Thursday, November 26, 2015

The First Constitution Day Of India On 26th November 2015

Constitution is an important document for any nation. It is the grundnorm around which all other legal, administrative and judicial aspects revolve. Constitution also lays down the boundaries and parameters for the rights and obligations of various stakeholders governed by the same. This makes the Constitution the supreme authority that has to be looked at and acted upon in all circumstances.

India decided to celebrate the Constitution Day on 26th November each year. The first Constitution Day was celebrated by India on 26th November 2015. It corresponds with the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949. The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.

The main objective of celebration of Constitution Day is to spread awareness about Constitution of India. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) is on the forefront of spreading awareness about Constitution of India and legal issues for many years. We have launched many dedicated blogs for different aspects of Indian and foreign laws covering the Constitutional issues pertaining to Indian and Foreign Constitutions.

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) recently celebrated the first Constitution Day of India on 26th November 2015. We believe that the best way to celebrate the first Constitution Day of India was to launch a dedicated online portal for establishing the first ever Virtual Law Campus (VLC) of India.

Dedicated websites in this regard would be made operational very soon and few of these websites can be accessed here1, here2 and here3. Two dedicated blogs have also be launched in this regard and the same can be accessed at blog1 and blog2. This is in addition to the already existing initiative titled Virtual Legal Education Campus (VLEC) of India.

Our aim is to help Indian Government in establishing the first ever Techno Legal Framework for India that incorporates the Constitutional Principles and Philosophy. Modern day legal issues are very complicated in nature. Information and communication technology (ICT) has added many complexities before the legal systems of various jurisdictions. Areas like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, e-discovery, e-courts, online dispute resolution (ODR), etc are alien concepts for Constitutions around the world. Nevertheless, there impact upon Constitutional protections and obligations is inevitable.

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) along with its premier Techno Legal Segment known as Perry4Law's Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have been spreading Techno Legal awareness in India and foreign jurisdictions. PTLB Virtual Campus is a unique online Techno Legal Skills Development and training initiative of PTLB. It is working in additional to the Virtual Law Campus (VLC) launched by P4LO. Collectively, the techno legal issues of Indian Constitution would be discussed and taught by us.

We also intend to make the Digital India and E-Governance projects of India Government successful. Presently, the Digital India project is suffering from many shortcomings and they must be removed immediately for the successful implementation of the same. It is logical to add Digital India objectives to Indian Constitution to make it modern and contemporary and Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and PTLB have been working in this direction. We hope various stakeholders would find our initiatives and efforts useful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Twitter Continues Censoring Digital India Related Dissenting Tweets

Twitter has been censoring dissenting Digital India related tweets for long. The same continues till the writing of this article i.e. 25-11-2015. Just like Twitter is screening out the dissenting tweets from its popular timeline, we are also updating our readers about this issue. We would continue to update about this issue from time to time and at different platforms.

Twitter is a platform where you can exercise your rights to speech and expression in the best possible manner. This is so because you need not to write along write up or article to press your viewpoint. All you need is a small opinion or statement that can be liked or ignored by the twitter community. This is a democratic process where viewpoints are considered by the community to update themselves about the positive and negative aspects of an issue.

Twitter has little role to play in this democratic process but this is not true in all cases. Twitter has also no business to curb civil liberties in cyberspace but even that is happening. For instance, Twitter has been censoring and removing dissenting and critical tweet about the Digital India project of Indian government. This is happening almost in real time and tweets posted few hours back are removed by Twitter as a regular practice.

So what is this all fuss about Digital India? Digital India is a project of Indian government to use information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering of public services. So what is wrong with this approach? Nothing if the matter is as simple as portrayed but there is much more than what meets the eyes.

If Digital India is a public service project nothing can be more wonderful than that. However, there are many shortcomings of the Digital India project that Indian government is not disclosing to the citizens. That worst dark secret about Digital India project is that Digital India is biggest Panopticon of human race the moment it is clubbed with e-surveillance tool named Aadhaar. Though the central government has confirmed that Aadhaar is not compulsory for public services yet Aadhaar has been made compulsory for all public services in India throughout the country. This has made the Digital India project the digital panopticon of India of gravest nature.

