of opportunity.

He said that high courts and district courts disposed of 25 lakh cases, mostly traffic violations, during the last few months since the country went into a nationwide lockdown in March.

Highlighting that it is the digital ecosystem which has kept the world together during the current pandemic, law and justice and communications, and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday that the legal education needs to be in sync with changes brought by technologies like AI (artificial intelligence), growth of Internet economy, spread of cyber crimes, etc.

“Be it the Internet, IT-enabled platforms or mobile phones to make digital connectivity simpler and effective, we continued to function in India through these digital systems. The global pandemic has created havoc with the lives, health and safety of people but it has also given us a lot of opportunity. It has created many challenges which require legal solutions,” Prasad said while addressing a conclave through video conferencing at the OP Jindal Global university.

He said that high courts and district courts disposed of 25 lakh cases, mostly traffic violations, during the last few months since the country went into a nationwide lockdown in March.

Speaking about usefulness of digital technologies, he noted, “High courts and district courts conducted about 25 lakh digital hearings during these few months of the pandemic. The Supreme Court had around 10,000 hearings digitally. Electronic filing, digital payment of court fees have become the norm today. Virtual court has also become a reality. It has been rolled out in more than 7 cities and 25 lakh cases have been disposed of mostly in traffic violations and `115 crore has been recovered as fines.”

Discussing India’s growing clout as a data consuming nation, Prasad said data is going to drive the economy. The minister added that the Personal Data Protection Bill will address concerns over a user’s privacy.

“You may have seen that in India we produce billions and billions (GB) of data. Our population, Indian’s quest for digital platforms, digital instruments, etc, these are generating data. Our data protection law is a work in progress. We are going to make a very robust data protection law where there is a fine blend between the privacy of an individual as regard the control over his data is concerned nothing can be transferred without his consent, which is voluntary. And thereafter with his consent, his data can be used,” he said.

The minister also pointed out the challenges a growing digital economy, like India faces. “Apart from the challenge of privacy, data economy will pose other challenges too. Those challenges are data on country A going to country B where country C is processing it. I have no problem with that. But the processor who is using the data of country A to be processed in country B, then who gets the share in the profit. How do we decide it? Then there are issues of taxation also,” he explained.

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