Home >News >India >Registration date for homegrown video conferencing solution extended to 7 May

NEW DELHI: The electronics and information technology ministry has extended the deadline for registration for Innovation Challenge for development of a made in India video conferencing solution to 7 May from 30 April. The last date for submission of ideas, which was 7 May will stay the same.

"The last date of registration and idea submission has been clubbed... The applicant may now register and submit the application by May 7," Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology or MEITY said in a statement.

The decision to conduct a challenge to build a homegrown video conferencing solution came in the backdrop of the several security breaches, also referred to as Zoombombing, involving video conferencing app Zoom.

Various Indian agencies have also cautioned users to step away from such platforms. In an advisory, released early this week, Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of ministry of home affairs warned users that Zoom is not safe to use.

Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-in), India's nodal cybersecurity agency, has also highlighted the security risks of Zoom in the recent past.

The decision to encourage development of a homemade video conferencing solution and use it for official government purposes also stems from the desire to make India digitally self-sufficient at a time when remote working and conferencing solutions have become indispensable due to covid-19 led lockdown.

The Innovation Challenge will fund the development of the video conferencing solution and will go forward in three phases to select a final winner.

In the first stage, 10 entries would be selected and each will get a funding of 5 lakh to build the prototype. In the second stage, the developers will get to submit their prototypes for evaluation. A jury will shortlist three prototypes and grant each of them 20 lakh to build a solution.

In the third and final stage, the best solution will get a fixed amount of 1 crore for deployment so it can be used by the central government and state governments. The developer will also get 10 lakh per year for operations and maintenance of the solution.

Growing demand for remote working tools has opened many of the existing platforms and their users to a wave of cyber attacks. The ones with weak security protocols are at a greater risk.

After drawing flak from all quarters, Zoom has beefed up security around its platform with AES 256-bit encryption, in addition to adding more robust host controls under Zoom 5.0 update.

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