This digital panopticon of India is flourishing while we are witnessing an era of submissive Parliament and Judiciary in India. As a result unconstitutional and illegal biometrics collection is happening in India without any sort of control and reasonableness. Digital India has become the Digital Panopticon of India because our Parliament and Judiciary has not done what the Constitution Fathers have mandated them to do.

Digital India project must be kept absolutely separate from Aadhaar or similar projects to safeguard civil liberties of Indian citizens. Otherwise, Digital India project would not be anything more than the worst digital panopticon of human race.

Shortcomings Of Digital India Project Of India

Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner and CEO of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and PTLB, has been analysing the techno legal aspects of technology for long. Cyber Law, Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics, E-Governance and Digital India are some of the areas that have been critically analysed by him for long.

There are many shortcomings of the Digital India project of Indian Government that must be removed for the successful implementation of Digital India project. For instance, cyber security issues have been completely ignored by Indian government so far and this equally applies to Digital India project as well.

According to Praveen Dalal, the Digital India project is good but it must be supplemented with robust Cyber Security in advance. He also maintains that the biggest problem of Digital India project is that it lacks a clear cut policy and implementation plan.

The success or failure of any project depends upon it due research and analysis. Without a proper homework and due diligence, a project may face many shortcomings, lacuna and limitations. One such project is known as Digital India. As on date, the Digital India project of India government is heading towards rough waters and problems. This is because Digital India project is suffering from many shortcomings and limitations that Indian government has failed to remove.

For instance, the cyber security infrastructure of India is not in a good shape. Take the example of smart grids cyber security in India. India is contemplating using of smart meters but the same has become a headache for the power companies. Even a Grid Security Expert System (GSES) of India was suggested by Indian government in the past but the same has not been implemented till now.

The Digital India Project of India Government is the classic example of use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivery of public services. Like any great project, Digital India is also suffering from some “Shortcomings”. The chief among them are lack of Cyber Security, ineffective Civil Liberties Protection, absence of Data Protection (PDF) and Privacy Protection, unregulated E-Surveillance in India, absence of Intelligence Agencies Reforms in India, etc.

Unfortunately, the initial objective of public delivery of services through use of ICT seems to be fading away day by day. Instead of public services the focus has now been shifted towards e-surveillance and data mining. To make this work, Indian Government has been using e-surveillance projects like Aadhaar, Central Monitoring System, Network and Traffic Analysis System (NETRA), National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC), etc. None of them is supported by any “Legal Framework” and “Parliamentary Oversight”.

In fact, Vodafone has confirmed that India has been using “Secret Wires” in the Telecom Infrastructure to indulge in e-surveillance. Indian Department of Telecommunications suppressed the whole incidence with a mere assurance of “Investigation” that never took place. As per my personal information, no “Public Report” was made available in this regard by Indian Government so far.

In a latest twist, the Indian Government clubbed its latest Project named Digital Locker with Aadhaar. Essentially it means that Digital Locker is a legal project based upon illegal technology named Aadhaar. I have serious doubts that Digital Locker would serve its or Digital India’s purpose in these circumstances. The matter does not end here. Indian Government has claimed before the Supreme Court that Aadhaar is not mandatory for availing public services. However, this stand of Indian Government is not correct as Aadhaar has already been made compulsory for many public services and many more are added on regular basis.

Surprisingly, Supreme Court has not invoked either the Contempt or the Perjury proceedings against Central Government and States for making false claims and giving incorrect statements. Is not it the duty of Supreme Court to protect the Fundamental and Human Rights of Indian Citizens and residents? It is difficult to believe that Supreme Court is not aware of the ground situation that is actually happening in India. How can the Supreme Court simply rely upon false and misleading statements and allow the Central Government and States to operate in a manner that is clearly prejudicial to the Constitutional Protections and Principles?

