THE Election Commission has stoutly and rightly defended penal provision for electors if their complaint alleging malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) turns out to be false. The provision for criminalisation of false reporting of fault in EVMs is a strong deterrent for habitual mischief-mongers who have almost made it their right to raise questions about functioning of EVMs. A petition has now come before the Supreme Court to decriminalise reporting of malfunctioning of EVMs citing citizens’ right to freedom of expression. The argument is based on a flawed assumption that right to freedom of expression allows even frivolous complaints. Defending its stance, the EC has also warned of the sacred democratic right of voting turning into a trivial exercise of finding faults in machinery at the drop of hat. Despite the gimmick of raising a bogey about EVMs, no party has so far concretely proved it can be rigged. It is nothing but distorting faith in a tried and tested system and must face action.
WITH digital battleground being the new field for warfare it was imperative for the defence forces to have a dedicated formation that will tackle threats in the cyber domain. Cybersecurity has become paramount for defence forces as hackers constantly try to break into military systems to steal vital information. India’s cybersecurity system has so far been successful in fighting cyber invasions by hackers, especially from China and Pakistan, who mount incessant attacks through malwares and other components. Gauging the seriousness of the threat Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was quick to give clearance to the Defence Cyber Agency (DCA) that will be fully operational this month. It is a crucial addition to India’s cybersecurity and will bolster all the three services. The DCA was the need of the hour and the Prime Minister must be complimented for his swift clearance to set up a dedicated agency for cyber security as sought by the Combined Commanders’ Conference last year.