SHILLONG, Aug 11: Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW) member, Felicita Majaw said the panel would recommend to the state government the inclusion of digital awareness in the school and college curriculum.
Along with the MSCW’s legal member, Deity Majaw, she recently attended a seminar on cyber safety and digital empowerment organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in New Delhi.
The MSCW members and their counterparts from the other northeastern states interacted with the NCW to deliberate on the issue.
On Friday, Majaw told The Shillong Times that there is a need for a stringent follow-up on the proposed Data Privacy Bill in India.
She felt there is a need to take serious note of the impact of various apps on young children, adolescents, and teenagers because of their impressionable age.
“There is a need to have safety features and parental control besides limiting the time for using gadgets to save young people from digital addiction,” she said.
Majaw said the government should take measures to tackle fake news and misinformation since they have been seen to trigger violence and create a social divide.
“These are areas we have to introspect and deal with at the earliest,” she said.
The MSWC member said the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) across the globe and the obsession among youngsters with social media platforms could be counter-productive.
She said ordinary citizens are deeply connected with technology for entertainment, hospitality, tourism, politics, and international relationships.
“How can we protect our personal space and privacy and how can effective laws be developed for a global regulation on cyberspace networking? With a rise of cybercrimes and attacks in the country, this subject is paramount,” she said.
Majaw further said the NCW also raised concerns about cybercrimes, especially against women, like cyber-stalking, bullying, extortion, financial fraud, human trafficking, etc., through various forms of enticements.
She said the Digital Shakti launched by the NCW in 2018 is undergoing its fourth phase pan-India in collaboration with Cyber Peace Foundation and Meta.
“The objective is to raise digital awareness on safety and privacy rights of women and digitally empowering them to bridge the digital gender divide,” she said, adding such learning is crucial in rural areas and educational institutions.
Majaw also said the rise of cybercrime incidents in the state is alarming.
“We should take advantage of the digital platforms to economically empower our women. We would recommend a similar campaign in the state to sensitise various stakeholders on cyber security and capacity building as we move forward to keep pace with the times,” she said.
Majaw also said the NCW wants all citizens to be flag-bearers and ambassadors of Digital Shakti with an aim to create awareness of digital empowerment and safety mechanisms.
“People can now report cybercrimes anonymously on number 1930,” she said, calling for the cybercrime cell in the state to update itself with the new IT Acts.