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In April 2023, there was a significant increase of over 19.3% compared to April 2022 in the number of authentication transactions carried out by Aadhaar holders. This indicates the growing digital economy and the widespread usage of Aadhaar in India, a press release has said.

The majority of these authentication transactions were conducted using fingerprints, followed by demographic and OTP-based authentications. Face authentication is also gaining popularity across various sectors as a convenient means of service delivery.

Despite Aadhaar saturation being almost universal among the adult population, the saturation level among all age groups has now reached 94.8%. This highlights the extensive reach and widespread adoption of Aadhaar among residents and the government. In April, over 15.44 million Aadhaars were updated based on residents’ requests.

The Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) is playing a crucial role in promoting financial inclusion for individuals at the lower end of the income pyramid. In April 2023, AePS, along with a network of micro-ATMs, facilitated more than 200.6 million last-mile banking transactions.

Aadhaar e-KYC service continues to play a key role in the banking and non-banking financial services sectors by providing transparent and improved customer experience and helping in ease of doing business. More than 250.5 million eKYC transactions were carried out in April alone.

By the end of April this year, the cumulative number of Aadhaar e-KYC transactions exceeded 14.95 billion. Continued adoption of e-KYC is significantly reducing customer acquisition costs of entities like financial institutions and telecom service providers, among others.

According to the press release, Aadhaar serves as the cornerstone of India’s digital public infrastructure and a tool for effective governance. It plays a vital role in supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of enhancing the Ease of Living for residents through various initiatives such as e-KYC for identity verification, AePS for last-mile banking services, authentications, and Aadhaar-enabled Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for seamless fund transfers.

These Aadhaar-based systems and services contribute to the overall objective of improving the Ease of Living by simplifying processes, ensuring transparency, and enabling efficient service delivery. By leveraging Aadhaar, the government aims to create a robust digital ecosystem that enhances convenience, accessibility, and effectiveness in governance, ultimately benefiting the residents of India.

More than 1,100 government schemes, programmes, and initiatives in the country run by both centre and states have been notified to use Aadhaar. The digital ID is helping various ministries and departments in the centre and at states improve efficiency, transparency, and the delivery of welfare services. During the past decade, Aadhaar has emerged as the main evidence of identity for Indian residents. It is used to avail government schemes and services. Residents who had got their Aadhaar issued 10 years ago and have never updated it since then are encouraged to get their documents updated.

India has a plethora of public service portals and platforms to better engage people and offer improved citizen experiences. Bhavishya 9.0, a portal for pensioners, was developed by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) in collaboration with the State Bank of India (SBI). It incorporates various stand-alone portals from the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, providing multiple services on a single window, and enhancing the ease of living for central government pensioners.

Digital transformation plays a crucial role in enhancing companies’ overall profitability. The research conducted by a prominent financial services group in Asia indicates that Vietnam is among the top 10 markets in the region, second only to Singapore. The research was based on a survey of 22 markets, highlighting its significant progress in embracing digital transformation.

Among the top 10 markets analysed, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK, the US, and Vietnam, companies in Vietnam have shown significant change. With 68% of companies in Vietnam adopting a strategic, consistent, or radical approach to digitalising customer experience and engagement, they have surpassed the global average of 64%.

According to the research, a significant majority of Vietnamese companies (63%) expressed satisfaction with the impact of digital transformation on their overall profitability. Additionally, 61% reported that it had led to improved customer insight, while 57% believed it enhanced their overall competitiveness in the market. Moreover, more than half of the companies (56%) stated that they have been effectively using digital technology in customer service and engagement.

The research reveals that 35% of Vietnamese companies fall into the category of “developing leaders” when it comes to digitalising their customer engagement. This indicates that these companies have significant potential for achieving high levels of transformation performance in the future.

Approximately 12% of Vietnamese companies were identified as “transformation leaders,” consistently surpassing the global average in terms of digitalising their customer engagement. On the other hand, only 9% of companies are facing various challenges that hinder their progress in digital transformation.

