In India’s new IT Rules, engagement with consumer representatives lacking: CUTS

The government of India had recently brought in place Information Technology rules (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) 2021. The rules are a step to provide a much desired certainty to the digital ecosystem.

“Under the Rules, both government and industry expect each other to act objectively and fairly in the interest of consumers. However, in their current form, the Rules do not envisage any engagement with consumers or consumer representatives in their design of enforcement. Consumer welfare needs to be the guiding principle for the Rules to be successful,” noted Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International.

The reliance of the intermediary guidelines on periodic disclosures to address information asymmetry concerns have been ineffective in the past. Intermediaries are expected to design internal due processes to redress user grievances and follow principles of natural justice during content takedown

The Code of Ethics for Digital Media envisages a three-tier grievance redress structure, in which the first two tiers are dominated by the industry and last one by the government. Despite a welcome consumer centric move, no role of consumers or consumer organisations has been envisaged. “Absence of consumer participation may result in such reforms stopping short in their tracks”, added Mehta.

A recent study by CUTS was done in order to understand the consumer’s perception on encryption, reveled that the consumers acknowledge the value unlocked by instant messaging services, while also appreciating the privacy and security benefits offered. Consumers’ usage of such services may reduce should such additional benefits become uncertain and consumers understand this fact.

Privacy was recorded as one of the top three benefits of instant messaging services.

Therefore, any suggestion to direct intermediary to identify the first originator of information must be viewed with caution. While the Rules provide that less intrusive means need to be exhausted before, there is no clarity on who will decide this test has been passed.

Reliance Jio plans to set up a DC in UP with an investment of $950 million

Reliance Jio is planning to set up a Data Centre in Uttar Pradesh with an investment of $950 million.

According to a Hindustan Times report, this Data Centre will be spread across a 20 acre land. The report cited two people who were aware of the development.

“This is an important focus area for the telecom giant of India, Reliance Jio,” one of the two people who cited the above information cited the publication.

“For the data center a 20 acre land has been allotted to the company and the project is approximately of Rs 7,000 crore,” said Sidharth Nath Singh, who heads the ministers of investment and export, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and textile in the UP government, said in a statement in response to a media query.

This comes amidst the Indian government’s plan of making India a Digital economy of $ 1 trillion by 2025.

“The center will consist of six interconnected data center buildings offering 30,000 racks capacity and 200 MW of power. It is expected to create thousands of job opportunities in the Information Technology sector.” Singh added in the statement.

However, Jio has not confirmed any such development.

The new center could be powered by Reliance Jio’s own renewable energy plant.

The Uttar Pradesh Government had earlier come up with a Data Centre policy. This policy is expected to bring in an investment of 20,000 crore. The policy also aims at developing 250 MW of Data Centre industries in the state.

Singaporean data center group, ST Telemedia Global Data Centers (STT GDC), is backing the project. The proposed data center campus will cost an estimated Rs 600 crore, and will have a critical IT capacity of 18 Megawatts (MW) in its first phase.

As for the second phase of the investment, Alok Kumar, Chief Secretary of IT and Industrial Development at STT GDC in India added that a land parcel of around three acres has been identified by the investor, which means that IT capacity would be increased to 36 MW in phase two. This will be an additional estimated investment of Rs 500 crore.

A significant growth in the Data Centre market was witnessed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With everyone working from home there was a massive increase in the consumption of the internet.

Using renewable energy for Data Centers will lead to a reduction in the carbon footprints and will prove to be sustainable and safe for the environment.

Building more energy-aware businesses in Asia

Asia’s appetite for digitalisation is fast outpacing other regions across the globe, as it becomes a testbed for new technologies.

From digital banks to AI-powered super apps, there is a rising demand for energy needed to power the growing number of data centres making this digitalisation push happen. Globally, the ICT industry is expected to consume 20 per cent of the world’s energy by 2025 and account for 14 per cent of total emissions by 2040.

Yet, the solution is not merely to provide more power; a number of other factors are further complicating the management of power for businesses in Asia.

 

Governments – regardless of whether they belong to developed or developing ones, are starting to recognise the need to pivot towards renewables. They are rolling out large-scale wind and solar projects across the region, resulting in cleaner but more fluctuations in energy production.

Driving this awareness is the growing climate crisis which looms overhead, with natural hazards such as wildfires and floods increasing in frequency and posing a greater threat to the stable production and delivery of power.

 

In order to better prepare themselves to face these power management challenges, more businesses will likely explore strategic investments in technologies that not only reduce the impact of downtime but also bring down energy consumption and achieve their sustainability targets.

The current state of this preparedness varies across countries. Developed markets such as Australia and Taiwan are leading the conversation around energy transition, with growing government support and regulation to encourage technology adoption to support the transition toward a lower-carbon energy future.

While their developing market counterparts are taking the right steps and catching up quickly with ambitious renewable energy projects, many still face infrastructure challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption and transformation. In many such countries, the ability to deploy emerging technologies such as energy storage and intelligent power management software still has some way to go.

 

Regardless of a country’s readiness for energy transition, gaps in understanding still exist across the public and private sectors even though the solutions to tackle these challenges are available today. Much more sector education needs to be done to help various stakeholder groups from end-users to regulators understand the capabilities and limitations, commercial aspects as businesses chart their transformation journey.

Technologies such as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Lithium-ion batteries and smart grids that guide the efficient management of power, will shift from “good to have”, to “must-have”, as climate change moves further up the boardroom agenda over the next couple of years.

In a post-covid business landscape, connected customers are increasingly expecting always-on accessibility, alongside constant innovation, and stakeholder accountability. To achieve this, businesses will need to carefully align their power management strategy with their digitalisation priorities and sustainability objectives.

This integrated planning approach then needs to be combined with government engagement to establish and refine technology adoption best practices and standards.

Energy transition is a collaborative process and once the right strategy and support is in place, more businesses in Asia be able to build a resilient power infrastructure that is ready to take on a more sustainable digital future.

 

Join EATON at the Data Center webinar to learn how the EnergyAware technology can be utilized to lower demand and peak time charges, as well as contribute to clean energy goals.