New Delhi: Alphons Kannanthanam, the new minister of state in the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), took up his portfolio on Monday, saying data security and the digital empowerment of citizens will be key focus areas of the ministry.
“The major challenge according to what I have understood is of data security. You want to make data available to people but at the same time how do you secure the data? I feel this is a big challenge," Kannanthanam told reporters at his office.
The former bureaucrat is one of the nine ministers of state drafted into the Narendra Modi government on Sunday. He has been made MoS in MeitY and also in the ministry of tourism with independent charge.
Kannanthanam also stressed the need for India to swtich from predominantly cash-based transactions to secure electronic cashless transactions through digital devices.
Kannanthanam earned a reputation for being an earnest civil servant after making Kottayam the first fully literate town in the country as part of the literacy campaign launched by the communist state government in 1989.
He quit the civil service in 2006 and joined politics, serving as an independent Kottayam legislator backed by the communists. In a massive change, he moved to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and was made a member of its national executive council soon after joining.