The survey also highlighted the barriers that impede faster progress in digital transformation for Vietnamese companies. The two primary challenges identified were talent gaps (42%), and concerns about data privacy (35%). To address these challenges, experts propose that businesses should collaborate with institutes of higher education to expand relevant programmes that prepare individuals for a more digital-oriented future. Simultaneously, the government’s efforts to enhance the quality and accessibility of higher education can contribute to overcoming these obstacles.

In 2020, Vietnam kicked off a national digital transformation programme, under which the country would renovate the management and administration activities of the government, the production and business activities of enterprises, and the overall way of living and working. It is working to develop a safe, humane, and wide digital environment. The national digital transformation programme has the dual purpose of both developing the digital government and economy and establishing Vietnamese digital businesses with a global capacity.

Recently, a decision approving the strategy for digital transformation in journalism until 2025, with a vision towards 2030, was signed by the Deputy Prime Minister. As OpenGov Asia reported, the objective is for all press agencies to release their content on digital platforms, with emphasis placed on domestic digital platforms. By 2030, 90% of agencies should have used concentrated data analytic and processing platforms and applied artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise operations. 100% will have operated in the converged newsroom model and others matching scientific and technological development in the world and produced content in line with digital media trends. The strategy entails that press agencies should aim to maximise their revenue streams, with the goal of having 50% of them increase their revenue by a minimum of 20%.

A research study titled “A deep hybrid GNN based on edge-conditioned and graph isomorphism network convolutions for PC-3 anticancer screening” describes a novel screening method using a modified deep hybrid Graph Neural Network (GNN) architecture for predicting anticancer response in prostate tumours based on the 2-D molecular structures of molecular compounds.

The Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute’s (DOST-ASTI) AI Researcher Adrian S. Remigio, Science Research Specialist I of the Research Unit of ASTI-Advanced Labelling Machine (ASTI-ALaM) Project presented this at the 10th International Conference on Signal Processing and Integrated Networks (SPIN 2023) organised by the Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering at Amity University, Noida, India.

This research project focuses on ASTI-ALaM’s pioneering work in enhancing the predictive accuracy and capacity of AI models. When compared to simple GNN models, the modified deep hybrid architecture demonstrated acceptable and enhanced prediction accuracy, which can be used to aid in the search for anticancer treatments in clinical research.

The researcher used practise datasets to test the GNN models during the initial investigation on the implementation of GNNs in Python. The PC3 anticancer screening was one of the practice datasets he used. After reviewing some GNN literature, the researcher opted to test the redesigned architecture on a practice dataset and received encouraging results.

The researcher focused on exploring the application of Graph Neural Networks (GNN) and hybrid Convolutional Neural Networks-Graph Neural Networks (CNN-GNN) for computer vision and devising methods to prevent catastrophic amnesia in these network architectures.

Currently, the ASTI-ALaM Project research focuses on hybrid CNN-GNN models with deep hybrid architecture to develop a novel architecture for land-use mapping: the REsNEt-deep CNN-GNN model. This developed model outperformed the standard CNN model for land-use mapping applications in aerial images, as demonstrated.

The Research Unit of ASTI-ALaM is working to improve the predictive accuracy and capacity of AI models and seeks to publish articles and provide novel solutions that can be incorporated into the repository of AI models. The participation of the ASTI-ALaM Project in this conference represents a significant milestone in the project’s ongoing research efforts, further strengthening DOST-ASTI’s position as the country’s AI research powerhouse.

The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society is a co-sponsor of SPIN 2023, and papers presented at the conference are anticipated to be published in the IEEE Xplore journal, a digital repository for content produced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its publishing partners.

The purpose of this conference was to bring together researchers, academics, and businesspeople in the fields of integrated networks and signal processing to exchange cutting-edge concepts.

In addition, a Satellite Data Processing Training Session (SDPTS) was organised to further advance the participants’ knowledge and skills on earth observations datasets, resources, and techniques in remote sensing through a series of lectures, practical exercises, and assessments.

