The growth of multiple e-governance projects has made positive impact in the country in terms of various benefits accruing to businesses, government and consumers. However, as the number of participants increased, it becomes cumbersome to maintain the quality as well as security aspects of the services. In view of this, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed the government to set up a distinct network for e-governance and lawful interpretation of data. TRAI published a consultation paper on cloud services.
Cloud services can play an important role in boosting the quality of government services provided under diverse e-governance services. In 2015, cloud computing reached $1.08 billion (about Rs. 7,213 crores). Telecom, IT/ITeS, BFSI, manufacturing and government sectors contributed close to 78% of the whole cloud market.
Regulation of services
In its consultation paper, TRAI urges the government to regulate the practices that are in vogue among cloud service providers (CSPs). This is to ensure the customers of CSPs can easily transfer data from one service to another.
Further, when clients opt out from the services of CSPs, data erasure and deletion should also be standardized.
Quality of service
The quality of service provided by CSP should be closely monitored. The regulations are meant to ensure an ordered growth in the industry, and would win the confidence of consumers to use regulated service.
To protect national integrity
Views on the protocol that is to be followed by CSPs on “lawful access of information” – That is TRAI proposes lawful interpretation of data on the cloud. It proposes government should be legally empowered to access cloud data for national security reasons.
Cloud hosted overseas
TRAI proposes views on policies, systems and processes needed for the framework on governance of information on cloud if the service provider is from overseas.This proposal is important because the user’s country might disallow transferring or disclosure of certain information across countries.
Issue of multiple jurisdiction
Yet another proposal is to bring a legal framework that can address the issues arising from multiple jurisdiction in case of cloud date. Generally, trans-border movement of data financial data, for example, is not allowed.
Promoting cloud computing in e-governance projects, establishing data centers, enhancing the Digital India program and Smart Cities initiatives is another issue raised.
The proposal seeks to know how to reduce cost of cloud by realizing economies of scale in IT budgets of business, how these variables differ according to the size of the enterprise – large and small & medium businesses.
Cloud services are going to play a significant role in e-governance project implementation. The beneficial effects of cloud technology in general and for e-governance projects in particular are humungous. Apart from enhancing the quality of service, improving connectivity, engaging users and reducing cost of transaction, it protects the data of all: government as well as end users or the common people.