It would be really unfortunate if Digital India Project is made the biggest Panopticon of Human History and an endemic E-Surveillance Instrumentality for the Indian Government where every bit of “Digital Information” can be accessed and manipulated by Indian Government. If this is the intention of Indian Government then Digital India Project is heading for rough waters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Virtual Law Campus (VLC) Of India

Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) is proud to celebrate the First Constitution Day of India on 26th November 2015. After much deliberations and brain stroming, we decided to officially launch the first Virtual Law Campus (VLC) of India on that day. This VLC would, among other subjects, also provide information, education, public awareness, training and skills development regarding the Constitution of India. We are already engaged in spreading public awareness about legal career and related issues at school and college levels.

As it may take some time before the VLC is fully made operational in India and at global scale, we have opened few blogs and Twitter accounts for spreading public awareness about national and international legal issues. The blogs on Virtual Law Campus (VLC) can be found here and here. Further, information regarding MOU and tie ups, empanelment procedure, skills development areas, etc can also be found on the blogs.

Virtual Law Campus (VLC) would be supplemented by our existing projects and initiatives like Virtual Legal Education Campus (VLEC) of India. A dedicated platform for Virtual Legal Education Campus (VLEC) has also been launched by us that would be operational very soon.

Education can be significantly improved by using information and communication technology (ICT). We can make online contents, mobile applications, e-learning platforms and so on to improve Indian education system. At the advanced stage, we can establish sufficient numbers of virtual campuses so that education can be provided even at the remotest corners of Indian territories.

Legal education in India needs a complete rejuvenation. There is no second opinion that legal education can be greatly benefited by involving active use of ICT. India has embraced e-governance for long and it is high time to actually implement what Indian government has been planning for many years.

Online legal education in India is still at the infancy stage. In fact, the concept of online education has not been accepted with full heart in India so far. Another area of concern is the academic nature of our educational system where there is no real choice between skills and degree. A blind race to acquire a degree would not bring any tangible benefits except unemployment and frustration. This is the reason why India must stress upon skill based education and trainings.

Skills based education and training can be effectively imparted if we adopt online education or e-learning methodology. This is more so in the legal education field that has mostly remained untouched by the use of information technology for educational purposes.

Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) has been working in the direction of establishment and working of online legal education in India for long. Not only this, PTLB Virtual Campus is also providing many techno legal skills development, training and education courses in India and around the world through online education, distance learning and e-learning modes. We are also helping young school children in choosing the most appropriate courses for legal career. However, our courses have been designed for stakeholders ranging from school children to teaching faculties.

Taking these initiatives a step further, PTLB has launched two dedicated initiatives in these fields. These are launching of dedicated websites for
virtual legal education campus (VLEC) of India and virtual law campus (VLC) of India by PTLB. These websites would be fully functional very soon and virtual legal education would get a new shape and meaning in India. Further, we have also launched Twitter accounts named PTLB Virtual Campus and Virtual Law Campus that would help in better coordination and information sharing between PTLB and various stakeholders.

The aim of these two initiatives and other educational projects of PTLB is to impart online legal education ranging from traditional fields to the most contemporary topics. For instance, PTLB has been managing
online cyber law education in India for long. Cyber law is a contemporary legal area that requires techno legal expertise. There are very few cyber law education institutions in India and even lesser are cyber law experts in India. Thus, the demand for cyber law professionals is very great in India and other jurisdictions.

Similarly, areas like cyber security, cyber forensics, e-courts, online dispute resolution (ODR), e-discovery, etc also require qualitative educational institutions. The traditional universities or colleges are constrained by their own rules and courses but online education platforms are free to provide qualitative and customised techno legal courses.

PTLB is in the course of adding and introducing novel, qualitative and highly efficient training, skills development and education tools and technologies. We are also introducing some very unique and highly required techno legal and other courses that are not properly represented in present times. PTLB is also exploring tie ups and collaborations with universities, colleges and other online learning platforms in India and abroad.

Our initial idea is to use PTLB Virtual Campus for various techno legal courses, trainings and skills development programs like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc. Whereas we intend to use Virtual Law Campus for legal fields and law courses that are imparted in universities and colleges. However, both Virtual Legal Education Campus (VLES) and Virtual Law Campus (VLC) would primarily cater the requirements of legal courses, trainings and skills developments initiatives though we may add other techno legal courses as well. PTLB would share more details about PTLB Virtual Campus, VLEC and VLC very soon.