The ASTI-ALaM Project researchers also attended the training session and employ conventional remote sensing techniques for mapping and computer vision tasks.

Dr Franz de Leon, director of the DOST-ASTI, expressed his support for the Space Information, Know-How, and Applications Acceleration through Promotion and Training (SIKAP+) Project and cited the importance of conducting capacity-building activities such as training, seminars, and workshops on the peaceful applications of space science and technology in establishing collaborations and partnerships.

He added that it was an opportunity for the participants to network and build relationships with other industry professionals from various Asian regions.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has released an advisory regarding the security concerns associated with applications utilising AI language technology. According to CERT-In, which operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, AI language-based models are gaining significant recognition and generating discussions due to their beneficial impact. However, these models can also be exploited by malicious actors to target individuals and organisations.

AI language-based applications are being utilised to comprehend, analyse and categorise the context of cyber security. They are also employed in reviewing security events and logs to interpret malicious codes and malware samples. Other potential uses include vulnerability scanning, translating security code between different languages or converting code into natural languages, conducting security audits of codes, performing Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT), and integrating the applications with Security Operations Centers (SOC) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems for monitoring, reviewing, and generating alerts.

However, AI-based applications can also be used by threat actors to conduct various malicious activities. For example, users can use the tools to write malicious codes, exploit vulnerabilities, conduct scanning, and perform privilege escalation and lateral movement to create malware or ransomware specifically designed for a targeted system.

These tools can generate output in the form of text as written by a human. Users can ask for promotional emails, shopping notifications or software updates in their native language and get a well-crafted response in English. It can aid in the creation of fake websites and web pages to host and distribute malware to users through malicious links or attachments using the domain like AI-based applications.

Furthermore, users can develop fake applications impersonating AI-based applications. Cybercriminals could use AI language models to scrape information from the internet, such as articles, websites, news, and posts and potentially take personally identifiable information without explicit consent from the owners.

CERT-In has recommended several advisory measures to mitigate adversarial threats associated with AI applications. These measures include:

  • Educating developers and users about the risks and threats involved in interacting with AI language models.
  • Verifying domains and URLs that impersonate AI language-based applications to prevent falling victim to phishing or other malicious activities.
  • Implementing appropriate controls to safeguard the security and privacy of data used.
  • Ensuring that the generated text is not exploited for illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Employing content filtering and moderation techniques within organisations to prevent the dissemination of malicious links, inappropriate content, or harmful information.
  • Conducting regular security audits and assessments to identify and address vulnerabilities in the systems.
  • Monitoring user interactions with AI language-based applications for any suspicious or malicious activity.
  • Establishing an incident response plan and defining a set of activities to be followed in case of a security incident.

As AI becomes more widespread, governments around the world are increasingly interested in regulations to protect users. Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras established the Centre for Responsible Artificial Intelligence (CeRAI). As OpenGov Asia reported, it is a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to promoting ethical and accountable advancements in AI-powered solutions for practical applications.

CeRAI will offer sector-specific recommendations and guidelines to policymakers. Drawing from its research outputs, the centre will also contribute to the formulation of tailored recommendations and guidelines that address the unique requirements of various sectors. Additionally, CeRAI will provide stakeholders with essential toolkits to support ethical and responsible management and monitoring of AI systems during their development and deployment stages. These resources will assist in promoting best practices and ensuring that AI technologies are used in a responsible and accountable manner.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has established the Centre for Responsible Artificial Intelligence (CeRAI), a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to promoting ethical and accountable advancements in AI-powered solutions for practical applications.

CeRAI aims to establish itself as a leading research facility at both the national and international levels, focusing on fundamental and applied research in Responsible AI and its direct influence on implementing AI systems within the Indian ecosystem. The Centre for Responsible AI was formally inaugurated last month by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology. It conducted its first workshop last week.

