A Parliamentary panel yesterday asked the government to take measures, as far as possible, to locate Internet servers for critical sectors within the country.
Noting that hosting of websites/servers outside India is largely on account of cost advantage, counter action and legal concerns, the committee recommended the Department of Communications and IT to host more and more servers in India.
"The committee are, however, unhappy to note that the country depends largely on imported electronics and majority of the websites are still being hosted outside India," the Standing Committee on Information Technology said in a report.
It added the government has adopted strategies to deal with the hassles and drafted an 'e-mail policy' and 'data storage policy' for the Central government and the state governments.
"While all these initiatives have been taken note of, keeping in view the security aspects the committee emphasise the government should take measures, as far as possible, to locate Internet servers for critical sectors within the country," it said. The committee added the department should also have stringent measures to safeguard the indigenous servers as most of the cyber attacks are in '.in' domain.
"In addition, the department should lay down provisions for mandatory certification for all imported electronics/IT/ telecom products and have certification centres in each State/Union Territory specifically at all the airports/naval docks/ international borders," it added.
The committee also expressed concern on only one Cyber Appellate Tribunal (CAT) being set up in the country till date though the Act provides for setting up Benches in other parts of the country.
"The Committee are surprised to learn that since inception of CAT, only 17 appeals have been disposed off by the former Chairperson and 21 appeals are still pending for hearing in the Tribunal which are scheduled for disposal on appointment of the new Chairperson," it said. While expressing their displeasure over the undue delay taking place in disposal of appeal by the CAT, the committee strongly recommended the department to deploy adequate manpower at the earliest.
"Efforts may also be made to set up CAT branches in other parts of the country, if need arises," it said.
The committee has also recommended making concerted efforts to increase the number of cyber security experts/ auditors/IT skill in the country on top priority basis to ensure that shortage of manpower does not come in the way of securing Indian cyber space.