India and the Netherlands cooperation initiatives have been further strengthened by the inauguration of the Digital Mission and the first Indo Dutch Cyber Security School. Since, cybersecurity has been recognized as one of the key thematic points in bilateral ties between the two countries, the Digital mission is a step ahead in the direction, aimed at developing solutions and sharing knowledge on cybersecurity.
The event was inaugurated by H.E. Mr Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India. Introductory remarks were shared by H.E. Venu Rajamony, Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands. Ms. Rama Vedasree, DSCI, gave the welcome address to the participants and elaborated on the immense growth potential for security, privacy technology startups and service companies from the Netherlands and India, to collaborate and serve Indian and EU markets.
H.E. Mr Marten van den Berg, the Netherlands Ambassador to India, emphasised that albeit the times of the pandemic are tough, they also create opportunities for collaboration. He shared that both India and the Netherlands have been collaborating at the highest level on the theme of cybersecurity. Ambassador further added that collaboration has significantly intensified in the past 4 years with delegation visits & trade missions, G2G collaborations, Summer School, engagements between institutions like the Hague Security Delta (HSD) and Data Security Council of India (DSCI), academic interactions etc.
Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary,Department of IT-BT, Government of Karnataka, remarked that the bilateral ties between the two countries have fostered a strong partnership in areas such as cybersecurity, healthcare, agritech, etc. He stressed on the needs of such international partnerships and collaborations. Mr Ajay Prakash Sawhney (IAS), Secretary, Meity, GOI talked about the various collaborations between the two countries now being extended to cybersecurity and privacy. He added that the Digital mission will nurture and leverage the growing ties in government, business and research.
Mr Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT & E and Industries & Commerce Departments, Government of Telangana talked about the journey of the government of Telangana with the Hague Security Delta and multiple collaborations since 2015, on many knowledge sharing forums and events conducted by Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence(CCoE),DSCI.
Ms. Saskia Bruines, Vice Mayor, Den Haag, the Netherlands discussed that the boundless opportunities of digitisation come with serious challenges. She said, “The Hague, as the international city of peace and justice, stands for the fact that cybersecurity is a common necessity and must be accessible by everyone.”
The programme also included the launch of Indian Dutch Cyber Security School, which is an online programme designed to educate participants on the field of cybersecurity, while facilitating the cooperation between the Municipality of The Hague, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and the Indian states of Telangana and Karnataka. CySecK- Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, Government of Karnataka, DSCI Cyber Security Centre of Excellence – Government of Telangana and the Embassy of the Netherlands are also the organizing partners.
The school will run through the months of September, October and November. Mr Michel Rademaker – Director, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy – Additional Chief Secretary, Department of IT BT, Govt. of Karnataka, launched the summer school.
Leveraging on the growing bilateral ties between the Netherlands and India on the cyber security front in the past few years, the focus of the mission is on augmenting connections between ecosystems and to work towards a coherent Indo – Dutch cyber security strategy. The mission also aims to drive the economic viability of Dutch cybersecurity sector in India, increase linkages between academia and researchers, and attract Indian companies to establish offices in the Netherlands. From the Netherlands’ side, a Partners for International Business (PiB) consortium has been founded to establish relations with India. PIB’s objectives include increasing the Dutch cyber security business activity in India, with the goal of increasing the cyber resilience and cyber security of implemented digital systems.