At the workshop, an industry expert noted that AI is playing a major role in human life. Whether people know it or not, every day they use AI-based technologies in some part of their life. It is crucial for policymakers and innovators at the forefront of technology development to understand the persisting risks and challenges associated with using these technologies to address societal issues, improve healthcare accessibility and affordability, promote inclusive education, and enhance agricultural productivity. To meet these needs, there is a necessity for an AI framework that is unbiased, non-discriminatory, and customisable to cater to India’s unique requirements.

CeRAI’s main focus will be on generating high-quality research outputs, such as publishing research articles in high-impact journals/conferences, white papers, and patents, among others. It will work towards creating technical resources such as curated datasets (universal as well as India-specific), software and toolkits pertaining to the field of Responsible AI.

CeRAI will play a crucial role in offering sector-specific recommendations and guidelines to policymakers. Drawing from its research outputs, the centre will contribute to the formulation of tailored recommendations and guidelines that address the unique requirements of various sectors. Additionally, CeRAI will provide stakeholders with essential toolkits to support ethical and responsible management and monitoring of AI systems during their development and deployment stages. These resources will assist in promoting best practices and ensuring that AI technologies are used in a responsible and accountable manner.

In addition, the centre intends to establish opportunities for conducting specialised sensitisation and training programmes. These initiatives will enable stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of the ethical and responsible aspects of AI, empowering them to contribute effectively towards problem-solving in their respective domains. The centre plans to organise a series of technical events, including workshops and conferences, centred around deployable AI systems with a strong emphasis on ethics and responsible practices.

An expert explained that at present, there is a critical need to attribute responsibility to AI tools and understand the rationale behind their outputs. Key considerations include addressing human augmentation, mitigating bias in datasets, addressing the risk of data leakage, and implementing new policies alongside extensive research efforts. Establishing trust in AI is increasingly important, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding privacy. It is worth noting that as long as domain interpretation remains intact, AI is unlikely to replace jobs. It is important for the AI model and its predictions to be explainable and interpretable when they are to be deployed in various critical sectors/domains such as healthcare, manufacturing, and banking/finance, among other areas.

The Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav has launched a mobile application, called “Meri LiFE” (My life). The move aimed to catalyse youth action for climate change as a build-up to World Environment Day on 5 June. The app is inspired by the concept of LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), envisioned by the Prime Minister at the Climate Change Conference (COP26), which emphasises mindful and deliberate utilisation instead of mindless and wasteful consumption.

During the event, Yadav expressed his belief that the “Meri LiFE” app would highlight the significant role of citizens, particularly the youth, in preserving the environment. He emphasised that this application would demonstrate how small actions taken in daily life can lead to significant climate impact. The Minister expressed optimism that the combined efforts of the portal and app would foster a nationwide movement for LiFE.

The Ministry has developed two dedicated portals for LiFE to create a structured reporting format that can track the progress being made on LiFE. The Mission LiFE Portal is open access and can be used to download over 100 creatives, videos, and knowledge materials that have been developed by the ministry for LiFE. The Meri LiFE Portal has been developed for ministries and institutions to upload event reports and capture the progress of the mass mobilisation drive.

Soon more than 100,000 LiFE-related events have taken place across India mobilising over 1.7 million individuals to take pro-planet actions. These include cleanliness drives, bicycle rallies, plantation drives, LiFE marathons, plastic collection drives, composting workshops, and taking a LiFE pledge. Many schools and colleges are also undertaking cultural competitions such as street plays, essays, paintings, and youth parliaments.

The Meri LiFE app serves as a valuable tool to monitor the progress of Mission LiFE. Once users sign up, they will be guided to engage in a range of LiFE-related tasks under five themes: Save Energy, Save Water, Reduce Single-Use Plastic, Adopt Sustainable Food Systems, and Adopt Healthy Lifestyles. Through a gamified approach, the app encourages individuals to take part in the “5 for 5 challenge,” which entails undertaking five LiFE actions leading up to 5 June. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Solutions to Plastic Pollution, a topic which aligns with one of the 7 themes of Mission LiFE: “Reducing the use of single-use plastic items”.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal ministry for national-level coordination and implementation of Mission LiFE. As part of their implementation efforts, the MoEFCC has mobilised central ministries, state governments, institutions, and private organisations to align their activities with LiFE and spread awareness about the sustainable actions that individuals can undertake. Activities such as street play competitions, painting competitions, and essay writing competitions are being carried out with a focus on sustainability, at district, state, and national levels.

