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“We want to lead the charge in Web 3.0 and in AI, with guardrails defined,” MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar says

AI will be regulated through the prism of user harm and the  objective is to ensure that emerging technologies should not cause any harm to Digital Nagariks, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and IT, said on Tuesday. Chandrasekhar was speaking at Digital India Dialogues on the Principles of the Digital India Act, held at Taj Lands Ends in Mumbai. “Similarly, the industry can suggest guardrails for blockchain and Web 3.0. We will not ban anything in the innovation space, unless it is linked with user harm. We want to lead the charge in Web 3.0 and in AI–with guardrails defined. I am not a big fan of regulators in the sense that it shouldn’t create another layer of compliance,” Chandrasekhar added. 

According to Chandrasekhar, weaponisation of misinformation and disinformation is also a major concern that needs to be addressed, especially with the added catalyst of AI-driven deepfake. Furthermore, referring to DIA basic principles, he said that the act seeks to harmonise everything that’s going on in the tech space. “Safety and Trust will be at the heart of the DIA, and it is going to be a huge section in the DIA. Online harm is also being dealt with by regulators globally. India is soon going to have 1.3 billion people accessing the Internet and these Digital Nagriks should approach the Internet without any fear and mistrust, especially as many government services also move to the internet. A safe and trusted internet is a win-win for all stakeholders,” he explained. 

Addressing several questions, he further noted that the DIA will allow sectoral regulators such as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and other ministries to create additional safeguards. The DIA will result in harmonisation of different laws and sectoral regulators will be consulted for this purpose. Furthermore, on the issue of compliance for startups, he emphasised that in all recent laws, such as the CERT-In directions released in April 2022 or the upcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, startups have either been provided exemptions or an extended time period for compliance.

Digital India Act, the proposed law is expected to be a pillar of the Global Standard Cyber law framework that is being formulated by the Government for catalysing India’s digital economy goals. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, National Data Governance Framework policy, the recent amendments to the IT Rules, CERT-In guidelines will form the other elements of this framework.

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