Centre not collaborating often with state: Kharge

Prime News, National (New Delhi), September 18:-Karnataka Information Technology (IT) Minister Priyank Kharge has alleged that the Centre is not collaborating with the state too often on policy matters and has not reached out to it on key issues like Internet governance, data protection and privacy.

“Every state should have an opinion because at the end of it, a national policy is going to affect everybody. They (central government) cannot limit a national policy only to one state. It is a national policy,” Kharge, who also holds the portfolio of bio-technology and tourism said.

He made the point that it is good to have a complete opinion of all states while framing national policies and more important states like Karnataka which has been a leader in e- governance and technology.

Kharge was here for a roadshow of the Bengaluru Technology Summit to be held on November 16-18.

“When it comes to data protection and privacy issues, then I don’t think the Government of India has formally written to the government of Karnataka or at the secretariat level. If they call us for us discussion, we will be more than happy to do it,” Kharge said.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT has created a panel to offer its recommendation on data protection framework in India, which will also deliberate on rules concerning privacy in the digital era.

“Technically, we are a little ahead of the curve when it comes to policy framing on emerging technologies and advanced technologies. There is a lot that we can learn from each other. Somehow, I don’t see that collaboration happening too often, but I think it should,” he said.

Kharge said the Karnataka government is first in the country to come up with an electric vehicle policy and is planning to frame a policy on e-commerce, preference for start-ups in government procurement and exploring opportunities around the emerging block chain technology.

“Policy making is a constant process and we can evolve great policy only when we listen to our stakeholders,” Kharge pointed out. He spoke of an instance where the state was not involved when the Centre firmed up its stand on Internet governance in 2015.

“I don’t think anybody from the ministry wrote to me or my department for our view on that (Internet governance). It would have been discussed with our stakeholders. Maximum number of stakeholders is in Karnataka,” Kharge said.

A government panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had firmed up the countries stand on Internet governance in 2015 and submitted it to international body ICANN, which manages and implements worldwide Internet rules and policies.

The views were sought from the global community after many countries and interested parties raised security concerns around critical data over Internet being routed through servers in the United States.

“In a federal structure, we need to learn to work with the government of India. Although we may have different ideologies, different party, it is our job to work within that federal structure. Anytime they reach out to us, we will always be happy to help. Anytime we want their help, they would do that. A lot more collaboration is desired,” Kharge said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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