To further catalyse pan-India advocacy and awareness about LiFE, the MoEFCC has initiated a month-long mass mobilisation drive, which will culminate on 5 June. To amplify all efforts to promote the message of LiFE and make the drive a success, MoEFCC has included all 99 ministries and 36 states/union territories, along with their divisions, subordinate organisations, and field offices, to undertake LiFE-related activities.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has recently launched the Department of Medical Sciences and Technology, where they will be offering a four-year Bachelor of Science programme in medical sciences and engineering. This initiative marks a significant milestone in India as it is the first of its kind in the country, a statement from the Institute said.

The course offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that equips students with the necessary skills to contribute to areas such as designing life-saving medical devices, drug discovery, artificial intelligence in medicine, and fundamental medical research. The department will train physicians to effectively apply technology in their clinical practice and lay the foundation for physician-scientist training in India.

The admission procedure will be through IISER Aptitude Test (IAT). Candidates should have cleared a Grade 12 (or equivalent) examination in a science stream in 2022 or 2023 from any board recognised by the Council of Boards of Department Education in India. The course structure involves an internship in a hospital to tie theory and practice. The courses in the programme will be taught by both medical and engineering faculty and will provide a strong research base for students.

It will also offer a dual PhD programme that encourages the development of devices and data analytics. Clinicians with innovative ideas who register for a doctorate will be paired with engineering PhD students who will focus on the engineering aspects through simulation and bench tests. Together, they will create a framework to turn the idea into a marketable product. The clinician will also conduct product trials to prepare it for the market.

Several renowned medical doctors in India and abroad provided valuable input and were closely involved in the development of the curriculum. These professionals will be ‘Professors of Practice’ in the department. Furthermore, the department has established collaborations and tie-ups with premier hospitals and medical institutions in the country.

At the launch event, an industry expert noted that collaborative research in medical sciences has the potential to propel India to a prominent position as a global leader in clinical outcomes. India’s existing research capabilities and demonstrated expertise in areas such as space, nuclear, digital, and biotechnology serve as a testament to its potential. Expanding this research capability to the field of medicine is the natural next step. He said that innovation can be found at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiomes, cognitive science, and other sciences.

The primary objective is to create an exceptional research facility in medical sciences and technology, dedicated to the development and training of “physician-scientists” and engineering physiologists who will emerge as future leaders in their respective fields. The department’s focus will encompass both fundamental and applied research programmes, serving as a bridge that connects diverse medical disciplines.

According to the statement, by providing the necessary resources and platform, IIT-Madras strives to empower researchers to develop emerging technologies that will improve the lives of patients for generations to come.

The Department of Medical Sciences and Technology will offer the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences & Engineering (4-Year Programme)
  • PhD Programme for Doctors
  • Master of Science by Research for Doctors
  • Master of Science in Medical Sciences and Engineering
  • PhD Programme for Science & Engineering Graduates

The Head of the Department said that with this interdisciplinary approach to improve healthcare outcomes by leveraging engineering and medical knowledge, new technologies can be developed that monitor vital parameters of various organs, detect signs of disease, and help to provide targeted prevention and treatment options.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) have partnered with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to create cutting-edge sensor technology for underwater communications. This breakthrough innovation will benefit defence applications, particularly in the Navy, a statement by IIT-Madras noted.

Known as piezoelectric microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology, it is crucial in the development of high-performance thin films. It converts piezo-thin film into state-of-the-art futuristic naval sensors and devices for underwater applications. These piezo thin films play a critical role in acoustics and vibration-sensing applications, making them essential for the functionality of piezo MEMS devices.

