There has been a whopping 389 per cent jump in allocation of funds by the government for strengthening cyber security between 2015-16 and 2021-22, even as a national strategy on the sensitive issue is in the works.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has spent Rs 416 crore towards enhancing cyber security measures across the country during the current financial year (till June 2021), which is 389 per cent more than Rs 85 crore which it had spent in 2015-16 for the same purpose.
At the same time, Rs 416 crore spent till now during 2021-22 are 34 per cent more than Rs 310 crore which was spent in 2020-21 for strengthening cyber security.
The multi-fold increase in fund allotment for cyber security measures, sources said, underlined the government’s focus on the strategic issue.
Interestingly there was a slight dip in funds allocation for boosting cyber security in 2016-17, when only Rs 70 crore were allotted compared to Rs 85 crore released in 2015-16. However in 2017-18 there was a 100 per cent jump in allotment of funds when Rs 140 crore were released. Since then, the allotment for the purpose has been in three figures, according to official data.
Also with the national cyber security strategy in the final stages of approval, sources added that it may be finalised soon.
In fact Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in a reply to a written question had said in Parliament during the recently concluded Monsoon session that the government has okayed formation of a defence cyber agency to counter cyber attacks.
He had also informed that all three defence services have set up their respective cyber emergency response teams to counter digital threats.