Bengal govt set to create 1 lakh jobs for cyber security professionals
Kolkata: The Bengal government is all set to produce cyber security professionals and will create around one lakh new jobs in the field annually.
Bengal is the first state in the country, which will ensure a supply pool of cyber security specialists in various government departments, to iron out the cyber threats which are major causes of concern for the government.
Following the instruction of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bengal government will introduce a course on "Cyber Security" in the undergraduate level, so that students get an edge in getting job not only in the Information Technology (IT) sector, but also in the police force.
With the job market for cyber security professionals thriving, the state government is very active in supporting both private enterprises and government entities to prevent new cyber threats.
According to a top government official, there is a plan to create one lakh jobs in the field of cyber security annually. To fill up various posts, the state government will roll out a specific curriculum for the new course.
The Chief Minister has recently instructed the state Higher Education department to chalk out plans on how to introduce the course in college level. State Information Technology (IT) and Electronics department will assist the Higher Education department in framing the syllabus.
An IT expert said that the entire country is facing a major shortage of skilled cyber security professionals, while various government websites are vulnerable to cyber threats. To combat the situation, more security experts and IT professionals need to recruited, he said.
Debashis Sen, additional chief secretary, IT and Electronics department, said: "We are working closely with the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Kalyani, the specialised experts of which will decide the course, as well as what the contents would be. Our department will examine various policy-related issues, before finally handing over the recommendations to the Higher Education department, which will start the course."
Sen also said that his department is also working in coordination with the police, academics and industry, so that some groups with vested interests cannot tamper the government documents, keeping data intact. With the rapid digitisation that has been going on, cyber security is of utmost importance.
According to the initial plans, the cyber security course will be started in IIIT and all the colleges under Calcutta University. Students would be provided the basic knowledge on networking and operating system.
According to sources, around 250 government websites are vulnerable to security threats, as various preventive measures like 'auditing' and 'version control' are not properly followed. In more than 50 percent cases, security audit is not properly done in various levels of software coding.
Nabarun Bhattacharyya, director, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in Kolkata, said: "It's good to hear that the state government is introducing a course on cyber security, thereby creating huge job opportunities. Cyber security has become more sensitive nowadays. Few of us know the rule of the road and how to keep a password. We do not even know which version of an application is running in the system."
The state government has already set up West Bengal Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (WBCS-CoE) in New Town, to deal with the increasing number of cyber-offences in the state. A workshop was held on cyber security at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town on Friday.