The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all varsities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to facilitate and encourage the academic fraternity to work on cyber security and include the topic in the curriculum.
The commission has noted that the government is in the process of formulating a National Cyber Security Strategy document and till then cyber security awareness should begin at the school level itself.
UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said in a letter to vice chancellors, “Cyberspace is a complex environment consisting of interactions between people, software and services, supported by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices and networks. It is vulnerable to a wide variety of incidents, whether intentional or accidental, manmade or natural. Therefore, cyber security awareness has become a prime concern in today’s networked world.”
“The government is in process of formulating National Cyber Security Strategy document. In the meantime, it has been decided that cyber security awareness should start at school level where syllabus can start with cyber safety measures and progressively include offensive and defensive aspects at IIT and higher education level,” he added.
Directing, the HEIs to take appropriate action on the implementation of the cyber security awareness, the Commission said, “HEls may further encourage, promote and facilitate the academic fraternity to work on cyber security start-ups and conduct of hackathons”.
According to the United Nations, millions of children around the world are at an increased risk of online sexual exploitation, violence and cyber bullying as they spend more time on virtual platforms due to the closing of schools amid COVID-19 lockdown.