The state – which has over the past few years emerged as a leading destination for information technology companies – has long been considering the introduction of such a curriculum. The CEOs of IT giants have raised the issues with state administration in several discussions.
Cyber experts and data specialists would enhance various services that take help from information technology for its speedy execution. The decision to introduce the subject was taken in the cabinet meeting, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave the approval.
A source at the state secretariat said the Chief Minister gave the approval on basis of its necessity. “A state, which is advanced in information technology, should take the initiative to create cyber specialists, to curb increasing crimes, solve criminal activities and bring out easy technical solutions of various problems,” said the source.
Recently, the state cabinet had also given an in-principal approval for setting up a cyber security centre for excellence. “The cabinet has recently passed courses on cyber security, data security and analysis in colleges and universities,” said Talleen Kumar, Principal Secretary, Information Technology department.
The data science is a discipline that deals with collection, preparation, management, analysis, interpretation and visualisation of large and complex data sets. Data scientists can be found working in diverse scientific areas, including astrophysics, particle physics, biology, medicine, finance, healthcare and social science.
Data science is, therefore, by nature at the core of all modern disciplinary scientific activities. It involves the entire process of acquisition, exploration, analysis and communication of results. “The large volume of data is automatically generated through digital transactions like phone calls, card swipes, electronic fund transfers, e-commerce, social media like Facebook, Twitter and many others,” an officer said.
“The key challenges are to handle this enormous volume of data and analyse it in a proper channel. We need data scientists and professionals in the industry here and across the nation,” the officer added.
Similarly, for confronting cyber threats successfully, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to set up a centre for excellence. But without adequate presence of experts, the centre for excellence would become weaker with each passing day. “We need to keep the supply line intact. Cyber security experts and professionals are increasing in demand to protect vast amount of stored data and critical information infrastructure. The courses on cyber security in colleges and universities will give the talented youth a chance to be part of this ecosystem,” the officer further added.
Moreover, most of the services provided by the state are now controlled by information technology. The state government’s e-District project has been a pioneering example nationwide. Experts on cyber crimes would be needed to ensure security of such projects.
West Bengal has been an emerging destination for the information technology companies across the country and has adequate resources to combat the cyber threats. But research and development, testing resilience of networks and high-end training of personnel to combat cyber crimes are challenge that needed to be tackled, the administration feels.