Pitching for “user-friendly” privacy laws, IT czar NR Narayana Murthy today said the issue of privacy had to be settled “once and for all”. “This is what the Ministry of Law has to do, and that is we have to work on user friendly privacy laws, because whether we like it or not, when you have big data, high performance or supercomputing supporting those day to day things, if they are not used by citizens of the country, it has no value,” he said. The co-founder of IT giant Infosys said that the issue of privacy therefore had to be settled “once and for all”. “(It should be) in a way that satisfies those that argue for privacy with others who realise that unless we use these databases and unless these databases become useful for benefiting citizens of this country, then it is not worth having them,” he added.Murthy was delivering the keynote speech at the National Supercomputing Conclave, organised by the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association here. Suggesting that the task was not simple, while pointing at Aadhar, he called for setting up group of experts with National Law Schools to look into privacy laws. “My request to Dr V K Saraswat (NITI Ayog Member) is to kindly set up a group with National Law Schools here, in Hyderabad, Kolkatta and many other places to work on this important issue,” Murthy said.
He said just as experts and scientists are deciding on what kind of supercomputer was to be built, what kind of software platform was to be adopted and what kind of application it would be used for, he believed these technical experts in law would have to work on privacy laws as well as on cyber security, creating a cyber security environment. The conclave was attended by Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, Dr Saraswat, Vijay P Bhatkar who is considered as the architect of India’s national initiative in supercomputing, among others.
Pointing at India’s journey in high performance super computing and parallel computing, Murthy said China has the fastest supercomputing today at 93 petaflops followed by the U.S. and other nations. He said “China, U.S., Japan and European nations have plans to enter Exascale computing (systems capable of at least one exaflops or a billion billion calculations per second) by 2021. “I’m happy that government has decided to invest about Rs 15,000 crore to joint this club by 2022.” What was really impressive about India’s growth is the decision to manufacture supercomputers in India of the scale in the coming years, Murthy added.
Listing out basic necessities that need to be followed if India has to truly deliver on the dream of being an Exascale computing nation by 2022, he said the project has to be made a national mission and brought under the top priority programme at the union cabinet level, directly under the Prime Minister. Also, the speed of decision making and removal of red tape created by civil servants and top level of the private sector for buying, installing and maintaining supercomputers, should be increased, he said. Further, full empowerment, including capital and expense budgeting of institutions that will lead to this initiative to move quickly on their decisions that will enhance the ubiquity of use of these supercomputers were needed, he said.