The piezo MEMS process recipe has been successfully developed jointly with the DRDO team for the complete fabrication of an acoustic sensor, without degrading the functionality of the piezo thin film. The fabricated PZT thin film-based acoustic sensor exhibits higher performance than the conventional PVDF-based acoustic sensor. The enhanced capabilities of these devices can contribute to improved sensing and communication capabilities in various defense-related underwater scenarios.

The development of this technology has reached an advanced stage in terms of its Technology Readiness Level (TRL). TRL is a metric used to evaluate the maturity and readiness of a specific technology. In this case, the technology has achieved a high TRL, indicating that it has undergone significant testing and validation.

Indigenously developing this technology enables the country to manufacture the devices at a lower cost compared to internationally available foundries, where the cost of fabrication is high and the number of foundries is limited.

The research initiative was spearheaded by the DRDO Industry Academia – Ramanujan Centre of Excellence (DIA-RCoE) at IIT-Madras. The project involved collaboration with two DRDO laboratories, namely the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) in Kochi and the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) in Visakhapatnam. These DRDO laboratories played a crucial role in contributing their expertise and resources to the project.

An official said that the current state of this technology is advanced enough to be transformed into a system with the support of the Indian industry. Its potential as a disruptive technology in the underwater communication domain is significant. This achievement marks a major milestone for ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India) in terms of underwater materials and micro device processing technology.

The establishment of fabrication facilities at both IIT-Madras and DRDO Industry Academia – Ramanujan Centre of Excellence is a significant achievement, the statement said. The indigenous development of Piezo MEMS technology connects the technology gaps leading to the development of piezo MEMS acoustic devices for underwater applications. Large dimension (100 mm dia) Piezoelectric thin films were fabricated using both RF sputtering and Sol-Gel techniques, ensuring good uniformity and superior piezoelectric properties.

According to a scientist from DRDO, a crucial challenge in the Piezo MEMS process technology is ensuring high reliability and durability in harsh, high-pressure underwater environments and the corrosive nature of seawater.

Across the globe, numerous research groups and defense laboratories in countries such as the U.S., Europe, Korea, Japan, and China are actively engaged in the development of piezo MEMS technologies. Internationally, several piezo MEMS foundries are manufacturing a wide range of piezo MEMS devices for both defence and civilian applications. The current market for piezo thin film-based piezoelectric devices is valued at approximately US$ 5 billion, and it is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% over the next 3 to 4 years.

The National e-Governance Division (NeGD) recently commenced the 36th CISO Deep-Dive training programme as part of its capacity-building scheme. The training is held at the Indian Institute of Public Administration in New Delhi. It welcomed 24 participants from Central Line Ministries as well as states and union territories (UTs). The aim of the training was to provide in-depth knowledge and skills to Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in the field of e-governance and cybersecurity.

The training programme aims to educate and enable CISOs to understand cyber-attacks thoroughly and get exposure to the latest technologies to safeguard their organisations and translate the benefits of a resilient e-infrastructure to individual organisations and citizens at large. The programme also provides a holistic view of legal provisions, enabling CISOs to formulate policies in the domain of cybersecurity and build concrete cyber crisis management plans.

The five-day intensive training programme is specifically tailored for designated Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) from central and state/UT governments. It also includes participants from subordinate agencies, public sector undertakings (PSUs), such as banks and insurance companies, as well as technical wings of police and security forces. Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and members of technical/project management unit (PMU) teams are also invited.  Additionally, officers responsible for ensuring the security of IT systems in their respective organisations are also encouraged to participate in the training.

The programme was inaugurated by the Deputy Director General of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), R. S. Mani, and senior government officers. The event aims to bring together a diverse range of subject matter experts from industry, academia, and government. These experts will deliver sessions on various crucial aspects of cybersecurity, including governance risk and compliance, cyber security products in India, endpoint & digital workplace security, network security, application and data security, CCMP & incident response, mobile security, cryptography, cyber security testing and audit, the cyber security provisions of the IT Act, ISMS Standards (including ISO 27001), security logging, and the operation & monitoring of security operation centres.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) with the objective of raising awareness about cybercrime and enhancing the capabilities of CISOs and frontline IT officials across various government departments. The initiative aims to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place to combat the increasing threat of cyber-attacks. It emphasises the importance of organisations defending their digital infrastructures and being prepared for future challenges in the realm of cybersecurity.

