New Delhi: The government is working to put in place a formal cyberspace architecture that will ensure free and safe internet access to all citizens, information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.

“India firmly stands for a digitally egalitarian order where we will lend our weight to those who are digitally deprived and marginalized but with logic, reason and moderation," he said.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) 2017, Prasad said India is open to sharing its best practices to strengthen collaboration and cooperation in the area of cyberspace.

“Digital inclusion, digital access and digital security should become important signposts of cyberspace. Access to internet should not be negotiable, and be available without discrimination," he said.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who was the special guest at the event, said that the government is committed to a multi-stakeholder approach of intellect governance that is transparent and accountable to stakeholders, including governments, academia, civil society and industry.

“We believe that cyberspace should not become the monopoly of a few. Our government has taken steps to promote international security, leading to a framework that recognizes the applicability of international law and in particular the UN charter," she said.

Prasad and Swaraj’s assurance of decisively dealing with cyberattacks comes at a time when policymakers are making an unprecedented push to popularize digital transactions and cut down use of cash in order to have a more transparent and accountable economic environment.

According to national security advisor Ajit Doval, who was part of the ministerial panel at the conference on Friday, security organizations of the world should have specific cybersecurity structures which are able to exchange information quickly, identify defaulters and proceed against them, and support law enforcement agencies to see that laws and norms are adhered to.

“We may not be able to completely eliminate the negative side but will be able to mitigate it," Doval added while talking about the negative side of cyberspace.

The fifth edition of GCCS was attended by international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts, who discussed issues and challenges in optimally using cyberspace.

According to the IT ministry, more than 10,000 delegates from 123 countries participated in the event.

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