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Nurturing India to Safety, Security and Prosperity

Dr (Prof) Nishakant Ojha, is among India’s eminent experts who are internationally recognisedin the cyber-crime and anti-terrorism strategy, who is widely sought for his advise on different matters pertaining to policy-making on security and safety of India and counter-terrorism for the West Asia & Middle East. As Advisor Cyber/Chief Strategic Officer & Aerospace Security with BECIL,he was known for initiating and developing a strategic vertical for supporting the country. As of now moving from his earlier position Dr Ojha helped is taken by many Middle East & West Asian Countries in nailing down the Terrorism activities & building a protective layerof Security in Cyber /Aerospace Warfare. Countries like Iraq, UAE, Syria,Lebnon, Libya ,Central African& many countries from West do takes his expertise on the said subjects. Not to praise but Dr Ojha has helped many Middle East Countries in solving the case related to the Terror- Funding, Counterfeiting& Money Laundering , which those middle countries were not been able to solve from long time with Interpol.
The Indian diaspora is present in almost every part of the world, and there is continual exchange of academia, trade and business. How do you perceive them supporting the BIG dream of India as a Vishwa Guru?
A heartening scenario presented in a surveywhere it showed that millions of Indians residing in other nations made no difference to their patriotism for their motherland. They have always wanted to support India in whichever manner they could giving them a sense of contributing towards India and her people with whom they identify themselves irrespective of their location anywhere in the world. For example, if we take into account 3-4 areas such as defence, critical infrastructure, capacity building development programmes and by participating in achieving the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transform India into a global power as a Vishwa Guru. For this the entire onus should not be on our prime minister, but every Indian residing in the country and even those residing in other parts of the world, should be proactive, coming forward to extend all possible support to strengthen his vision to achieve what we have set out to be.
We must realise that the foreign visits of the Prime Minister and conferences and meetings held should be perceived as a beginning of going beyond discussions to build, grow, strengthen, strategize and reach a certain credible maturity level in the areas of collaborations with foreign countries with all stakeholders showing their solidarity to the said cause.
What could be the Indian diaspora’s role for their motherland?
I must say that India is running, but not galloping at the pace that it should have by now. But under the leadership of our Prime Minister,India will gather pace soon. The reasons for the delay pertain to some bottlenecks that we are caught in. For e.g., cyber security and aerospace security, are vulnerable to attacks. In fact, people are generally not aware that our Prime Minister is aware of the cyber threat and the recent visit of the defence secretary of the US, is part of the plan to work closely to support this segment. But it is unfair that the Prime Minister will provide the entire security to safeguard the country, which is impossible. Instead, we should support the efforts with the Prime Minister’s vision, who can at the most provides resources, and a platform, besides revamping regulatory or policy mandates, but at the end of it all, on ground it has to be manned by people.
Could you illustrate, how some initiatives of the Prime Minister have been game-changers for propelling the country forwards?
Start-up India and Make in India, these were two masterstrokes of the Prime Minister to reduce last mile dependency on foreign nations in the areas of cybercrime security and even creating a robust ecosystem for the information communication technology. For this a great thrust is given to start-ups which are based on a commercial model, mostly involved in assembling partsrather than doing constructive and innovative ventures,that have to be created and manufactured in India. They seek financial assistance and the government has open-heartedly supported them, but the worth that they are bringing to the table should also be taken into account. Their products should be fit to be globally competitive because you are aiming to be at par with countries such as the US, in another decade and a half.
What is the larger picture on the effective way to go-forward for India to be globally competitive?
One of the remedial measure that can be taken to clear impediments to progress that we often encounter, is the setting up of a proper audit mechanism. This is something that I would humbly urge the Prime Minister to consider, necessary for monitoring whether the kind of funds that have been pumped for the security of the nation gets outputs worth the money spent,and how the funds are being utilised. A Need of Robust Quality Check Mechanism.There should be fair accountability, especially in the domains of security and safety of the nation, which has to be above board and in safe hands,rather than draining the resources of the country by unscrupulous people for personal gains. This is where true patriotism comes into play. What are you giving to the nation?
According to you, what kind of system must be put in place serving as a more streamlined, manageable and authentic information sharing platform?
If you are aiming to be a super power, you need to ensure the safety of the boundaries of your country by monitoring and checking the kind of information flowing into your territory. Gone are the days of conventional war, now it’s the era of hybrid war, I would rather say it’s more of an information warfare, which can bemanoeuvred from afar. The bane of the country’s counter cyber mechanisms is that there are many agencies working in isolation, but they are not moving in the right direction as they should which is becoming counter-productive and a liability as well.
One of the most important thing that I have observed is that integration of agencies is a trouble spot where every stakeholder treats its information as it’s own .
The global geopolitical situation is very volatile, so how can NRI’s play a positive and constructive role in context to India, her safety and integrity?
The global geo-politics is changing every day by the seconds. Today, there are two dominant global alliances/axis that are impacting the geo-political scene. One, is the west and the others are the countries of the middle-east. I laud the grit of NRIs, who are based in such countries and infact it’s the beauty of Indians that they have presence everywhere from Surinam, to Caribbean, to Serbia and are placed in good positions, while contributing a lot to their motherland.
Which are the verticals that have to be given attention in terms of national security, where can the expertise of ur NRI’s can be put to good use?
National security is divided into two, the internal and external. Our NRI’s can play an instrumental role inreversing anti-India propaganda, in controlling the fake news which is emanating from their part of the global region which is aimed at destroying the image of our leadership and our country. Such attempts can be stifled at the root itself by the NRIs because they can immediately recognise it, while we get to know of it only when it’s done.
As far as Defence capabilities are concerned, India is a global hotspot with countries like even the US, France, looking up at us with high expectation. Today, India is a potential market having the resources, the minds and strategies from where the solution to issues will come from. We must be aware that we must not be treated like an open market where we are the buyer and other countries the sellers. Instead, they should look at India as equal partners in collaborations.
What is the future that your see in terms of national security and cyber security?
National security has to be further strengthened and people of high integrity have to be handpicked and deployed in leadership positions. My golden suggestion to the top brass in various ministries is try to bring in those people who have worked at the grassroots in operations. So our agencies need to be revamped and restructured to be more effective.
Sadly, different security agencies are working in isolation, who are not clear about their mandates. They do not share their information with another agency, as a result it’s parked and eventually die a natural death. If the information can be saved from being killed, it can be cultivated and much more information can emerge from it giving birth for more information, which can be utilised accordingly.
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