The CISO training programme is a unique collaboration between the government and an industry consortium under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It has been highly successful in providing specialised training to CISOs and frontline IT officials. Since its inception in June 2018 until May 2023, the NeGD has successfully organised 36 batches of the CISO Deep-Dive training programme, benefiting more than 1,419 CISOs and frontline IT officials.

The government has been hosting events and launching programmes to boost cybersecurity awareness. Earlier this year, MeitY inaugurated the G20 Cyber Security Exercise and Drill for over 400 domestic and international participants as part of India’s G20 presidency. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) held the Cyber Security Exercise and Drill in a hybrid format. International participants from over 12 countries participated online. Domestic participants from various sectors like finance, education, telecom, ports and shipping, energy, IT/ITeS, and others attended both in person and virtually. As OpenGov Asia reported, the event held a strategic tabletop exercise (TTX) and an operational drill using a CERT-In exercise platform.

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has created a computational tool using machine learning (ML) to enhance the detection of cancerous tumours in the brain and spinal cord. Named ‘GBMDriver’ (GlioBlastoma Multiforme Drivers), this tool is now accessible to the public through an online platform.

Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive tumour that grows rapidly in the brain and spinal cord. Despite research efforts to comprehend this tumour, treatment options remain limited, and the prognosis is typically poor, with a survival rate of less than two years from the initial diagnosis.

Evaluating the functional consequences of protein variants associated with Glioblastoma is crucial for advancing therapeutic options for patients. However, conducting functional validations to identify driver mutations, which are the specific mutations responsible for causing the disease, from the multitude of observed variants would be laborious work.

According to a statement by IIT-Madras, the GBMDriver tool was specifically designed to identify driver mutations, which are responsible for the development of Glioblastoma, and passenger mutations, which are neutral mutations. During the development of the web server, multiple factors were considered, including amino acid properties, di- and tri-peptide motifs, conservation scores, and Position Specific Scoring Matrices (PSSM).

In this study, 9,386 driver mutations and 8,728 passenger mutations in glioblastoma were analysed. Driver mutations in glioblastoma were identified with an accuracy of 81.99%, in a blind set of 1,809 mutants, which is better than existing computational methods. This method is completely dependent on protein sequence, the statement explained.

  1. Michael Gromiha from the Department of Biotechnology at IIT-Madras provided insights into the key findings of the team’s research. He stated that they had successfully identified crucial amino acid features for the identification of cancer-causing mutations and achieved the highest level of accuracy in differentiating between driver and neutral mutations. The team’s aim is for the GBMDriver tool to aid in prioritising driver mutations in glioblastoma and support the identification of potential therapeutic targets. Ultimately, this tool can contribute to the development of effective drug design strategies for the treatment of glioblastoma.

The research findings hold several key applications, including:

  • The methodology and features employed in this research can be adapted and applied to other diseases beyond glioblastoma.
  • The method developed in this research can serve as a significant criterion for predicting disease prognosis. By accurately identifying driver mutations, it can aid in understanding the severity and progression of the disease, contributing to improved patient management and personalised treatment approaches.
  • The research provides a valuable resource to identify mutation-specific drug targets to design therapeutic strategies.

Last year, IIT-Madras researchers developed PIVOT, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool that can predict cancer-causing genes. As OpenGov Asia reported, PIVOT predicts cancer-causing genes using a model that utilises information on mutations, expression of genes, and copy number variation in genes and perturbations in the biological network that results from an altered gene expression. The tool applies machine learning to classify genes as tumour suppressor genes, oncogenes, or neutral genes. PIVOT successfully predicted both the existing oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes like TP53, and PIK3CA, among others, and new cancer-related genes such as PRKCA, SOX9, and PSMD4.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.